Did Dracula really exist
Dracula is a character from novels and films. He is probably the best-known vampire: a person who is actually dead, but still walks around at night. Only about Sherlock Holmes are there more films than about Dracula.
Dracula is said to be from Transylvania. This area is now in Romania, so he speaks with a strange sound. He is a gloomy, but also an interesting and handsome man. His strength is superhuman.
Stories about vampires have been around for centuries. The name Dracula could have come from a Romanian ruler who lived in the Middle Ages. But “Count Dracula” as a character in a novel has only been known since 1897: At that time, the successful novel “Dracula” by Bram Stoker from Ireland was published.
Did Dracula really exist?
Bram Stoker had heard of a prince whose name was supposedly "Dracula": that should mean devil. Such a prince or ruler actually lived in Transylvania.
His real name was Vlad the Third, known as the Impaler. Another nickname was "Drăculea". That came from the Latin word for "dragon". But it could also have something to do with the Romanian word "drac", which means "devil".
Vlad was a voivode: such an army leader was under a prince. He was born around 1430. In his time the peoples of the Balkans fought against each other, also against the Ottoman Empire.
Vlad was considered particularly cruel. He is said to have liked to stake his opponents: The bodies were impaled on wooden sticks. However, this has nothing to do with vampires. Bram Stoker doesn't write about Vlad, or that he was supposed to have been a vampire. But he probably liked the name Dracula.
What became of the character Dracula?
Soon there were attempts to write more books about Dracula. But that wasn't just allowed for a long time: Bram Stoker invented the vampire named Dracula. Bram Stoker owned the copyright. Whoever wanted to use the name for a vampire had to pay money for it.
The German director Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau made the film "Nosferatu" in 1922. He had to come up with this name instead of Dracula. A court decided anyway: The vampire in the film is too similar to the character Dracula. The film was not allowed to be shown for a long time.
In 1931 there was a Dracula film with Bela Lugosi. The makers had paid for the name Dracula. This film made the way most people imagine a Dracula. Many other similar films have appeared. In some, Dracula is a bad beast, in others an actually noble person, for whom one can certainly understand. Some films make fun of Count Dracula.
Bram Stoker in 1906, a few years before his death
The film "Nosferatu" by F.W. Murnau is a silent film. A string quartet plays the music live here.
Movie poster for the 1931 film
The Manneken Pis from Brussels, sometimes disguised as Dracula
There are also more search results for "Dracula" from Blind Cow and Ask Finn.
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