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Vlad the Impaler

In the late 1800s, Bram Stoker was digging through historical accounts of some of the worst figures in history, looking for ideas for his next novel. He came across the story of Vlad III, the Voivodate of Wallachia, who was also known by his cohorts as Dracula. It is from the story of Vlad that Stoker formed the roots of what the world has come to know about vampires.

Vlad III was the second born son in a family of 4 brothers; his father, Vlad II, had a tumultuous position as leader of Wallachia. He was initially a member of the Order of the Dragon, an organization whose primary goal was to protect Christian Europe from the influence of the Ottoman Empire. It is due to his membership in the Order of the Dragon that Vlad II gained the name “Dracul”, which is Romanian for “dragon” or “devil”. Later in life, Vlad III would take on the name “Dracula”, meaning “Son of the Dragon”.