Saturday, October 20, 2007

Vampire's: Vlad VS Dracula

Vampires have supposedly roamed the earth in the darkness of the night for centuries. Although there is no scientific proof of the existence of vampires. Some tend to believe that they were once out there or better yet...still are. Of course there is also the person who believes that vampires still exist ?


· The word vampire was first used in 1734: "The bodies of deceased persons animated by evil spirits, which come out of the graves at night time to suck the blood of many of the living and thereby destroy them."
· By 1862 Vampire meant a terrible BORE of a person
· And by 1911 vampire meant "a woman who intentionally attracts and exploits men" and by 1918 (July 9) the New York Times mentions a play called "The Vamp" starring Enid Bennett.
· Also the Verb to vamp means "to behave seductively and exploit" (ca 1920's)
· If vampires are not detected they climb into the belfry of the church and either a) call out names of villagers (who then instantly die) or b) ring the death knell and anyone who hears it dies on the spot
· If a vampire goes undetected for 7 years they can go to another country or place where a different language is spoken and become human again. They can never remarry but when they die the whole family becomes vampires (kids for first time & parent(s) again)
· There are 2 kinds of Vampire: the spirit of a dead person or a corpse reanimated by his own or another person (ie ethereal or physical)
· In some traditions, staking a vampire must be done IN ONE BLOW to do it right .

The Historical Dracula

Vlad the Impaler (1431-1476)

Bram Stoker's Dracula, published in 1897, continues to send shivers down the spine of anyone who reads it. It is dark Gothic at its best, a brilliant, imaginative and can't-put-down work of art. The atmosphere it creates is, in this writer's opinion, spookier than any Stephen King novel.
But...many people who have read the book are not aware that the character Dracula the vampire is based on was a highborn member of a Romanian court, prominent in European history – and much more terrifying than his fictional descendant. While not the black-cloaked, centuries-old, fanged bloodsucker of literary fame, the infamy of the historical figure outperforms that of Stoker's creation.
It was no idle choice that the red-bearded Irish novelist Bram Stoker in 1896 chose the factual Impaler as the model for his nosferatu, his "undead" vampire. Although admittedly never having set foot on Romanian soil, having done most of his research at the London Library, it is obvious that the infamous Count Dracula emulates his historical counterpart. Poring over texts such as An Extraordinary and Shocking History of a Great Berserker Called Prince Dracula, The Historie and Superstitions of Romantic Romania and Wilkinson's Account of Wallachia and Moldavia, Stoker chanced upon the tales of Dracula. (It has been suggested by scholars that such histories would be incomplete without generous space attributed to the man.) In the tomes he studied, Stoker assuredly read of the voivode Dracula, whose atrocities trembled the Christian Western World and whose audacity saved it from Allah.
Prince Vlad, or as he was called even in his own time, Dracula (which means "Son of the Dragon") tops the list of Romania's many, many Christian crusaders who, in the transition years between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, fought to keep the Muslim-faithed Ottoman Turks out of their country.
Odd that a name known for stirring nightmares actually belonged to a crusader of a religious cause!
Still, Dracula was not a saint. He ruled his military kingdom of Wallachia – southern Romania – with a heavy and blood-soaked fist. To not only the Turks but also to many of his own countrymen he was Vlad The Impaler, Vlad Die Tepes (pronounced Tee-pish). Determined not to be overtaken by the intrigue of an intriguing political underhandedness, in a world in which princes fell daily to smiling, hypocritical "allies," paranoia among the aristocracy was, and probably needed to be, utmost in a sovereign's disposition. Dracula built a defense around him that dared not open kindness nor trust to anyone. During his tenure, he killed by the droves, impaling on a forest of spikes around his castle thousands of subjects who he saw as either traitors, would-be traitors or enemies to the security of Romania and the Roman Catholic Church. Sometimes, he slew merely to show other possible insurgents and criminals just what their fate would be if they became troublesome.