Vlad often had the stakes arranged in patterns. The most common pattern was a ring outside of a city that was his target. The height of the spear indicated the rank of the victim. The corpses were often left there for months. One tale says 10, were impaled in the Transylvanian city of Sibiu where Vlad the Impaler had once lived in Impalement was not his only method of torture.
Kronborg Castle, Denmark
His victims included women, children, peasants, great lords, ambassadors from foreign powers and merchants. However, the vast majority of his European victims came from the merchants and boyars of Transylvania and Wallachia. Most of the merchants there were German-speaking Saxons who were seen as bad people because they were not Romanian. He saw the boyars as people who were not loyal Vlad's own father and older brother were murdered by boyars. Almost as soon as he came to power, he gave a party for his boyars and their families to celebrate Easter. These nobles were part of the conspiracy around his father's death.
Vlad, to avenge his father's death, had all the assembled nobles arrested. The older boyars were impaled on the spot.
The boyars and their families were forced to work for months rebuilding the old castle. Very few survived the building of Vlad's castle. It was reported that an invading Ottoman army turned back when they saw thousands of rotting corpses impaled on the banks of the river Danube. Many of the victims were Turkish prisoners of war. These were entertainment in a society where the printing press was new. The texts were reprinted over the thirty years following Vlad's death.
The Russian texts took a somewhat different view. The princes of Muscovy were also having trouble with boyars. They preferred to see Vlad's actions as justified. Despite the differences in interpretation, the texts, regardless of their land of origin, agree on details. Vlad's cruelty against his own people of Wallachia were seen as attempts to make them behave better.
According to the texts, he was particularly cruel against women. Vlad wanted his people to work hard. Merchants who cheated their customers were likely to be killed. The fictional vampire in the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker was inspired by the legends of this Wallachian prince.
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The cruel person of the Impaler was a suitable character for Stoker's purposes. The events of Vlad's life happened in a region of the world that was still medieval in Stoker's time. Although there were vampire tales originating elsewhere, the vampire, as he became known in Europe, largely originated in Southern Slavic and Greek folklore. The vampire tale is virtually absent in Romanian culture. Vampirism became part of the popular culture in Europe beginning in the late 17th century.
Philosophers in the West began to study the phenomenon. It was during this period that Dom Augustine Calmet wrote a famous text on vampirism in Hungary. It was also during this period that authors and playwrights first began to explore the vampire legend. Stoker's novel was a work in a long series of works that were inspired by the reports coming from the Balkans. Florescu, Radu R.
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Dracula: Prince of Many Faces. Little Brown and Company. Radu R. In Search of Dracula. Houghton Mifflin. Treptow, Kurt W. Center for Romanian Studies. Babinger, Franz Mehmed the Conqueror and His Time. Princeton University Press. KidzSearch Safe Wikipedia for Kids. Jump to: navigation , search. Britannica Online Encyclopedia.
Retrieved 7 April Retrieved 11 August Categories : births deaths Romanian leaders Princes and princesses. There was also talk of a stench of corpses. A spiritualist then banished the ghosts — but for how long? In the 18th century, the cemeteries of Paris were at full capacity due to pestilence and starvation.
Vlad III the Impaler
That's why human remains had to be transferred to a section of the city's subterranean network, the catacombs, which became an ossuary. These tunnels once served old limestone quarries, but now they contain the bones of nearly seven million people. Guided tours are available — if you dare.
One of the more aristocratic ghosts, the so-called "White Lady" — or "dame blanche" — is a prominent type of apparition in Europe. Mortemer Abbey accounts for one instance of the elusive ghost showing herself. Henry I of England confined had his daughter Matilda, a disputed heir to the throne, to this Cistercian monastery near Rouen for five years. It is said that she still haunts its ruins. The current of the Danube River used to frequently wash corpses ashore at this spot in Vienna — in total. Beginning in , this is where they were buried.
To this day, neither their names nor the causes of their deaths are known.
Each year, on the first Saturday after All Saints' Day, fishermen launch a raft onto the river bearing the inscription, "To the victims of the Danube. This castle has become the stuff of legends.
It is considered to have served as the inspiration for the castle of Count Dracula in Bram Stoker's novel. The castle has 57 bedrooms but no running water. Then again, vampires, whether in Transylvania or elsewhere, don't really need that kind of fluid. Legend has it that when a little girl drowned off the coast of his island, Don Julian Santana Barrera began to collect old dolls, hanging them from the trees to appease her troubled ghost.
Now, there are hundreds of mutilated dolls embellishing Isla de las Munecas near Mexico City.
The doll collector himself is said to have died in — on the same spot where the little girl drowned October 31 is a special date for witches, vampires and ghosts in Germany, too. Once darkness falls over Europa Park on Halloween it's bound to be a spine-tingling night.