Interview with Dracula

Interview with Dracula - Vlad Dracula, that is

You already know all about my superior, supernatural method of interviewing if you read my previous interviews with Genghis Kahn and Napoleon Bonaparte. Succinctly stated, I see (and interview) “dead people.” Yes, really. I do. Now let’s get to it and learn more about Dracula.

me – How do you do, Prince Dracula.

Dracula – Muhwaaahhaaa! Did that scare you?

me – Actually . . . yes! Although it didn’t scare me as much as what I have learned about you. I do appreciate, however, that you agreed to this interview. And you didn’t object when I asked you to check your weapons at the door.

Dracula – no problem. I want to set the record straight. But you can call me Vlad. My real name is Vlad III or Vlad Dracula. Later, I was called Vlad Tepes or Vlad the Impaler.

Vlad Dracula 1431 - 1476
Vlad Dracula 1431 - 1476

me – Your name is Vlad Dracula? Not just Dracula?

Vlad - Let me explain the Dracula part. Have you interviewed King Sigismund of Hungary?

me – Not yet.

Vlad – Well, Siggy became the Holy Roman Emperor in 1410 and founded a secret fraternal order of knights called the Order of the Dragon – much like your Masons –.to defend the Empire against the Ottoman Turks. My father, Vlad II, was admitted to the Order around 1431 because of his bravery in fighting the Turks.

In the Romanian language, the word for dragon is "drac" so my father was known as "Vlad Dracul” or Vlad the dragon. My name is Vlad III so I became “Vlad Dracula” or the son of the dragon. I probably shouldn’t mention this but the word "drac" also means "devil" in Romanian.

me – No, you probably should not have mentioned that. When and where were you born, Vlad?


Transylvania and Wallachia in Romania

This is the house I was born in which is still standing almost 600 years later.
This is the house I was born in which is still standing almost 600 years later.

Jackie Chan films

Early Years

Vlad – I was born in November or December, 1431 - my mother didn't have the calendar app in her cellphone - in the city of Sighisoara, Transylvania – a region northwest of Wallachia in Romania.

The house where I was born is still standing. It was surrounded by townhouses owned by the nobility. Nearby lived the ancestors of Petra Vlah, Rebecca E. and Mr. Happy.

Note: Transylvania means “across the woods” in Latin.

me – Were you an only child?

Vlad – Oh, no, I had an older brother, Mircea, and a younger brother, Radu the Handsome. He was a genuine “babe magnet.” I was home schooled by my mother, a Transylvanian noblewoman and her family. My real-life education began in 1436 when my father assassinated his rival and claimed the throne of Wallachia. Then I had a tutor who had fought against the Turks who taught me the skills of war. We both spent hours practicing our moves while watching movies with Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.

In 1444, when I was thirteen, my brother, Radu, and I were sent to Adrianople, Turkey as hostages to appease the Sultan where I remained until 1448 when I was released by the Turks, who supported me as their candidate for the Wallachian throne. My brother, Radu, chose to remain in Turkey, where he had grown up.

me – Why did the Turks want you on the throne? What had happened to your father, Vlad II?

Vlad – My father was assassinated – brutally murdered by Wallachian nobles (boyars) and merchants in 1447. There was no primogeniture – the right of the first-born to inherit – in those days. Assassination was the order of the day. My big brother, Mircea, was buried alive. Buried alive! I vowed to seek revenge on all those responsible.

Note: To better understand Vlad III, it is important to know a little history of Wallachia during the 15th century. Two powerful forces, the Hungarian Kingdom and the Ottoman Empire, sought to control Wallachia located directly between them.

Rulers of Wallachia were forced to appease these two empires to maintain their survival, forging alliances with one or the other, depending upon what served them best at the time. Vlad III is best known by the Romanian people for his success in standing up to the encroaching Ottoman Turks and establishing relative independence for a brief period.


Books about Vlad Dracula

Vlad the Impaler - Ruler of Wallachia 1456 - 1462

Vlad – I began my main reign of Wallachia by assassinating Vladislav II (not related) and seizing the throne. I instituted strict policies, stood firm against the Turks and began what some have labeled my “reign of terror by impalement.” That’s when my name became Vlad Tepes (pronounced tzse-pesh) or Vlad the Impaler.

me – Were you the first to institute impalement as a punishment?

Vlad – Oh, no, impalement was fairly common at that time in our neck of the woods. Don’t you impale people nowadays in America?

me – No, that is only done by the media. You know, press, television, radio, films, blogs …

Vlad – Yes, I know blogs. They are dirty and muddy and difficult to navigate.

me – I believe you may be thinking of bogs. On the other hand, you may be correct.

More about Impalement

Vlad – Speaking of impalement, it was used as a major form of execution by early civilizations in Persia and Rome and became popular in the Middle Ages in Asia and in Europe – particularly in the Ottoman Empire, Poland, Sweden, and by Ivan the Terrible in Russia, and me.

me – I know I will regret asking, but how exactly did this method of torture and execution work?

Vlad – You need a long, strong stake rounded at one end. That end penetrates the unlucky victim through any one of several orifices until it emerges at the other end. The stake was often then planted firmly in the ground and the impaled person was suspended to die slowly and painfully.

me – Why a blunt end on the stake?

Vlad – A sharp end could puncture some vital organs and the person would die quickly. A blunt end pushed the organs to the side to postpone a quick death.

me – But why plant these unfortunate souls in the ground?

Vlad – Two reasons. They were displayed publicly to frighten our enemies, and as a warning to the people that transgressions of my strict moral code would not be tolerated. The penalty was death by impalement,

me – Are you aware that some estimates of the number of people executed in this manner number in the thousands?

Vlad – To paraphrase Mark Twain,” the rumors” of those numbers “were greatly exaggerated.”

Even then in the 15th century, I knew the value of “show and tell.” So I often had stakes arranged in a pattern of concentric circles on the outskirts of a city that was my target. The height of the spear indicated the rank of the victim. The decaying corpses would be displayed there for months. One time, an invading Turkish army retreated in terror when it encountered all these rotting corpses impaled on the banks of the Danube.

me – What happened to the Wallachian nobles or boyars who were part of the conspiracy that assassinated your father and buried your brother alive?

Vlad – To solidify my power and avenge my family, I invited the nobles and their families to a feast to celebrate Easter, All the older nobles and their families were impaled. The younger and healthier nobles were marched north to the ruins of my castle above the Arges River. They were forced to labor at rebuilding the old castle. Very few survived.

Dracula films

Strict Moral Code

me – Is it true you impaled people who were not nobles or rich merchants?

Vlad – The people who did not obey my strict moral code were impaled whatever their rank. To replace the nobles, I promoted men from among the peasants and the middle class – men who would be loyal only to me, their prince and ruler.

me – What were some of the requirements of this strict moral code?

Vlad – Female chastity was of supreme importance. Maidens who lost their virginity, wives who were adulterous, widows who were not chaste – all ran the risk of impalement. I also insisted that my people be honest and hard-working. Merchants who cheated customers were likely to find themselves mounted on stakes beside common thieves.

Gary Oldman as Dracula looks just like me in a top hat and suit.
Gary Oldman as Dracula looks just like me in a top hat and suit.
Johnny Depp in a hat looks just like Gary Oldman.
Johnny Depp in a hat looks just like Gary Oldman.

The Golden Cup and other stories

Vlad – Have you heard the story about the Golden Cup? My people knew about my fierce insistence on honesty. Thieves seldom dared practice their trade within my domain because they knew that the stake awaited any who were caught. In fact, I was so confident in the effectiveness of my strict laws that I placed a cup made of solid gold on display in the central square of the city of Tirgoviste. The cup was never stolen and remained there throughout my reign.

me – That is remarkable. Any other relevant anecdotes?

Vlad – There is the story about the two foreign ambassadors who visited my court. It is the custom for visitors to remove their hats in my presence. When they arrived for an audience with me, they refused to remove their hats. I ordered their hats to be nailed to their heads so they would never have to bother removing them again.

Note: This was not an isolated Vladian incident. The nailing of hats to the heads of those who displeased a monarch was not an unknown act in eastern Europe and Russia.

me –  I have heard of a story of a foreign merchant and gold coins.

Vlad – True. A Hungarian merchant visited my capital of Tirgoviste. I ordered him to leave his wagon of gold coins in the street overnight. I wanted to demonstrate the honesty of my people. In the morning, 160 gold florins were missing. I promised that the money would be replaced. My men found the thief and the missing money. In the morning the merchant found his money returned with one additional florin. He told me and we had breakfast together while the thief was impaled nearby. I told the merchant I had added the extra gold coin, and if he had not been honest about reporting it, I would have had him impaled with the thief. For some reason, the guy couldn’t finish his breakfast.

Bran Castle - tourists are told this is Dracula's Castle but I only stayed here infrequently.
Bran Castle - tourists are told this is Dracula's Castle but I only stayed here infrequently.
 Poienari Castle - one of my favorite castles
Poienari Castle - one of my favorite castles

The End of Vlad Dracula

me – How did the Turks manage to finally defeat you?

Vlad – I won many battles against the Ottoman Turks but received little support from my overlord, Matthias Corvinus, the King of Hungary. Our Wallachian resources were way too limited to achieve lasting success against the powerful Turks. I was forced to flee to my castle in Transylvania in 1462.

My wife committed suicide by leaping from the castle tower into the Arges River rather than surrender to the Turks. I escaped through a secret passage and fled into Transylvania where I appealed to the king for assistance. He, that “dirty rat” (the actor, James Cagney stole that line from me) had me arrested and imprisoned in a royal tower.

Although I was a prisoner, I was treated well and gradually won my way back into the graces of the king. With my charisma and ready smile, I charmed and married a member of the royal family (the king’s sister) and fathered two sons.

In 1476 I invaded Wallachia with a mixed contingent of forces to regain my empire. Before I could gather additional support, a large Turkish army entered Wallachia and I was forced to march and meet them with less than 4,000 men. Some reports indicate that I was assassinated by disloyal Wallachian nobles just as I was about to conquer the Turks in Bucharest.

Still other reports claim that at the moment of victory, I was accidentally struck down by one of my own men. I died so I can’t say which was the truth. The one undisputed fact is that ultimately my body was decapitated by the Turks and my head sent to Constantinople where the sultan had it displayed on a stake as proof that I was finally dead. The rest of me was buried at Snagov, an island monastery located near Bucharest.


Dr. Viktor Frankenstein as portrayed by Peter Cushing in "Dracula" (1958)
Dr. Viktor Frankenstein as portrayed by Peter Cushing in "Dracula" (1958)
Commemorative stamps
Commemorative stamps

me – I have been too polite to ask before but now that you mention it, I have noticed that your head is slightly off-center to your neck.

Vlad – I met this scientist who reattached it for me but he was very old and a little shaky.

me – What was his name?

Vlad – Dr. Frankenstein.

Note: Vlad Dracula is remembered as a just prince and warrior who defended his people from foreigners, whether those foreigners were Turkish invaders or Saxon merchants. He is also remembered as a champion of the common man against the oppression of the boyars. He was a stern ruler who tolerated no crime against his people, and during his reign erected several monasteries. However, despite the more positive interpretation of his life, Vlad Dracula is still remembered as an exceptionally cruel and often capricious ruler. Worshiped but at the same time, feared by his people.

In 1976, the Romanian government issued four new commemorative stamps on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Vlad Tepes' death.

Bram Stoker 1847 - 1912
Bram Stoker 1847 - 1912

One More Question

me – Before you leave, one more question, Vlad. Did Bram Stoker base his famous book, “Dracula,” upon you?

Vlad – Of course, he crossed his heart and told me so … all of it except the vampire and drinking blood. That was his invention. Think about these facts:

  • Dracula, in Stoker’s book, and I share the same name.
  • Bram’s research included materials describing Balkan history.
  • His close friend, Arminius Vambery, a Hungarian professor from Budapest, gave him detailed information about me.
  • The physical description of Dracula in the novel is very similar to the traditional image of me. Although I was much better looking with a shorter nose.
  • Driving a stake through the vampire’s heart was related to my proclivity for impalement.
  • My name, Dracula, means devil in the Wallachian language. Need I say more?


One last note: Gypsy legends relate that Dracula returned to earth 200 years after his death. He looked much the same but was less violent and fitted in well with the times. They also say that he never died and carries his coffin around with him still to this day. Muhwaaahhaaa!

© Copyright BJ Rakow Ph.D. 2010, 2011. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So"

More by this Author


It is dangerous to your health to leave without making a comment. Muhwaaahhaaa! 120 comments

nicomp profile image

nicomp 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

"Johnny Depp in a hat looks just like Gary Oldman."

(Thanks a lot! Now I am choking on my Count Chocula.)


suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 6 years ago from Asheville, NC

Always an interesting topic. I enjoyed the read. Thanks.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

nicomp - so you noticed the resemblance. too! Thanks for being number one - in many ways.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Thanks suziecat, for enjoying the read. I have always believed Dracula, real or unreal, to be one of the most fascinating creatures in history.


Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 6 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

OMG LOVE IT...Vald is the evil force in my children's book, most people have NO idea who that is...but evil is evil, I am so in love with your interviews, Tom Cruise would have been a more charming Vap, however I trust your judgement LOL...thumbs up a great hub rate up my dear friend...


charkamman profile image

charkamman 6 years ago from portugal

Hilarious idea to interview dead people, and at the same time, ARGH, that was a bit of a brutal time, the way they killed and tortured each other... Anyay, great read and keep interviewing!

rated and thumbed up and the like :)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

The female chastity thing, I am all for. My kind of man :-)))

- Oh if you know his mother's building contractor, I have a small job for him. 600 year old building? :-)


carlmikael profile image

carlmikael 6 years ago from Sweden

Hey drbj, love your hubs, a great enjoyable read!

Cheers!


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 6 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Good job! Rated up.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Great interview! I feel like I've been impaled every election year!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

This is so hilarious and you pointed out some interesting facts.(I guess they were facts?)lol Can't wait to see who you will interview next.

Cheers


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 6 years ago from USA

Good Doctor bj - And here I had thought that Vlad the Impaler had apprenticed out and had become a sought-after Halal butcher. Oh well...

Gus :-)))


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa

Buried alive?! Penetrated alive?! How grateful am I for living in the current century. You deserve a reward for this excellent series of interviews, drbj. I hope you have a lot more in stock for us.


ValerieH profile image

ValerieH 6 years ago

Great job with this interview...I have always been fascinated by this man. Peace


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas

Excellent hub and one that is chock full of info about Vlad. I read about him and he was a very cruel man from what I understand. Its a coincidence that you mention Gary Oldman and Johnny Depp in your hub because they are my all time favorite actors. Gary Oldman is such a great character actor that never gets recognized for his work. As a matter of fact I just watched The Scarlett Letter recently starring Gary and Demi Moore. Anyway, I digress, great job as always and I agree with Martie we are so lucky that we live in these times and not back then. Cheers.


Stan Fletcher profile image

Stan Fletcher 6 years ago from Nashville, TN

Awesome hub! and you get bonus points for using the word primogeniture. That's my word of the day today. I'm going to try to use it in as many sentences as possible. So far I have zero, but there's a lot of day left.....


Nick Malizia profile image

Nick Malizia 6 years ago from USA

I like the Bruce Lee cameo and the Oldman/Depp distraction. :-P You endearing sillypants.


timorous profile image

timorous 6 years ago from Me to You

Oh..such barbaric times. I don't think I'd like to meet Mr. D., one wrong word and I'd be sure to find myself on the blunt end of a highly polished spire. No thanks, but thank you drbj...you've made a creepy chapter in history more fun than a barrel of visigoths.


Jane Bovary profile image

Jane Bovary 6 years ago from The Fatal Shore

Thank goodness impalement stopped being the preferred method of punishment...

Ok, I'm thinking big now...a book of Interviews and maybe a dramatisation in an interview series form. You've really mastered the genre drbj.

Jim Croce must have had Transylvanian blood, because that resemblance is uncanny.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

OMG, You love it, Darlene? That's why I love you. Yes, Vlad is the epitome of evil and many people do not know either his name or his deeds.

True, Tom Cruise would be fun to write about but I make it a rule not to interview real live, living humans. Libel laws, you know.

Thanks for the kind comments and the Up rating. Hope all is well in your universe.:)


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hello, charkamman, delighted you appreciate my gimmick of interviewing the dead. I thought it was a hilarious idea, too, and "so far, so good" - as the guy who jumped off the 50-story building said as he fell passing the 35th floor.

Yes, that was a really brutal age to be living in with all that impalement going on. Now that I have Genghis, Napoleon and Vlad under my belt, I plan to keep interviewing for a while.

Thanks for your gracious comments and the thumbs up. :)


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

I knew somehow, dimi, that Vlad Dracula's moral code regarding female chastity would meet with your approval.

And that 600-year old building where he was born is a drawing card for tourists - it even has a large restaurant on the second floor.

Unfortunately, the building contractor is long gone - probably charged a pretty florin and you know how Dracula felt about being cheated.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, carlmikael, for loving my hubs. I'll expect to see you now at each one. Thanks for the "great enjoyable read" - exactly what I aimed for. Cheers! backatcha.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Thanks, Lela, for stopping by, taking time to comment and rating up. You are much appreciated.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Not surprised, Micky, that you feel impaled, too, every election year. Unfortunately, it seems to be a feeling most of us share.

Thanks for the grwat interview comment. You are great, too.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Ruby. So glad you could visit Romania and environs.

"Hilarious and interesting" are two of my favorite things to be. Delighted you found it so.

Funny, I can't wait to see who I will interview next either. Have been toying with the idea of visiting Cleo in Egypt. We'll see! Cheers to you, too.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Gus, happy you could stop by. Yes, I heard that Vlad with his ingenious skills in butchering was thinking of appearing on the "Hell's Kitchen" television show. He could make it a real Hell, couldn't he?


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 6 years ago from India

Dracula?!! Are you brave or are you just foolhardy? Thanks for taking the risk of interviewing him anyway - most enlightening! :)


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

You and me both, Martie. Being buried or impaled alive doesn't appeal to me at all. We complain when taxes are raised. Imagine how we would have something to complain about if it were our bodies being raised - on stakes? Ugh!

Thank you for your most gracious comments. Yes, I do have more interviews planned - with dead people.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Nice to meet you, Valerie. I agree with you - Vlad was an extremely fascinating prince. We are usually fascinated by people with motives beyond our comprehension.

Thanks for visiting and the kind comments.


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas

As long as you are doing interviews with dead people I would like to suggest an interview with Elvis. I wanna know what he's been doing of late. CHeeers.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

What a coincidence, ladyjane, that I included your all time favorite actor, Gary Oldman. He is an excellent and believable character actor that I admire, too.

Delighted that you enjoyed this hub "chock full of information" about Vlad Dracula, a very complex, cruel ruler.

And like you and Martie, am thankful I live in today's world where impalement takes place largely on TV.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hey, Stan, delighted to have you drop by in the middle of writing so many of your hubs. Thanks for the "awesome hub!"

So you like the word, "primogeniture?" Don't feel badly if you don't find a use for it immediately. It took me 16 months of writing hubs before I could find the appropriate place to use it. Now I'm working on finding a place to use "ineluctable."


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Nick. Welcome to Dracula's world. Delighted you liked the Bruce Lee insertion and the Oldman/Depp comparison. Kinda eerie, no?

Thanks a heap for the "endearing sillypants" comment - it is definitely a first and I shall treasure it.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Yes, timorous, those were extremely cruel and barbaric times. I would not have liked to meet Vlad face to face either. The threat of impalement hung over his people on a daily basis.

Thanks for that ingenious comment: I made ... "a creepy chapter in history more fun than a barrel of Visigoths."

Now that is a first and a keeper. Thank you.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Jane. Aren't we lucky that impalement is no longer the preferred method of punishment? Just the idea gives me the creeps.

What a lovely suggestion: a book of my Interviews with Famous Dead People? Followed by film or TV dramatizations? I like the way you think, my friend. And thanks for the gracious comment that I've "mastered the genre."

And you noticed how Jim Croce is a double for Vlad Dracula! Hmmmmmm!


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, FP, Yes, I realize now the foolhardy risk I took in interviewing Vlad Dracula. I could have angered him at almost any moment during the interview and be hanging from a stake as a result. I promise to be more careful in the future.

Thanks for stopping by and the "enlightening" comment.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

ladyjane - As long as you took the time and trouble to suggest I do an interview with Elvis, I will take that under serious consideration. I would also like to know what he has been up to or down to, as the case may be. :)


epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

..now you gotta do one on Jesus Christ or Jack the Ripper as an interview subject ....... my goodness me - this is my favorite hub of all time by you -'cos Uncle Vlad was at a summer barbecue and he couldn't light the grill so he threw in one of my neighbors (the one I don't like) and yoila!!!!! the fire raged and the burgers became charcoaled broiled in no time .... lol lol


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida

Thanks for all this information on a little known figure, who should perhaps remain so. ;) Who's next? Lynda


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Funny, Colin, that you should suggest Jack the Ripper as an apt subject for an interview. I, too, was considering that possibility. I'll see what I can find out about the Ripperman.

Your Uncle Vlad seems to have a fiery personality. Good thing it wasn't your favorite next-door burgher he broiled. I think in Australia it's called throwing a burgher on the barbie. :)


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, Lynda, for stopping by. It appears that murder and mayhem may not be your favorite subjects. Since you asked who is next, is there some famous historical dead person you would choose?

How about Epigramman's suggestion of Jack the Ripper. He would be bloody good. Do you concur?


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

drbj, this was absolutely great! I love you doing the interview of someone like Dracula. You did a wonderful job and I enjoyed it thoroughly.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, Pamela, for enjoying thoroughly my excursion into the undead world of Vlad Dracula. I enjoyed the research, too.

You loved the Dracula interview? - that's one of the reasons I love you! :)


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

Wonderfully entertaining yet again, BJ - I have to love the impalement bit here in America....and the wading through bogs instead of blogs - or was that Wade Boggs?

Very nice way to get us to read a bit of history and catch your witty humor along the way! Gotta love the Jim Croce look-a-like too....you are TOO funny!


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

Vlad is the man, the empowerment of empalement at least he had a conscience and didn't kill his subject instantly with the pointed end giving them room to slide around a bit and squirm on the round.I really think it was the splinters that killed them at the end.

How kind of him:0) He wasn't the type of boss you wanted to Pi$# off that's for sure. Loved the look alike Jim Croche and Gary and Johnny, well done. Staying on the gory side of things I think the life and times of Jack The Ripman should follow in the spirit of blood bathing. Bravo, well done, loved it all.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

An absolute brilliant hub. Thank you for the research and putting so much history into it.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

My hub would not be complete without your gratifying and interesting comments, Audrey. Thank you for spending some time here.

I tickled myself with the blogs vs. bogs comment and impalement methods utilized in America - delighted you noticed. History and humor are not always companions - that gave me the idea for these interviews. I wonder - do you think Jim Croce ever noticed the resemblance?

Thanks again for being a clever and loyal Hubbuddy.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Love your phrase, Ken - "Vlad ... the empowerment of impalement." To give you even further information that you really do not need, I learned that the impalement stakes were lovingly rounded and smoothed before use. That fact creeped me out almost as much as the actual act. Clever of you to think of splinters.

Thanks for loving the Oldman/Depp comparison - that was a bit creepy, too. And thanks for the bravo and well done. You and your kind comments are always appreciated.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, hello. What a terrific comment - "absolutely brilliant." Hard to top that. And thank you for noting the research - you do a good job of that, too, I have noticed. :)


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada

love it love it love it, and it is so being linked to my Things about Transylvania blog... like in five minutes once I write the post.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Love you, Becca, for loving it. Thanks for reminding me about your Transylvania blog - I will link mine to it in a moment. "Multuinesc rubirca mea."


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY

ah my friend, if ever there was anyone that could make learning fun - it is you. The Romania history lesson that you have shared here is extraordinary . . You are wealth of knowledge but as always it is your presentation that I adore. Your humor is off the charts and you always make me smile (but you knew that already!) I could have gone on reading more and more where ever this point of Romania history took us (seems I can never get enough of where the Ottoman Empire planted their force) You have done quite the amazing job in recreating the life of Vlad Dracula, and I think that the Ruler of Wallachia would be impressed. I love the way you get right to the point and 'drive' it home.

Muhwaaahhaaa!


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

ACK!! Jim Croce does look like him. LOL


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

What a great interview! I could imagine those times. Now I'm going to hide under the covers. Spooky!


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

What lovely comments, Shari. Can you tell I'm blushing? Thank you, thank you for all those sublime statements.

Making learning fun is something I've learned to do over the years, and I'm extremely gratified when someone recognizes that. And thank you for adoring my knowledge and off-the-charts humor. You know it takes one to know one, right?

You probably noticed how careful I was recreating Vlad Dracula - after all, legend tells us he is still around. I prefer him being impressed rather than me being impaled. Thanks again, I always enjoy your hubs and your comments. Happy Holiday!


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Chris. Do you think Vlad Dracula could have been 'friendly' with one of Jim Croce's ancestors? Nah, too big a stretch. Thanks for stopping by.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Thanks, sheila. Delighted you enjoyed this interview. Nothing to worry about though. Vlad promised me he would only seek vengeance on those who did not make comments here.

BTW - bed covers are good, door locks are better!


twentyfive profile image

twentyfive 6 years ago

You could be a very good teacher you know, students will never get bored :) Loved this. I'm gonna wait for your next interview.. :)


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, 25, what a nice compliment. And it's true, my students whether they were grad students or senior execs, were NEVER bored. They told me so. Love you for loving this. Working on my next two interviews this week. :)


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 6 years ago from Florida

You did it again, drbj - a delightful blending of history and humor! I found especially interesting the link between impalement and the stake through Dracula's heart. I also chuckled when I read about Dr. Frankenstein's surgery.

Recently on the history channel, I watched a rather frightening program about vampire cults. Creepy people!

If you get a chance, please read my latest hub. It is about Dante's Inferno and the humor there.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

"Ah, sweet mysterylady of life, at last I've found you ..." Couldn't resist. I hear that very old and beautiful song whenever I read your name.

Thank you for noticing the link between Vlad's impalement method and the stake used for killing vampires. And the surgery. I kinda liked that one, too.

Yes, vampire cults seem to be everywhere these days. I think the "Twilight" series of books and films fanned their flames.

I'm off to enjoy your Dante hub - he was a cutie, too.


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 6 years ago from Florida

I had not thought of that song when I picked out my name, but I love it!

Eons ago I read Bram Stoker's "Dracula" and Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" at about the same time. That is why I loved the way you linked the two.

I often wonder why I love the Dracula movies so much! Perhaps because they are so sexy??


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

I think the Dracula theme may appeal to us on two very different levels - the romantic love (sexy?) level and the more basic fear of the unknown, darkness and death level.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

What a fascinating hub about ol' Vlad! I love the interview format! Rated up, pal!


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

Just fantastic, your interviews are always interesting. Lots of great information and wonderful tips on things about Dracula. The impaling part was kind of gruesome, but then again, it did happen. Wow! A real treat! Schooling is reborn here on hubs with your great work!


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Holle, thank you for being fascinated and loving my new interview format, and the up rating. You ARE a gem. BTW, love your new, beautiful avatar. :)


TattoGuy 6 years ago

Jeeez your description of impaling has put me off my afternoon tea. But awesome hub again in this wonderful series, I guess you were able to get yer teeth into this hub ; )


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Cassy, m'dear, thank you for the lovely accolades - all perfectly true, of course.

Yes, impalement was gruesome and then some, but it did happen. Love your comment: "schooling is reborn" (here). Think I'll have a plaque made for Fokk University (see hub) with that sentiment over the entrance.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Ooooh, that was clever, Art. Getting "my teeth" into this hub. Almost too realistic! With his impalement techniques, ole Vlad was definitely one of a kind - I hope. Thanks for stopping by - coming up next is amazing Cleopatterer.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

I really enjoy your interview. But I never met Dracula in person, just enough from this hub. Good job, my friend. You have good talent to made like this one. Thank you very much. Take care!

Blessing,


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, prasetio, for visiting and commenting. It is always my pleasure to hear from you. Delighted you enjoy my "Interview" hubs - they are fun for me to write and I always learn more than I already knew about the protagonist. Even Dracula. You take care, too. :)


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

I just had this feeling that the books had Dracula all wrong, his story was greatly fabricated for entertainment!! I always felt he was warm and squishy inside, now I know for sure! My kind of man - HONEST!! LOL Well all except for the impaling part, do you think it's illegal in the U.S.? I know some people that should 'Go sit on a stick'...

As always AWESOME HUB!!! I like this one even better than the last, your Hub's just keep getting better and better!!


Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 6 years ago from Los Angeles

One more proof that true history comes alive and is better understood when presented with inteligence, unparalleled wit and great homor.

I Thank You for doing justice to Vlad and for defending him better than any lawyer could have by explaining the circumstances and the overall climate of those times. Mentioning my relatives as being part of his entourage also pleased me to no end, since many had said that I learned the "tell it as it is" from Dracula himself.

At this particular moment Romania needs another Vlad to enforce law and order and America could benefit from one as well.

Thank you again and I am totally linking this one to my hub about Dracula and Hollywood.


izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest

I learned something and I got to see a hot picture of Johnny Depp. You just made my day. I picked this one first because a secret crush I have on Dracula, well the more contemporary version of him and his ancestors like Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, and most recently what's his name from the Twilight series. I mean, what sane woman wouldn't want an immortal blood sucker stalking us? Nothing spells hottie like the undead.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, suaie. I dunno know about the "warm and squishy" part of Dracula, but in the end - although he got it in the neck - he was a product of his time. Just a little more motivated than others.

Thanks for reminding me sue-baby, about the phrase, "Sit on a stick." What a colorful form of admonishment. It does make a point. Get it? Point?

Thank you for the "awesome hub" comment - delighted you are enjoying these Interviews. Stop by and visit Cleopatra next. She was awesome, too.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

You do me the honor, Petra, with your gracious comments of approbation. 'Intelligence, wit, humor?' It just doesn't get much better than that.

I would have been doing Vlad, Romania and all Romanians an injustice if I didn't explain his drastic behavior in the context of the age in which he lived - and died.

I do agree with those who have told you that you 'tell it like it is.' I've noticed that admirable trait in you, too. I do agree that America and perhaps Romania as well could use a strong, intelligent, experienced leader. Maybe we'll find one - or two.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

You love Johnny Depp, izettl? Good choice. Delighted I made your day and that you learned something new.

So you're into, you'll pardon the expression, vampires, eh? And you like Robert Pattinson - the Twilight guy?

Be careful. Those vampires usually mean business. Better carry Mace just in case.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Perfect...facts infused with humor, the old mixed with the new. No wonder Dracula didn't worry about theft of his solid gold cup placed centrally in the city. His methods of dealing with the guilty were beyond comprehension, but seeing is believing. Nothing would be worth the cost of one's own life in a barbaricly horrific, slow and agonizing, public end. In this case, fact is scarier than fiction. I have been looking forward to this one and you did not disappoint.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

I'm delighted, Amy, that I did not disappoint you with this sweet, innocent memoir of Vlad Dracula. And that you enjoy reading about 'facts infused with humor'. That especially delights me since I enjoy writing that way.

You better believe no one in their right mind would steal Dracula's golden cup even if it held a thief's ransom (whatever amount that may be) in diamonds.

You are so on the mark. Often historical fact is much more terrifying than fiction. Thank you for visiting and your appreciative comments.


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 6 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

That was really good. I could almost feel as if I were sitting in the same room as Vlad, although I am not sure if that would be a good idea.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Delighted this hub was so realistic for you, Christophe. Sitting in the same room as Vlad, were you? I do hope there wasn't a stake, blunt or otherwise, underneath your seat! Thank you for stopping by.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I had to come back to this piece because it's playing games with my brain. I thought I noticed your avatar had turned where I saw more of the back of your head than the profile. When I checked to make sure, it was normal. I think all this talk of vampires is bewitching my brain. Very powerful, drbj...and scary.


PaperNotes profile image

PaperNotes 5 years ago

Ooh! I like your idea of an interview to show the details contained in this hub. Great work.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Aha, Amy - playing games with your brain? Who, me? Dr. Evil? No way. Muhwaaahhaaa!

Thanks for returning. I predict you will come back again and again. Muhwaaahhaaa!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Papernotes. Thank you for visiting and commenting and liking my 'Interview' idea. Be sure to visit Genghis, Bonaparte and Cleopatra, too, and let me know what you think. :)


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

It is a dark, dark side that returns to Dracula...the devil made me do it...Muuwaaahaaa! Yes, the devil is sitting on my shoulder right now telling me how irresistable Dracula is...another scary fact is my ex looked exactly like Gary Oldman as Dracula and true is the fact he is a Hungarian from Transylvania. It is in my blood, drbj...there is no escape. Muuwaaahaaaaaaaaaa


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Newsflash, Amy. Your ex WAS Gary Oldman! :)


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

I didn't gulp till it came to the blunt object part. Ewwww how dreadful to imagine the longest and most painful ways to insure suffering and pain. Nature or nuture.... Great interview with Dracula. Much enjoyed


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, katie, this hub was a test for fortitude and stamina. As was the stake. Thanks for visiting and enjoying the interview, regardless. :)


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

How did you know, dear drbj. Me thinks you know too much...maybe your associate, Dracula, has been whispering in your ear???


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

How did you know, sweet Amy?

But he can never be more than just a friend. He's too short, too ancient and too fond of sharp, pointed implements. :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

This is quite funny! I am a bit shocked by the resemblance between Jim Croce and Vlad the Impaler. How about that! My goodness this is good. Well done!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you so much, James. Delighted you enjoyed my Vlad Dracula interview. It was really fun for me to write it. Guess that's my edgy side taking over. Wonder if Jim Croce ever noticed the resemblance. :)

Do appreciate your visit and approving comments - well done from you is high honor to me.


Haunty profile image

Haunty 5 years ago from Hungary

Hi drbj :) How do you get all these cool interviews? I'm thoroughly stunned.

Vlad was a real turncoat in his time, if you ask me. Don't know if you can trust any of what he says. Anyway, great information. Thank you!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

It wasn't easy, Haunty. I really had to dig for them. Thanks for visiting and also giving me that opening!

I appreciate your being stunned. Vlad Dracula would stun just about anyone. In fact, he probably stunned most of the population of Romania at the time.

I think he was fairly truthful - he was already dead so he had little to lose. :)


Docmo profile image

Docmo 5 years ago from UK

Informative and insightful drbj. What makes it more fun is your writing style and sense of humour. Long may you reign superior in these hubpages. I will return (from the dead) to read the other interviews. who knows - one day it may be me you interview...


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Welcome, Docmo, to the land of Dracula. Thank you for visiting and your charming comments. I appreciate you for appreciating me and my humor and writing style.

As to the possibility of me interviewing you, since I am older than dirt that is an unlikely scenario. But I appreciate the offer.


Sun-Girl profile image

Sun-Girl 5 years ago from Nigeria

Interesting article which i enjoyed alot because i love Dracula.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

You love Dracula, Sun-Girl? Which of his redeeming (?) features do you admire the most? Never mind. It's better I don't know. Thanks for stopping by and enjoying this article. It's my pleasure.


QudsiaP1 profile image

QudsiaP1 5 years ago

I loved reading this. :)


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Dear QudsiaP - I love you for loving this. Thank you. When you have time, do take a look at my 16 other supernatural Interviews.


scott fekete 4 years ago

My great great grand father is known to be dracula


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Wow, Scott, what an amazing lineage you have! Descended from Dracula? That's not difficult to believe since I know that your last name might be Hungarian. Am I correct? Did your great, great, grandfather leave any important secrets to you? Hmmmmmmm?


femmeflashpoint 4 years ago

Doc,

This is my absolute FAV of your interviews!! I LOVED it!!!

I've done a decent amount of research (at least by my standards) on Vlad Dracula over the years, and I found that the guy endured some awful situations as a young boy. Knowing what hardships he survived as a boy helped me to understand how he turned out to be the man he became.

I'm not approving his actions, just sayin' I understand what motivated them.

He was passionate about protecting his people and their kingdom, and perhaps even more passionate in his hatred for the Turks.

Times were hard and humanity was quite cruel then, but when I consider some of the stuff that's gone down against people and groups right here in the USA in the not so distant past ... there's little point in being horrified by Dracula's actions.

Our own countrymen have committed horrors just as significant right here on our own soil, and for less reason.

This was an oustanding article, and I loved it from start to finish!

femme


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, Angelia, for loving this Vlad Dracula hub. You are absolutely correct. Vlad had a terrifying childhood. Before he became a man, he was held hostage by the Turks who had no love for his people, his oldest brother was buried alive, and his father assassinated. Very formative experiences, to say the least.

When I visited Transylvania, the people I was able to converse with all praised him as a strong but fearsome leader. He was passionate about protecting his people from the Ottoman Empire and his actions although cruel at times were no different than other leaders of his time. Thanks for the visit and taking the time to comment, m'dear.


femmeflashpoint 4 years ago

Doc BJ,

I'm not jealous, but dangggggg!!!! I'm sooooo happy for you to have gotten to visit this place!!! It's been a dream of my own to do the same thing for many years!!

In 2003, I accepted a position in Holland with their national transplant tissue recovery team. In Europe, time off in that field actually happened, as opposed to being married to it, with little to no time off, here in the states.

One of the first things I asked their director was, if I'd have enough time off to make a long weekend visit to see Vlad's castle. He laughed and assured me I'd have enough down time to visit all of Europe within two years there.

Sadly, and somewhat stupidly, I feel in love with a Texan, and ... well, some of us really ARE struck with stupid when the love-bug bites, I ended up staying stateside and resigning the position.

However, I've maintained it on my bucket list, and hope to have an opportunity to visit the place before it's all said and done. :)

He really is a magnificient figure in history, that's so seldom portrayed in the fashion of what he truly attempted (and often did) accomplish to maintain protection for his people.

Thank you for seeing past the grueseome actions that were commonplace during his time, and representing him in a fair light. :)

femme


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

As long as visiting Dracula's Castle in Transylvania is on your bucket list, I guarantee you will visit it one day in the flesh. Your flesh, that is, not Vlad's.

One of the things that struck me about the castle I visited - there are several claimed to be his former residences - was that the front entrance was only about five feet high. Vlad may have been feared by many but he was not tall in stature. Thanks for the return visit BTW.


snigdhal profile image

snigdhal 4 years ago from hyderabad - India

you are a regular treasure trove of information .. i heart your hubs even though I'm a flighty sort who loves stories about vampyres . It's fascinating to learn the actual histories behind supernatural myths . You definitely are a fantastic teacher ! Now if you would just do one on Elizabeth Bathory :)..voted up , up and away !!


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

'I'm a regular treasure trove of information.' snigdhal? Thank you for that lovely comment. You may not necessarily be flighty, my dear, because you love stories about vampires. Perhaps you are simply more curious and creative than others. I do agree, though, that the histories of supernatural events are fascinating. And I love to share what I learn - with humor so it's palatable.

You have an interest in Elizabeth Bathory, the Blood Countess? Hmmmmmmmmmm! Perhaps I will unearth her one day. :) Thanks for the Up, my dear.


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drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

I appreciate your visit, g, and putative interest in Vlad Dracula, but must admit I am at quite a loss to understand most if not all of your comments. I did get the references to 'bust' but I'm not certain if you are referring to reduction of same or enhancement. :)


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

"Nearby lived the ancestors of Petra Vlah and Rebecca E.." LOL!! Awesome! : )

"Two powerful forces, the Hungarian Kingdom and the Ottoman Empire, sought to control Wallachia located directly between them. "- Between the Anvil and the Hammer, that is how Dacians/Romanians have often found themselves. WWII was the same: between Germany and Russia ... we're not Germanic nor Slavs and it didn't help lol

"I also insisted that my people be honest and hard-working. Merchants who cheated customers were likely to find themselves mounted on stakes beside common thieves." - Fair enough, in my opinion. : )

Nice read - I thoroughly enjoyed it! I also appreciate the photographs ... how many times I ran around that yellow house in Sighisoara as a kid ... lol You just dumped me in the barrel of melancholy.

Thank You for the write - cheers!


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida Author

The write was my pleasure, Mr. Happy. Thank you for visiting and enjoying this. What a thrill to hear from someone who actually lived in Vlad's hometown. Sorry about the melancholia. I shall add the illustrious name of 'Mr. Happy' to the line about ancestors. Feel better ?


Mitch Alan profile image

Mitch Alan 3 years ago from South Jersey

My first of your "interview" series. It wont be my last. Knew some of Vlad's history from a report I did back in school, but some was definitely new to me. Loving the comistorical accounts.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Mitch. Happy you found Vlad's interview - he was a fascinating figure. So you are a Dracula-phile, too. Thanks for loving the 'comistorical' (great new adjective) accounts. Visit any time.


Mihnea Andreescu profile image

Mihnea Andreescu 17 months ago from Bucharest,Romania

Greetings friend.I salute you and congratulate you for this peculiar yet amazing hub!-.I was thrilled to see that an American resident would be so fascinated with our national hero,Vlad Dracul.-Mihnea Andreescu (Commenting right from Dracula's homeland,Romania).P.S. You should definitely visit The Bran Castle if you ever come to Transylvania.


Mihnea Andreescu profile image

Mihnea Andreescu 17 months ago from Bucharest,Romania

Just a small correction-"drac" means "devil" in Romanian,not dragon.In Romanian the word corresponding to "dragon" is "dragon" so it is not any different to English.


drbj profile image

drbj 16 months ago from south Florida Author

It's a pleasure to meet you Mihnea. Thank you for finding and visiting my interview with Vlad. I did have the pleasure back in the 80s of visiting Romania and took the tour of Dracula's Bran Castle. It was amazing and what I remember most distinctly was how short Vlad must have been since the entrance to the castle was only about 5 feet tall.


drbj profile image

drbj 16 months ago from south Florida Author

I remember looking up 'drac' in a Romanian dictionary and finding it means 'devil.' Where I got the 'dragon,' I'm not sure. Maybe the debbil made me do it. (Old joke from Flip Wilson when he had a TV show decades ago.)

Thanks for the return visit.

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