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Vampires – Facts you don’t know about it

Updated on December 13, 2012
Vlad Tepes portrait - oil painting
Vlad Tepes portrait - oil painting

The origin of the modern myth is based on the book “Dracula” written by Briam Stoker. It is said that count Dracula, the hero of the book, was inspired by a Romanian prince named Vlad Dracula. Here are some less known facts about this particular character.

Ø His original name was Vlad III, but he signed official papers with the name of his father, Vlad Dracula. He remained in history under the name Vlad Tepes, a nickname earned from his habit of condemning his opponents at a slow and painful death, impaling them in sharp sticks. The sticks are named in Romanian language “tepuse”.

Ø Although he ruled in Tara Romaneasca ( a region of Romania as it is today ) in the XVᵗʱ century, the action of the book took place in the late XIXᵗʱ century in Transilvania ( another region of Romania as it is today ).

Ø A myth about this ruler, based on his ferocious reputation, state that during his reign he took a cup made from pure gold and place it near a fountain in a plaza from a populated city claiming that all the people are allowed to drink water with it but it is forbidden to anyone to steal it. Although he hasn’t place a guard near the cup, the myth states that during his reign nobody had the audacity to steal the cup.

In the book, Briam Stoker associates the vampires with the bats that drank blood. The location is wrong, in Romania lives many species of bats but none feed with blood. The bats that feed themselves with blood are located in South America, mainly in Brazil, Chile and Argentina.

In one of the first movies at Hollywood about Dracula, he was called Nosferatu. This name is a derivate form of the Romanian word “nesuferitu” , the designated word used by the peasants for the Devil.

Many myths associated with vampirism (sunburns, vampire that can’t stand garlic, inhuman white skin, blood diet) actually derives from a genetic disease called porphyria. The people that suffered from this particular disease had similar symptoms (pale skin, skin cells that deteriorates under sun action), garlic aggravates the disease and the treatment commonly used was blood transfusion, with some people recorded drinking blood in hope that their health improves.

The myth of using against vampires holy objects (crucifix, holy water) came from the association of vampires with the forces of the evil. In most religious cultures, these are the items that can help you fight against forces of the evil. Also, the religious believes stands at the base of the myth who states that vampires can’t enter in a holy place (usually a church).

A usual method of stopping a dead man becoming a vampire was to bury the corps upside down, to incapacitate the vampire of rising from the earth. Another method consisted in severing tendons at the knees.


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    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 5 years ago

      Very cool! I didn't know about porphyria!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      People have always been fascinated by vampires, Catalin, real or imagined. Me, too. In fact I wrote a hub about them: 'Interview with Dracula.'