DRACULA is the most famous vampire in pop culture but some might be surprised to learn that the character is inspired by a real person.
Here’s all you need to know about the real Romanian prince who has partly inspired the new BBC drama, Dracula…
Is Dracula based on a real person?
Very likely – Dracula was first introduced to the world in Bram Stoker’s 1897 Gothic novel, Dracula, and the author drew from popular Central European folktales to create his famous immortal character.
He also appeared to be inspired by the historical accounts of a 15th-century Romanian Prince named Vlad Tepes aka Vlad the Impaler.
Vlad was born in Transylvania, and was the second son of a nobleman called Vlad II Dracul.
So when Vlad was initiated into a secret order of Christian knights known as the Order of the Dragon, Vlad took the name Dracula – which means Son of Dracul.
While he was the ruler of Walachia, Dracula became pretty notorious for the brutal way he dealt with his enemies.
Torture, mutilation and mass murder were all options he liked to use, as well as decapitation, disembowelment and boiling/skinning his victims alive.
He was particularly fond of impalement (hence the nickname) and would often drive a wooden stake through the bodies of his enemies before leaving them to die of exposure.
Some rather gory rumours claims that Vlad loved to dine on the impaled bodies of his victims, and would even drip his bread into their blood.
When is Dracula out on BBC One?
The three-episode vampire adaptation from Sherlock creators will air on BBC One on New Year’s Day at 9pm.
The story will be split up into three 90 minute episodes which will be broadcast over three consecutive days.
In other words, episode two will air on Thursday 2nd January at 9pm, and episode three on Friday 3rd January at the same time.