Probably we all heard of Dracula at least a few times. The vampire with big teeth and strangely dressed, but so proud of his inheritance. But what is the story behind this character? Well, that’s what I want to talk about in this article. There will be articles on the theme of Halloween throughout October and Dracula, a traditional Romanian symbol, cannot be missed. So stay tuned.
All this story but also the book of the well-known author Bram Stoker started from a bloodier part of Romanian history. During the reign of Vlad Draculea (Vlad Tepes), his favorite punishment was the impaling of criminals. A very bloody act if you ask me. But he wanted to set an example of what could happen to you if you steal, kill or betray the country.
According to history, Vlad Draculea was a hostage to the Ottomans during which he observed and understood their preferred methods of torture or punishment. And although he is known as the bloodiest ruler, this method of impaling had its heyday in the medieval period of the Ottoman Empire.
During the period when he was a hostage to the Ottomans, he noticed that this method created the horror and the extreme repulsion exerted on the Muslim Turks, still considering the terrible pain of the punished one. This method of the Ottomans also symbolizes the fact that if you die in such a shameful and denigrating method, the soul of the punished will not reach the Islamic paradise, which Vlad Tepes memorized impeccably and then apply it to the Ottomans.
This “weapon” that created terror among viewers but especially enemies, was designed in a special way to torture the impaled person and not to kill them quickly. According to descopera.ro, the spines were not sharp but rather had a round end to avoid injury to vital organs so the death was longer and more painful, between 1 to 3 days.
Based on this part of the story, but trying not to make too much of a connection between the history of Vlad Tepes and Dracula, Bram Stoker created this character full of himself, living for centuries and with knowledge of black magic that he would have learned at Scholomance Academy, from the Carpathian Mountains.
The myth of the so-called sisters of Dracula is described as very charming, thus attracting many men within the walls of the castle to be devoured by them. I could joke about this saying that they have never lacked copious dinners.
Going back to history, the connection that Vlad Tepes had with Bran Castle were several campaigns to punish the German merchants from Brasov, who refused to pay their taxes from their trade. Vlad Draculea’s castle (Vlad Tepes) is a ruin today, but it is said that those walls are haunted.
It should be noted, however, that the character Dracula is a myth, which appeared based on the Romanian ruler Vlad Draculea, nicknamed Vlad Tepes.
In the end, Dracula remains just a myth, based on the real-life of Vlad Tepes. And although it is a myth, Romanians have a lot of traditions during Halloween.
Dracula is also said to be afraid of sunlight, garlic, and more. In the Romanian traditions, it is also said that on Halloween the spirits of those who left us descend and communicate with the living.
In some parts of the country, on Halloween it was customary to ring the bells at midnight to ward off evil spirits, as well as the lighted candle in a pumpkin. Spirits can be bad or they can be good, but tradition also says that if you hear footsteps behind you, don’t look back because those spirits are bad and they came to take you with them. And if on Halloween night you have a spider in the house, it symbolizes the presence of a loved one who has passed away.
I have known the story of the garlic that drives away evil spirits since I was a child. Grandma always put garlic in the windows on “spirits night,” as she called it the Halloween, and lit a candle in a pumpkin before midnight. It was interesting and yet scary that spirits could visit us.
I hope this article will make this month full of mystery and myths for you. See you next Sunday for a new article. Have a spooky October!