Count Dracula, favorite of Halloween costume shoppers from time out of mind, has been around since the 1897 publication of Bram Stoker’s novel, of the same name. Stoker’s working titles for the manuscript included “The Un-dead”, and “Count Wampyr”. He nearly kept one of them too, until stumbling into the real-life story of Vlad Țepeș (TSE·pesh), a Wallachian Prince and front-line warrior, against the Jihad of his day.
In modern Romanian, “Dracul” means “The Devil”. In the old language, it meant “the Dragon”, the word “Dracula” (Drăculea) translating as “Son of the Dragon”.
Stoker wrote in his notes, “in Wallachian language means DEVIL“. In a time and place remembered for brutality, Vlad “the Impaler” Țepeș stands out for extraordinary cruelty. There are tales that Țepeș disemboweled his own mistress. That he collected the noses of vanquished adversaries. Some 24,000 of them. That he dined among forests of victims…
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