Dracula is the most well-known vampire in popular culture, and some people might be surprised to learn that he is based on a real person.
Here’s everything you need to know about the real Romanian prince who inspired the new BBC show Dracula.
Is Dracula Based on an Actual Person?
Very likely. Dracula was first introduced to the world in Bram Stoker’s Gothic novel Dracula, which came out in 1897. The author based his famous, immortal character on popular Central European folktales.
He also seemed to be influenced by stories about a Romanian prince named Vlad Tepes, also known as Vlad the Impaler, who lived in the 15th century. Vlad was born in Transylvania. His father, a nobleman named Vlad II Dracul, had two sons.
So, when Vlad joined the Order of the Dragon, a secret group of Christian knights, he took the name Dracula, which means “Son of Dracul.”
When he was the ruler of Walachia, Dracula was known for being very cruel to people who tried to hurt him.
He liked to torture, cut up, and kill a lot of people. He also liked to decapitate, gut, and boil or skin his victims while they were still alive.
He liked impaling people the most, which is how he got his nickname. He would often drive a wooden stake through the bodies of his enemies and leave them out in the open to die.
Some pretty gross rumors say that Vlad liked to eat his victims’ impaled bodies and even dipped his bread in their blood.
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When can I Watch Dracula?
The first episode of Dracula was shown on BBC One at 9 pm on New Year’s Day. The episodes will still air at the same time and on the same channel for two nights in a row.
The series can be watched on the BBC iPlayer, but people outside of the UK will also be able to watch it on Netflix.
Who is in the Movie Dracula?
Danish actor Claes Bang plays Dracula, and John Heffernan, who plays Jonathan Harker on The Crown, plays Dracula.
The actress from “Death Comes to Pemberley” shows up as “Mother Superior,” and Dolly Wells plays “Sister Agatha.”
Morfydd Clark, who was in His Dark Materials, will play Mina, and Mark Gatiss, who also helped create and write the series, will play Frank.