Vlad the Impaler: The Real Dracula’s Dark Secrets

Count Dracula might be a fictional character who makes the blood curdle on Halloween, but his historical namesake is not. Vlad III, known in his heyday as Dracula — or Drăculea, in old Romanian — was a medieval prince with a figurative thirst for blood. As his other nickname, “Vlad the Impaler,” suggests, Vlad had a penchant for brutally punishing his enemies. However, much of what modern historians know about Vlad III comes from pamphlets and other texts printed in the 15th century, both during and after Vlad’s reign. The…

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