We show you in an entertaining and detailed way the most interesting aspects of the Dracula myth, discover his legend, origins and most famous servants.
Who is Dracula?
Dracula is a fictional character that appears in the gothic horror novel “Dracula”, written by the Irish author Bram Stoker and first published in 1897. Dracula is a vampire, a supernatural being who feeds on the blood of the living to maintain his immortality. The character of Dracula is one of the most famous vampires in literature and popular culture.
History of Count Dracula
The story of the novel revolves around Count Dracula, who is a Transylvanian nobleman who moves to England in search of new victims to quench his bloodlust. The character is known for his charisma, his ability to transform into a bat and his vulnerability to sunlight and garlic, among other attributes and weaknesses typical of vampires in popular mythology.
Over the years, Dracula has appeared in numerous film, television and theatrical adaptations, becoming a cultural icon and a symbol of the horror genre. The character has been played by various actors, with one of the most iconic portrayals being that of Bela Lugosi in the 1931 film“Dracula” directed by Tod Browning. It has also inspired many other works and characters related to the world of vampires in literature and entertainment.
Vlad III and other influences of the Dracula mythos
The character of Dracula is inspired in part by historical and mythological figures from Romania and Transylvania, as well as by the vampire legend in European culture. Here are some elements that influenced the creation of this popular character.
Vlad III, Vlad the Impaler
Vlad III, also known as Vlad Drăculea, Vlad the Impaler or Vlad Tepes, was a prince of Wallachia, a historical region in what is now Romania, who lived in the 15th century. He is known for his brutality and reputation as a bloodthirsty ruler. The form of his name “Drăculea” resembles the Romanian word “dracul,” meaning “devil” or “dragon.” Although Vlad III was not a vampire, his cruel reputation and nickname influenced the creation of the character of Dracula.
Superstition and belief in vampires
In Eastern Europe, including Romania, there were strong beliefs in vampires and supernatural beings that fed on the blood of the living. These beliefs contributed to the vampire mythology and thus influenced the depiction of Dracula as a vampire in Stoker’s novel.
The Transylvania region is known for its rich tradition of folklore and legends, many of which involve supernatural creatures and mysterious beings. These stories and myths contributed to the dark and mysterious atmosphere surrounding Dracula in the novel.
Bran Castle, located in Romania, is often associated with the character of Dracula, although there is no evidence that Vlad III ever lived there. However, its architecture and scenic location have led to it being called “Dracula’s Castle” and is a tourist attraction.
Other depictions of the Dracula myth
In many cultures around the world, Dracula-like beings exist in terms of supernatural beings that feed on the blood or life energy of the living. These beings vary in appearance and specific characteristics depending on the culture and mythology in which they originate. Here are some examples of Dracula-like beings in different cultures:
In Chinese mythology, the jiangshi is an undead creature that feeds on people’s life energy instead of blood. These creatures are often depicted as reanimated corpses that jump instead of walk.
In Philippine mythology, the manananggal is a woman who separates from her lower body and turns into a winged creature at night. It feeds on the blood of fetuses in the womb of pregnant women.
This term is a variant of vampire and is used in several European cultures, such as in Romanian literature. It is associated with undead beings that feed on blood or life energy.
Also in Philippine mythology, the aswang is a vampire-like creature that feeds on human flesh, blood or viscera. It can shape-shift and has supernatural abilities.
In Greek mythology, Lamia was a woman who was transformed into a monster that fed on children. She is often depicted as a creature with snake-like characteristics.
Although its origin is relatively modern and found primarily in the legends of Latin America and the southwestern United States, the chupacabra is a creature that feeds on the blood of cattle and domestic animals.
Dracula’s most famous servants
Count Dracula in some adaptations and reinterpretations of his story is surrounded by secondary characters or servants who play a role in the plot. These characters can vary depending on the version of the story, and are often given more development in later film and literary adaptations. Some examples include:
In Bram Stoker’s novel, Renfield is a patient committed to an insane asylum who becomes a fanatical follower of Dracula. Although he is not a servant in the traditional sense, he is under Dracula’s mental influence and acts obsessively to serve him.
Although not an original character in Stoker’s novel, the character of Igor has become a servant associated with Dracula in many subsequent films and adaptations. Igor is often portrayed as a clumsy and loyal assistant.
In some film adaptations, Dracula has an entourage of female vampires known as the“Brides of Dracula.” These female vampires are portrayed as his followers and accomplices.
In some versions of the story, Dracula can turn others into vampires, causing them to serve him as bloodthirsty minions. These vampiric servants can act as Dracula’s agents and assist him in his goals.