Dracula the Psychopath
Vlad the Implaer may have not drank blood for nourishment, but he did spill an ocean of it.
Imagine walking up an incline. You reach the hilltop. A wind blows in your face and the putrid reek hits you. You gasp. Your field of vision is filled with a macabre scene of humans skewered on long, wooden stakes fastened into the ground. They are not all corpses either, but a few are twitching in misery. Others move their arms randomly in the air. The pitiable animalistic groans cause you to shudder.
You whisper into the air, “Dracula.”
Vlad III, Prince of Wallacia, and known to the world as Dracula, was born in 1431 in a mountainous region called Transylvania, or modern-day Romania.
The name Dracula is a surname. The name Dracul was granted to Vlad’s father after he was inducted into the Order of the Dragon. Dracul literally means Dragon which was the name Vlad’s father took.
The Order of the Dragon was a Christian military group charged with fighting against the Ottoman Turks who were Muslim. The Pope called on a Christian Crusade every decade or so. When he did the Dragon was responsible during such times to organize and lead a cavalry in the name of the Church.
History on Vlad’s childhood is a rough estimate to say the least. There’s not much known about his mother, and we know he had two brothers, a younger brother, Radu, and older brother, Mircea.
We also know Vlad was exposed to constant hate discourse towards Muslims in his father’s court. Vlad’s learned distrust and detest of Muslim ran deep from the get-go.
History is also clear that the child Vlad had what we call…a traumatic childhood. If you ever seen the TV series Dexter, or the fictional movie character Hannibal Lecter, you could very well compare Hannibal’s and Dexter’s origins to Vlad’s.
He knew the best way to regain his throne was to go with the adage, Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. Dragon switched sides to the Ottoman’s, and to show the Sultan his sincere intent he sent his two sons, eleven year-old Vlad and seven year-old Radu, to the Sultan’s court. The eldest son, Mircea remained with the father.
The historical records are sparse but on some points it’s clear. For one, Vlad’s younger brother Radu was a notably striking youth who’d later be called Radu the Handsome (see below).
Hints are made at Radu’s probable homosexuality and records are crystal clear that Radu caught the eye of the Sultan, later converted to the Muslim faith, adapted to his new environment, and rose in rank.
It is also clear Vlad’s father favored Radu. Not to mention, Vlad was not liked by his hosts, and his biased teachings from his father’s court towards Muslims was well rooted in him.
Initially, Vlad’s time at Sultan’s Court was pleasant. He and his brother were given freedom to move around the city. They had a splendid formal education and were well learned.
Vlad would come to speak seven languages and his soft-spoken, entrancing and intelligent voice portrayed in films is probably quite accurate.
The child Vlad was argumentative though with his tutors and this resulted in regular punishment with beatings. His physical discipline helped cement his scornful view of the Ottomans.
During Vlad’s captivity, the current Pope called once again on a Christian Crusade to be charged against the Ottomans. It was lead by a knight named Jonas Hunyadi, aka White Knight. Vlad’s father was in a precarious situation. He had pledge loyalty to the Sultan and his sons were under the Sultan’s care, but Christians inhabited his land.
Dragon decided to send a few thousand troops to the White Knight lead by the eldest son, Mircea and made it a point that he would not lead this cavalry. He hoped the Sultan would see his lack of participation as loyalty.
The Sultan, however, acted with spite. Upon hearing of the new crusade, the Sultan had Vlad and his brother locked in the dungeon. It is unknown what happened to fourteen year-old Vlad inside the dungeon. It’s presumed he faced assaults that probably included rape.
One point is clear. While Vlad was locked in his cell he witnessed great atrocities from a window above his cell.
Prisoners of war were regularly tortured and executed by the Ottomans.
One execution he witnessed was impalement.
Vlad watched from his window victims violently thrash and inhumanly shriek as their bodies were skewered with a pole. Their writhing and screaming bodies would be raised in the air, and the stake secured to the ground.
The boy would have seen over an unknown period, days, weeks, months, countless people pathetically jerk, flail, and squirm on their poles for hours upon hours moaning an animal sound of pure anguish.
In complete isolation except for whatever sexual or physical abuse he suffered, Vlad became accustomed to the victim’s death-throes.
These are the ripe ingredients for not just a psychopath, but a bloodlust monster who’d one day be bent on exercising horrendous pain to others and commit massive genocide.
While Vlad watched the horrors from this cell the Turks defeated the White Knight. Jonas managed to escape. His respect was lost, and with only humiliation to return home to, Jonas put his sights on Wallachia. He wanted to seize a place to regain his power. He grouped some troops together and attacked Vlad’s father, the Dragon. The castle was unprepared and easily taken. Vlad’s father and mother were quickly killed.
Mircea, Vlad’s eldest brother, was tortured and buried alive.
Seventeen year-old Vlad learned of his family massacre and he went into fits of pure madness. The Sultan decided to released Vlad. The White Knight was Sultan’s arch enemy and saw a way to defeat the White Knight. The Sultan made Vlad the lead of his cavalry. Vlad told the Sultan if he helped Vlad regain his father’s throne he’d keep the country open to commerce. The Sultan agreed.
The castle was retaken by Vlad, but quickly lost two months later. It’d not be until 1456 when Vlad would regain his throne and reign for his notorious six years before he lost it again.
During Vlad’s reign he became known as Vlad the Tepes. Tepes in Romanian means Impaler. In other words, Vlad was known as…
Vlad was recently portrayed as a Saint with Jesus qualities in the film, Dracula Untold. Vlad the Impaler was anything but Jesus-like. The only thing he had in common with Jesus was eating a slice of bread and dipping it in a liquid. Jesus dipped his in water, and Dracula, blood.
Vlad the Impaler was feared for his cruelty and ruthlessness.
In 1857, Vlad rounded up the nobles who opposed his father and who were involved in the murder of his eldest brother and family.
He had the elderly impaled. The others were marched up forty miles north to rebuild a fortress for Vlad. Many died of exhaustion but those who were alive after the structure were impaled.
During a new Christian crusade against the Ottomans in 1459 Vlad defeated Sultan’s 10,000 cavalry in a clever trap. The surviving Ottoman were impaled.
In 1462, it is said the Sultan was so determine in taking the Wallacia capital he personally set out with his troops. However, when the Sultan approached the city he found the road was lined with 20,000 impaled bodies . These bodies were from a large force he had sent out months before. The Sultan was horrified by this slaughter and quickly returned home.
Records say that Vlad was known to take picnics out in the fields of bodies skewered by their stakes. He would eat leisure meals as wafts of fecal matter blew across his picnic table and groans of anguish reached his ears.
Vlad would invite guests to his mansion and had them impaled at the dinner table. Their bodies draped over their stakes would rain down blood on the table and ground. Vlad would casually dip his bread into the pooled blood.
Impaling might have been Vlad’s favored execution, but not his only way of killing. He boiled people alive and he once burned down one of his houses down to clean up his city.
In order to clean the streets of beggars and vagrants Vlad invited impoverished people to his house for a major feast at one of his expansive homes. The people came from around the village to his house and once there, Vlad excused himself.
The house was quickly boarded up with the people inside and then put to the torch. Vlad sometimes burned whole villages, and it’s not even certain if he always had a rationale.
Legend has it that Vlad was so feared he placed a solid gold cup in the middle of town. Anyone could drink from it, but to steal it, well, I think we know what might happen. In a town of 60,000, the cup was never touched.
In looking at the legend, we can see how the mythic creature grew…stakes to the heart, dipping his bread in blood, well learned and educated, and killer.
Vlad the Impaler, aka Dracula, maybe didn’t have fangs that pierce your neck that drained your blood, but I think I’d prefer the fictitious Dracula over the man.
The man was your garden variety psychopath serial killer murdering on genocide scales.
THIRSTY FOR MORE BLOOD?…
Bryce B. Summers is a psychologist who earned his Ph.D. from the University of Houston. He’s presently employed at the Dallas Veteran Affairs Medical Center. Bryce is the author of the Young Adult Dark Fantasy (Sci-Fi) series AMEN to ROT, a story that pits young people against a sinister force, but also takes a look at learning what your capable of accomplishing when facing impossible challenges. The novel Nyte God will conclude this series and will be available in 2015.
Be on the look out for a ROTVILLE, a Sci-Fi Thriller (Horror) that will be published by DAMNATION BOOKS and be available in 2015. A story about an experiment gone awry, they wanted to create the perfect soldier, but instead, a hero was born…
Also be on the look for FRESH MEAT, a Paranormal (Horror with Multicultural & Gay Themes) and is about a sociopathic’s inner journey from evil to salvation.
Bryce is also a blog writer for the Human Rights Campaign.