Who is Count Dracula?
Count Dracula is a centuries old vampire, sorcerer, and Transylvanian nobleman, who claims to be a Székely descended from Attila the Hun. He inhabits a decaying castle in the Carpathian Mountains near the Borgo Pass. Unlike the vampires of Eastern European folklore, which are portrayed as repulsive, corpse-like creatures, Dracula exudes a veneer of aristocratic charm. In his conversations with Jonathan Harker, he reveals himself as deeply proud of his boyar heritage and nostalgic for the past times, which he admits have become only a memory of heroism, honor and valor in modern times.
Details of his early life are obscure, but it seems that Dracula studied the black arts at the academy of Scholomance in the Carpathian Mountains, overlooking the town of Sibiu and became proficient with alchemy and magic. Taking up arms, as befitting his rank and status as a Voivode, he led troops against the Turks across the Danube. According to Van Helsing: "He must indeed have been that Voivode Dracula who won his name against the Turk, over the great river on the very frontier of Turkey-land. If it be so, then was he no common man: for in that time, and for centuries after, he was spoken of as the cleverest and the most cunning, as well as the bravest of the sons of the land beyond the forest." Dead and buried in a great tomb in the chapel of his castle, Dracula returns from death as a vampire and lives for several centuries in his castle with three beautiful female vampires beside him. They seem to bear a possible family resemblance though whether they be his lovers, sisters, daughters, or vampires made by him is not made clear in the book.
Vampires of Modern Day
In modern fiction, the vampire tends to be depicted as a suave, charismatic villain. Despite the general disbelief in vampiric entities, occasional sightings of vampires are reported. Indeed, vampire hunting societies still exist, although they are largely formed for social reasons. Allegations of vampire attacks swept through the African country of Malawi during late 2002 and early 2003, with mobs stoning one individual to death and attacking at least four others, including Governor Eric Chiwaya, based on the belief that the government was colluding with vampires.
In early 1970 local press spread rumours that a vampire haunted Highgate Cemetery in London. Amateur vampire hunters flocked in large numbers to the cemetery. Several books have been written about the case, notably by Sean Manchester, a local man who was among the first to suggest the existence of the "Highgate Vampire" and who later claimed to have exorcised and destroyed a whole nest of vampires in the area. In January 2005, rumours circulated that an attacker had bitten a number of people in Birmingham, England, fuelling concerns about a vampire roaming the streets. However, local police stated that no such crime had been reported and that the case appears to be an urban legend.
In 2006, a physics professor at the University of Central Florida wrote a paper arguing that it is mathematically impossible for vampires to exist, based on geometric progression. According to the paper, if the first vampire had appeared on January 1, 1600, and it fed once a month, and every victim turned into a vampire, then within two and a half years the entire human population of the time would have become vampires. The paper made no attempt to address the credibility of the assumption that every vampire victim would turn into a vampire.
In Europe, where much of the vampire folklore originates, the vampire is usually considered a fictitious being, although many communities may have embraced the revenant for economic purposes. In some cases, especially in small localities, vampire superstition is still rampant and sightings or claims of vampire attacks occur frequently. In Romania during February 2004, several relatives of Toma Petre feared that he had become a vampire. They dug up his corpse, tore out his heart, burned it, and mixed the ashes with water in order to drink it.
Vampirism and the Vampire lifestyle also represent a relevant part of modern day's occultist movements. The mythos of the vampire, his magical qualities, allure, and predatory archetype express a strong symbolism that can be used in ritual, energy work, and magic, and can even be adopted as a spiritual system. The vampire has been part of the occult society in Europe for centuries and has spread into the American sub-culture as well for more than a decade, being strongly influenced by and mixed with the neo gothic aesthetics.
Thoughts of What made "Count Dracula"
One could wonder who Bram Stoker chose to use as an example of the main character in his book "Bram Stoker's Dracula" Was it Vlad Dracula, or Elizabeth Bathory? Both were brutal in their killings, and both were born of royalty. Vlad took on the name Dracula, He lived in and about Transyvania, and killed many people. so this would be a definate yes. However, he did not drink the blood of his victims.
Elizabeth Bathory could also have been in the thoughts of Bram Stoker when he wrote the book. She was also born of royalty, she was a brutal murderer, and lived in or about Transylvania, However she was not named Dracula, and she did not drink the blood of her victims. But more characteristics of Dracula can make one wonder if she had anything to do with the ideas of the character. She was said to bath in the blood of her victims, which would in her mind, make her look younger, and giver her strength. Some say this actually worked for her, as she did still look very young at the age when she died.
No matter who Bram Stoker chose as an example to use for the famed Count Dracula Does not really matter. What does matter, is that Vampires are being spotted all over the world, or at least the remains of the bodies that are said to be the victim of a vampire.
The vampire, a seductive, "undead" predator, is one of the most inventive and alluring creatures of modern day. It's also one of the most enduring: Vampire-like creatures date back thousands of years, and pop up in dozens of different cultures.
Vampires in Modern Culture
Today there is many that claim to be a Vampire, and actually drink the blood of other humans. They claim this gives them strength and keeps them looking young, and actually heals their body of aging aliments. However, I have seen people that claim all of this, as well as the claims of being a vampire, and will actually be wearing eye glasses. I am not saying there is not Vampires in the Modern world, but I am just making claims that if the blood is to heal the body of aging ailments, then why would a vampire be wearing glasses to be able to see?
The Dracula legend, and the modern vampire legend that came out of it, was directly inspired by the folklore of eastern Europe. History records dozens of mythical vampire figures in this region, going back hundreds of years. These vampires all have their particular habits and characteristics, but most fall into one of two general categories:
- Demons (or agents of the devil) that reanimated corpses so they could walk among the living
- Spirits of dead people that would not leave their own body
The most notable demon vampires were the Russian upir and the Greek vrykolakas. In these traditions, sinners, unbaptized babies and other people outside the Christian faith were more likely to be reanimated after death. Those who practiced witchcraft were particularly susceptible because they had already given their soul to the devil in life. Once the undead corpses rose from the grave, they would terrorize the community, feeding on the living.
Another modern variation on the vampire legend is the "psychic vampire." These modern vampires claim that they crave psychic energy from others and have the power to drain it without the person's knowledge. Psychic vampires typically attempt to drain life-force energy through meditation and concentration. If they do not feed, they say, they will become weak as if they had not eaten.
According to some believers, this sort of vampire has been around for thousands of years. Some claim this phenomenon inspired the undead vampires of folklore.
In many modern movies and books, vampires can take the form of a vampire bat, a real animal that feeds on blood. In actuality, vampire bats don't usually kill their prey, and they pose little threat to humans. In fact, they are small, reclusive, docile animals. Other shape shifting Vampires have been know to shift into a wolf.
Vampire Powers and Abilities
Vampires can spread the "curse" to the living human making him stronger by means of numbers. He can also make vampires that can withstand the effects of daylight, thus allowing for someone trustworthy to watch over the night walkers during the day.
Vampires don't age or die from the passing of time, but they seem to get older when a long period of time passes without feeding themselves. But they can get young again using a blood supply. It also should be said that most of the vampire's powers increase with age and experience.
Vampires are immune to most diseases and invincible to mortal weapons, but they became vulnerable during the day or when they are resting in their coffins.
The vampire's physical strength greatly exceeds that of mortals (it is said that they are at least 20 times stronger). This makes it easy to prey on humans, as well as defend themselves against the vampire hunters.
A vampire has the ability to control several animals such as the wolf, the rat, the fox, the owl, the bat and the moth and they are also capable of taking the form of a wolf or a bat and possibly any of the other animals subject to his command. Vampires can also transform themselves into a mist or dust cloud drifting in the air, they can modify their sizes in certain limits, becoming either larger or smaller, and they can climb walls.
The vampire may exert his will over the will of his victim (that explains why the victims often have no memory of being attacked) This makes it easy for the vampire to enter the area of the victim for feeding, or transforming the victim into another vampire.
The Vampire's Weaknesses
Vampires are obligated to sleep (actually, they rest in their coffin in a trance that keeps them aware of things happening around) during the day and to rest upon a protective layer of hallowed ground from its native land.
During the day light, vampires lose their supernatural powers, becoming only human, that's why mortal weapons may harm them. The sunlight will also burn them to ash if they continue to stay in view of the sun for a short period of time.
Religious symbols, such as the Cross, Holy Water and other symbols of the Church are considered to be powerful weapons against vampires. (it has to be mentioned that only faithful persons are able to use those symbols succesufully).
Vampires can only enter a home they they have freely been invited in by the residents owner, or the resident in charge of the home. Once invited, he may come and go at will.