8-days of Halloween: Day 4, Vampires

Soooo, I am sorta late for my posting on Friday regarding Vampires because I went out with my best friend (we’ve been friends since 7’th grade) that I’d not seen in some time. Kinda sorta had a big ol’ martini glass of Sangria and 3 shots of Patrón Silver Tequilla at the Red Lobster.  Went back to her parent’s house and looked through her old year-books. I got home late, and as we were pulling up to my house the lights went out and we could see the transformer on the hill lighting up and sparking.  I had no electricity and was walking into a home at midnight with dogs that needed to go outside and no flashlight. I may, or may not, but mostly likely did, accidentally drunk-dial my boss while trying to use my Samsung Restore cell-phone as an interim light source.

~waves cell phone around trying to see around kitchen~opening and closing drawers looking for a real flashlight~keep hitting the little menu button to keep the screen lit bright~look down at cell phone screen and see… Ah, CRAP!  I don’t think the connection was completed. I guess I get to find out Monday.

Moving back to the topic of Vampires. I have a special place in heart for Vampires. I don’t remember when or how I came to think they were fantastic, but it was before I had my permanent teeth.

Wait, What?

Yeah, my adult-teeth, you’ll understand in a moment.

When I was little I thought 3 things would be awesome:

  1. Being a part of the A-team and helping the guys solve problems and get away from Colonel Lynch… also being B.A’s girlfriend would also be swell.
  2. Having a Ring-Tailed Lemur tail, because tails are awesome and Ring-Tailed Lemur tails are long and have black and white rings and…  tails are just awesome, OK!?
  3. Being a Vampire– in a sexy red dress (no joke, they always wear the same clothes on the show so I did in my little fantasy too), with said lemur tail, helping out the A-team by, of course, killing the bad people that got in the way.  A girls got to eat.

Exactly what every crack-commando unit needs.

I was so determined that I would be able to achieve this idealized magnificence that on one trip to the dentist when they took the X-rays I distinctly remember wishing to hear the following words,

“Well, Mrs. Corrie, your daughter’s teeth look good, we can see her permanent teeth aligned well to … huh, wait…  What’s this?  Your daughter appears to be growing fangs where her adult cuspid teeth should be!”

Alas, those words never came.

Fast forward to what has now become a mockery of Vampireness, more so than any amount of lemur-tails could have done, and we have what Twilight has done to my dream.

Therefore I give you the following fodder of Twilight mockeries:

JacksFilms on YouTube is a pretty funny guy who makes some great skits with help from great friends.  He has a parody of New Moon (in a Minute), Eclipse (in a Minute), annnnd Breaking Dawn.

The team at How It Should Have Ended have a great short cartoon, How Twilight Should Have Ended.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Movie Moron brings us another list of must-see movies for the genre:

  • Bram Stroker’s Dracula
  • Shadow of the Vampire
  • The Lost Boys
  • Near Dark
  • From Dusk til Dawn
  • Let the Right One In
  • Horror of Dracula
  • Interview with a Vampire
  • Dracula
  • Nosferatu

I would add the Underworld Trilogy to this and the Blade Trilogy. By the way, if you’ve never done so, please watch Blade Trinity with the Director’s commentary on.  It has Jessica Biel, Ryan Reynolds and the Director, David Goyer, talking about making the movie.  It’s hilarious to me and I think you’ll really enjoy it too.  Fright Night (1985) and Salem’s Lot deserve an honorable mention as well in my opinion. Of course there are other numerous BAD movies out there not to mention horrific sequels (such as to Interview with a Vampire; Queen of the Damned, and sequels to From Dusk til Dawn).

This infographic speaks to why the Werewolves get ignored in general pop culture, though I’m sure the Twilight saga is doing something to invigorate that with the tween/teen population more than this infographic gives it credit for.

What about the illustrious history of the Vampire?

Does anyone NOT know it is probably based on a real-life person named Vlad the Impaler? Specifically, the Dracula from Bram Stoker’s Dracula? OK, I’ll pretend you don’t know and that somehow my blog happened to be the first one you stumbled upon when you did your search on ‘Vampire History‘.

I’m going to pilfer TruTv.com and their exhaustive history on Vlad.  I first learned about Vlad when I was in middle school and for some reason our 6’th grade science teacher, Mr. Glowacki, thought it would be good fun to teach us about his terrible acts (probably around Halloween).  Mr. Glow-worm was a jackass, but he at least got that right; learning there really was a horrible man in life to base a fictional creature like Dracula off of made vampires even more awesome for me.

Credit to Joseph Geringer for the history of Vlad the Impaler and I’m only going to provide a summary of what he has available. If you want his full story click the link as it goes on for about 10 pages!

Prince Vlad, or as he was called even in his own time, Dracula (which means “Son of the Dragon”) tops the list of Romania’s many, many Christian [FF-LOL editor’s note: Catholic, actually, but during that time frame that was the standard] crusaders who, in the transition years between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, fought to keep the Muslim-faithed Ottoman Turks out of their country.

Odd that a name known for stirring nightmares actually belonged to a crusader of a religious cause!

Still, Dracula was not a saint. He ruled his military kingdom of Wallachia — southern Romania — with a heavy and blood-soaked fist. To not only the Turks but also to many of his own countrymen he was Vlad The Impaler, Vlad Die Tepes (pronounced Tee-pish). Determined not to be overtaken by the intrigue of an intriguing political underhandedness, in a world in which princes fell daily to smiling, hypocritical “allies,” paranoia among the aristocracy was, and probably needed to be, utmost in a sovereign’s disposition. Dracula built a defense around him that dared not open kindness nor trust to anyone. During his tenure, he killed by the droves, impaling on a forest of spikes around his castle thousands of subjects who he saw as either traitors, would-be traitors or enemies to the security of Romania and the Roman Catholic Church. Sometimes, he slew merely to show other possible insurgents and criminals just what their fate would be if they became troublesome.

A pamphlet published in Nuremburg, Germany, immediately following his death in 1476, tells of his burning beggars after allowing them free food at his court. “He felt they were eating the people’s food for nothing, and could not repay it,” the broadside explains. And there are countless of other tales of Dracula’s wickedness written down ages ago, many of which will be related in this article.

Before we follow the life of Dracula, let’s spend a few moments on Dracula’s father, Basarab the Dragon, who is himself an important historical entity and whose actions greatly affected his son’s. Basarab was born out of wedlock in 1392 to Prince Mircea and one of his harem of concubines. When Mircea died, the Wallachian throne passed not to Basarab but to his brother, Mihail, whose birth had been legitimate. Basarab did not complain, but contented himself with becoming a royal page to Hungarian King Sigismund I at his palace in Luxembourg. There, he was treated to a classical education by Europe’s finest teachers. When Sigismund drew up an army to route the Turks on the border region, dutiful and grateful Basarab followed, broadsword in belt, spear in hand.

In 1431, while his wife was pregnant with their second child, Basarab was recalled to Hungary. The king’s earlier designs of a Turkish crusade had flowered; now a strike against the Ottomans seemed imminent. The Turks had grown progressively dangerous; they had captured Serbia and Bulgaria; their dark shadow leaned suspiciously northwest towards Hungary. Aware that his country alone could not block a major enemy thrust, Sigismund sought the backing of other European dynasties that had a vested interest in keeping Europe Christian. To his court, then, he called together two-dozen heads of state to pledge themselves in a campaign. In a brilliant tour de force of partisanship, he admitted each representative into the highly respected and ancient Order of the Dragon, a society of knights whose principal aim, according to authors Florescu and McNally, “entailed the defense and propagation of Catholicism against…heretics”. As his own compatriot, Sigismund selected Basarab, whose diplomacy in Constantinople had planted the seeds of acknowledgement between Eastern and Western churches.

As another prize, Sigismund begifted Basarab — now called the Dragon — the governorship of Transylvania. It was an attempt to atone for his refusal to support Basarab’s earlier bid for Wallachia against Danejsti. While the Dragon’s appointment made him content for the meanwhile, he still had his heart set on ruling Wallachia. As the principality’s new governor, Basarab had access to Transylvania’s armed militias, which, secretly and adroitly, he began to muster for a march against Danejsti when the time was ripe.

In the interim, he moved his family to the Transylvanian capital of Sighisoara, where he instantly took command of the mountainside citadel overlooking the town. In the family residence, a villa that still exists today, his princess gave birth to her second son. But, the Dragon’s joy was cut short. He learned that Ottoman Turks had crossed the Danube and were pouring across Wallachia. Prince Danejsti, overwhelmed and frightened, had lain down his sword.

The Turks would have profound impact on the life of the boy who had just squealed his first cries in Sighisoara. And that boy, whose father had named Vlad Dracula, would have a very important impact on them.

As the son of the Dragon, Vlad Dracula was expected to become, by his adolescence, a warrior. Even though the first-born Mircea would be first in line to the throne of the principality, the father looked upon all of his sons — Mircea, Vlad and Radu (born in 1435) — as champee elite to the family name. They learned how to steady a bow, wield a blade and ride bareback before they reached the age of their scholastic studies. The art of fighting came foremost.

Dracula’s early life at Tirgoviste consisted of more of the same as in Transylvania, physical and mental study. His mother, the devoutly religious Catholic Princess Cneajna, saw to her sons’ religious upbringing, ensuring that they received ongoing commune with the monks from the nearby Church of the Holy Paraclete. Before the sun set, the boys’ tutoring had also included, apart from combat skills, daily injections of geography, mathematics, science, language and the classical arts and philosophy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After a bloody engagement near the Danube, the Turks under the command of Sihabeddin were chased south of the Danube.

Frustrated and angered by his army’s setback, Sultan Murad called several top-ranking Europeans, including the Dragon, to Turkish Gallipoli for a parley. No one but the Dragon answered the summons. He took with him his two sons, 13-year-old Dracula and nine-year-old Radu, believing it to be strictly a call under truce. When he entered the sultan’s salon, he and his sons were promptly arrested.

Held captive for days, the prince was finally released under conditions set forth by the Turkish court:

  1. that he swear by both the Bible and the Koran to avoid the engendering of further hostilities;
  2. that he deposit 10,000 ducats in the sultan’s treasury; and,
  3. insuring he is a man of his word, that he leave his two sons as hostages in Turkey for an indefinite period of time. The Dragon reluctantly consented.

It was not the first time that the Turks pressed into service youths wrested from European nobility. As a body, these captives were placed in what was called the Janissary Corps. The scholastic Turkey: A Country Study, explains: “Expeditions were regularly organized to collect a tribute of Christian boys from the Balkan provinces. Those taken became Muslims and underwent training that instilled in them a corporate identity. These ‘slaves of the state’ were…prepared for admission into the Ottoman ruling class…where they engaged in Islamic studies, learned Persian and Arabic, and received advanced military training.”

In 1445, European Christians attempted another crusade against the Ottomans. Again, their principle was Jonas Hunyadi, the White Knight, who rode towards Turkish districts with a legion armed for a long conflict. The Dragon, despite his promise to Sultan Murad — and most likely because he did not want to face a public chastisement like the one he had endured for his conscientious objection to the 1442 campaign — offered 4,000 cavalrymen under the leadership of his son, Mircea. He did refuse, however, to personally bear arms in the offensive, hoping the sultan would accept that decision as his intention of loyalty and, thus, refrain from harming his children.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The sultan, upon hearing that Hunyadi was on the attack, had the Dracul’s boys locked in the dungeon. There, they received daily floggings and endured long periods of hunger. Dracula’s insolence harshened his treatment; he suffered various tortures to mind and body. Still, he was kept alive, probably due to the fact that the sultan figured he could still be employed as a bartering tool.

From a narrow window above his cell, Dracula witnessed the executions of less-fortunate prisoners taking place in the yard outside. Depending upon their crime, they were hanged, shot with arrows or spears, beheaded, crushed under wheels, or given over to a wild beast of prey. Many were impaled.

At first, the teenage boy may have been repulsed at the site of impalement. But, after a while, he certainly grew fascinated by it. Impalement, the most inhuman of punishments, involved piercing a body length-wise with a sharpened pole, the victim then left to die atop the raised pole. Death was excruciating and sometimes slow. Men were usually struck through the rectum, women through the vagina. Dracula watched the victims squirm, scream, hemorrhage, then die. He saw the crows pick at their carcasses that often remained under the hot Turkish sun until they were only blistered meat.

Dracula learned to detest his captives for their cruelty, yet wished that he would be given the chance to serve his captives likewise. Not knowing if and when he might be next, he imagined, if he survived, a day that he could inflict such torment on the Turks. Battered, starving, cut, singed and now having to view what the Turks did several times a week just beyond his windowsill, he probably went mad.

[FF-LOL editor’s note: If he didn’t go mad from those visuals he would after this…]

Hunyadi’s army had accrued a trio of victories in Turkish Bulgaria — at Peretz, Nis and Sofia — but when reaching the important shipping town of Varna on the Black Sea, it came face to face with an overpowering force under Murad. Hunyadi’s troops were slaughtered, Hunyadi himself sent dashing on foot for his life. He and a very few of his soldiers, including the Dragon’s son, Mircea, managed to reach Romania safely.

The White Knight, who valued his reputation (and who had set his sights on someday rising to the throne of Hungary), lost respect after the Varna fiasco. To compensate, he regrouped his forces, rebuilt a small army and attacked the Dragon’s palace in Wallachia. By asserting his power this way, that is, by taking over Wallachia for his own, he could rebuild a new, first step to the political power he had lost.

The Dragon had been caught unaware. His castle walls were scaled after a brief siege. Fleeing into the hills, the forlorn prince, wife Cneajna and son Mircea could not evade their conquerors. Captured, they were quickly put to death. Mircea met the worst fate: He was buried alive.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dracula was not insane; that is what the scholars tell us. He knew right and wrong, and the difference. A brilliant political leader for his time and a devious military commander, he practiced both heaven and hell, whatever mode fit to conquer a land and hold it.

He knew the fabric-work of people, and he knew how to dive and where to dive to cut quick into the core of their souls. He made it his business to understand the emotion in their eyes and could recognize others’ deceits, simply by comparing them to his own. If not always right, he guessed correctly most of the time.

However, he had an offbeat psychosis. Looking at his personality in retrospect, a psychiatrist or psychologist today might diagnose Dracula’s crimes as tragic, inherent products of an erratic childhood. What he saw around him and what happened to him in his formative years seems to have greatly shaped the man.

First, there was the religious dichotomy of his era. Taught virtue and love, he also learned that it was all right to maim and torture in the name of God. Well…not really…but that was how the politicians of the day shaped religiosity to defend their own zealous ambitions based on the principle of stepping before being stepped on. To a child, however, it must have made all the sense in the world.

Born into nobility, Dracula was protected from the outside realities by a feudal system that favored the noble born; in fact, it nearly canonized it. He had no other recourse to learning the world than by experience, and that experience came heavily in the combative arts and in the judicious bigotry that must have been predominant in the Dragon’s household. As a child playing in his father’s chambers during meetings, he interpreted what he heard as fact: Turks are bad. Even our own subjects need watching. You can’t trust anyone. Be on guard — or die. The fact that violence had wrought the success of his own father speaks strongly about Dracula’s views on justice: Strength is violence, violence is strength, so violence is right.

His parentage represented both poles of the devout and the shrewd. His mother was a religiously devout woman who believed in the literal Bible; his father, a soldier first, believed in state. And at the age when he might resolve who was right, and where the dividing line lay, he was swept off to a foreign culture where Western ideals existed, but were translated in a way so unlike the familiar European parables.

Imagine the boy’s feeling of betrayal when the father he adored handed him over to the foreigners who were supposed to be the enemy? Abandoned in Adrianople, taken away from the sensibilities of his mother, the guidance of his father, he was dissident. Yet, under the rebelliousness that he showed the Turks, he was learning just the same. Never quite able to understand the culture of his foster home, Turkey, he probably created his own culture — a mix of European and Turkish bias. And the lessons of physical justice taught by both.

When it came time to return home, he chose the quickest way to reindoctrinate himself as a prince, to pick up where his murdered father had left off. And because his father had been murdered, Dracula had made him a martyr and all feelings of the abandonment he suffered dissipated.

Revenge became his inspiration.

As for the impalings, do they suggest pseudo-sexual frustrations that some scholars claim? Perhaps. After all, for a man to whom violence was essential, wasn’t sex another contact sport? The only female he had been allowed to escort in his early life had been the genteel form of refinement, but he knew that there was more to the animal instinct he felt than courtly bows and courteous manners. He simply may not have understood how to deal with the stirrings.

Dracula was not insane, no, but he was very, very confused.

[FF-LOL Editor’s note: That is clearly debatable]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The famous ‘nailing their turbans to their heads’ incident:

In 1458, Sultan Mehmed II sent a couple of emissaries to remind the Wallachian that he was three years behind in paying the annual tribute of 10,000 gold ducats; Dracula expected such a visit eventually, as he had already made up his mind to discontinue the payments altogether. To avoid vexsome arguments, he decided to make fast work of the envoys.

When they came before his throne, he let them state their business. Once he realized where they were heading — that is, to the subject of payments in arrears — he snipped them short. “Excuse me, gentlemen, but speaking of payments due, I can’t help taking note that you have not paid me due respect in removing your hats before my court. Don’t you realize it is the customary and honored tradition to do so?”

The representatives startled. One of them, tapping his Phrygian cap, humbly replied, “We have not meant to insult your lord, but were it not a religious custom of ours not to remove them in public, we would have done thus immediately before your presence. I am sure, having been a resident in our country at one time, you understand.” This man followed up with a reassuring smile.

“I see,” Dracula glowered. “Then what you are saying is that you wish to never be seen in public without your…er, turbans?”

“That is correct, your lord.”

“Then, let your wish be granted,” their host chuckled. Clicking his finger at his sentries, he told them, “Our friends here love their hats so much that I think we should allow them the privilege they request. Remove them from my carpet and have their damn caps nailed to their skulls so that they never come off again!”

Pleading for mercy, the Turks were dragged from the throne room never to be seen alive again by the Wallachians. But, their screams resounded through the palace as, from the dungeon, the high executioner performed his…carpentry?

When Sultan Mehmed in Constantinople received the bodies of his two envoys, their caps nailed to their skulls with rusty spikes, he raged. He hatched a plot to destroy Dracula once and for all.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Other atrocities:

Prince Dracula’s “reign of terror,” as even contemporary texts called it, lasted from 1456 to 1462. No one was safe from the voivode’s deadly decrees. By today’s standards, he would be called a mass murderer. Most of his killings were politically targeted – against domestic and foreign enemies – but sometimes he killed merely because he was bored. He hanged his victims, stretched them on the rack, burned them at the stake, boiled them alive, but mostly impaled them.

Estimated numbers of victims vary between 30,000 and more than 100,000. These figures are largely based on translations of Romanian, Hungarian, German and Russian manuscripts written within a century after Dracula’s death. Records from his native Romania, which has tended to overlook his atrocities and uplift his military victories, give the lowest figures. Because Dracula hated the Saxon-German entrepreneurs whom he considered interlopers in his country’s business affairs, and therefore provided fresh meat for the impaling stick, German sums are the highest.

The total of 100,000 is probably the most accurate, however. The majority of transcripts agree that at one sitting Dracula was capable of impaling an entire village or eradicating an entire brigade of Turkish Muslims.

Impalement wasn’t a Dracula creation; if you remember, he learned about it while a boy in Adrianople. The French employed it before the guillotine. Spaniards and Hungarians used it. But, according to Ray Porter’s account, “The Historical Dracula,” impalement became an art form in Dracula’s hands. “Dracula usually had a horse attached to each of the victim’s legs and a sharpened stake was gradually forced into the body,” he explains. “The end of the stake was usually oiled and care was taken that the stake was not too sharp; else the victim might die too rapidly from shock.”

Studying the chronology of Dracula’s crimes makes it easy to understand why his reign, though horrific, managed to go unchallenged by his own people or by other governments for six long years. For one thing, because he slew so many Turks in recognized time of conflict he was able to sustain the crusader image; foreign dignitaries who heard of the vast impaling applauded him for saving Romania. The domestics, who knew better, who knew that they too were objects of his mania, remained silent by intimidation.

Following are a few examples, anecdote-style, of Dracula’s barbarism:

  • St. Bartholomew’s Day

During an outdoor festival of St. Bartholomew at Sibiu, Dracula had 20,000 citizens arrested and spiked in one afternoon. Claiming that they were either treacherous bourgeoisie, or supporters of that element, he had them – men, women and infants – impaled on the outskirts of a neighboring forest. As was his custom, he had his servants draw up a solitary dining table of fine food and wine so that he might enjoy his lunch by watching the tortures at close range. He occasionally had a servant dip his bread in the blood of the dying souls so that he could savor the taste of life. (Is it a wonder that Stoker was inspired?)

It was at this function that he espied one of his knights holding his nose at the repugnant smell of death permeating the air. When he asked the soldier if he was making fun of the situation, the fellow stammered, “No, my lord, my stomach churns, but -” and he quickly added, “I am not of the stout heart that my prince be.”

“But, why would I want in my service a man who cannot look at death without regurgitating? Death is a soldier’s livelihood!” And with that, he called to his bodyguards to impale the feeble fellow. “Let him join these others, but because he had been loyal until today, hoist him higher than the rest that he does not have to smell his company!”

  • A Night With The Paupers

A perfect example of the dichotomy that was Dracula is woven into an old Nuremburg legend. It tells us of his sympathy for the downtrodden of his land – the poor, the invalid, the cripple, the infirm. But, this “sympathy” extended to a morbid result. One evening, he invited hundreds of paupers to his dining hall at his castle, treating them to something they had not had in years: a filling meal. After the desserts were served, Dracula and his staff slowly meandered out, leaving only the ragged guests alone in the hall of stone. This is when Dracula’s skilled archers shot arrows of fire through the hall’s tall windows from outside, igniting the treated tapestries, curtains, carpets and dinner linens into a blaze that erupted into an inferno. While the peasants banged helplessly against the bolted doors for egress, Dracula in a room beyond replied, “The poor unloved creatures, it is best that they leave this world now, on a full stomach.”

  • Is Honesty the Best Policy?

In an episode that reminds us of Pilate’s utterance, “What is truth?” as he simultaneously ordered the crucifixion of Christ, Dracula asked two visiting monks what they thought of his hard discipline – then killed the one who answered honestly.

After leading them through the rows and rows of recently impaled citizens one morning, he demanded that, as holy men, they appraise his bloody justice. One monk, no doubt in fear, answered, “You are the prince of all Wallachia! Who am I to question your decisions?” The other, unable to control his feelings, blurted condemnation: “What have these unfortunates done to deserve such fate? There is no excuse for mortal man playing God!” One can guess what friar went home alive that morning.

Another report of Draculean justice, with a different twist, is the story of the traveling merchant whose moneybox had been broken into while passing through Tirgoviste. Dracula heard of the man’s loss and summoned him to his palace. “My city is the most crime-free of any in Europe, and incidences such as the robbery on your wagon are not tolerated,” said Dracula. “The perpetrator will be apprehended.”

As proof of the capital city’s forthrightness, its prince ordered the merchant to leave his cart outside his hotel that night, exposed and unlocked. “No more florins will be missing,” he promised. “In fact, when you awake in the morning, the stolen money will have been restored to your trove.”

As promised, when the journeyer checked into his chest at sunrise, all the florins were replaced. In fact, there was one coin extra. Rushing to the court, the jubilant fellow expressed his thanks to Dracula: “Not only was my account replenished,” he rejoiced, “but your guards added an extra florin, which I now return to you.”

Dracula smiled, told the man to keep the florin, and added, “You are an upright being. Had you not confessed to the surplus, you would now be joining the thief whose body dangles on a spike in my patio.”

As a sidenote, Dracula was not incorrect in assuming that his capital, Tirgoviste, really was an honest city. His reign of terror had so frightened miscreants that it was virtually the safest metropolis on the continent. A website called Castle of Spirits explains, “(Dracula) was so confident that no thief would dare challenge him (that) he placed a golden cup on display in the central square…The cup was never stolen and remained where it was, untouched, throughout (his) reign.”

  • The “Lazy” Wife

Dracula viewed women as, in a word, inferiors. They brought pleasure in the bedroom and they were good for the menial work in life that men shouldn’t handle.

Once, when traveling with his entourage through the countryside, Dracula spotted a planter wearing a caftan (apron) shorter than the traditional one worn during harvest. When he asked why his garment seemed incomplete, the man told the prince that his wife couldn’t finish making it as she was of ailing health and was forced from her spinning wheel to her bed.

“Excuses!” Dracula barked. “We shall have no sloven women in my kingdom; her duty to you comes before her health!” Despite the husband’s protestations, Dracula’s men pulled the wife from her sickbed and impaled her outside her cottage. Then, riding to a neighboring farm, Dracula selected a comely, unwed girl whom he ordered to marry the sudden widower. “You are hale and young and are capable of making this poor farmer happy,” he expressed. “You will marry this very afternoon, and I will check back in a month to see that your husband is properly clothed and fed.”

Whether he returned as promised is not known. But, chances are the new wife proved to be the model of domesticity.

  • Never Lie to Dracula

Among the brood of Dracula’s mistresses there was fervent hope that he would eventually choose one of them as his princess. They competitively fawned over him. One zealous young damsel, finding no other course to nab her prince, told him that she was pregnant.

The voivode, whose complex psychoses cannot be fully explained, went into a dither, fretting that his reputation would be ruined among the devout of his kingdom if he sired an illegitimate child! He called for wedding plans to be effected immediately. In this instance, the woman seems to have known Dracula better than he knew himself.

Not as much as she may have hoped.

While the banns were being prepared, the would- be groom called for his lady to be examined by the royal physicians. When they announced to him that she was without child, he flew to her in a rage. She admitted her lie, but told him it was the only way she knew how to win him. “I love you and I want to conceive on our wedding night to give you a splendid child. Forgive me!” she pleaded.

His answer to her: “A man who lies is one thing, but a woman who deceives is a devil. Well, you shall not use your wiles to trap another man!”

While guards held her down, Dracula stripped her naked. With a dirk, he slashed her body open in a T-shaped formation, from her vagina to her chest and across her breasts. All this while she was conscious. He then commanded that her ravaged form be exhibited for all to see “the evil that a woman can wrought”.

One Russian narrative that has survived through time talks about Dracula’s view of womanhood in general. They were meant to be without sin, but once they sinned, deserved no dignity.

“If any wife had an affair outside of marriage, Dracula had her sexual organs cut out,” the account reads. “She was then skinned alive and exposed in a public square, her skin hanging separately from a pole…The same punishment was applied to maidens who did not keep their virginity, and also to unchaste widows.”

Stories like these are but a handful passed down from Dracula’s time. Eventually he was to overexert his influence, especially since he began to practice his horrors across the Wallachian border in Transylvania. His justification for this imposition was that he needed to discourage his political rivals there who, he claimed, were planning his demise.Eating Dinner while watching the Impaled

The worst Transylvanian atrocity was his taking of the city of Brasov in the Carpathian Mountains. He torched the city and rounded up its inhabitants on the crest of Timpa Hill. Those who weren’t impaled, he had them chopped up like hides of beef before him, limb at a time. While the city burned below, and as the agonies of Hades were played out before him, he ate an extravagant dinner, fit for a prince.

Legend claims that in the background, far off, the wolves bayed at the moon. It was their symphony of terror that they could not help feeling this night. It was in the air.

“The children of the night,” Count Dracula called them in the novel. “Oh, what music they make!”

Was he reminiscing?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

That was pretty dark and brutal right?

Go ahead and visit Cracked.com and find out Why Everyone Wants to Have Sex with Vampires by clicking that link for a light-hearted laugh.

OH!  How could I forget X-Files and one of their most funny episodes “Bad Blood” starring Luke Wilson as the Sheriff! Find a friend with the box-set and watch the full episode. 🙂  Good Times!!

Lastly, because you have to end on a high note, I’d like to mock “Twilight” one more time.  None does it better than The Oatmeal!

How Twilight Works by The Oatmeal:

A few weeks ago I had the miserable experience of reading Twilight. A friend bought it for me and I took it with me to read on a long flight from Seattle to Houston. I knew it was going to be crappy, but I thought it would be a guilty pleasure kind of crappy – where you know it’s bad but you still get enjoyment out of it. I actually managed to power through around 400 pages until I gave up and started reading Sky Mall. I’ve been seeing Twilight everywhere lately, especially with Vampire Teens II New Moon’s release, so I thought I’d break down why chicks go apeshit for it.

First off, the author creates a main character which is an empty shell. Her appearance isn’t described in detail; that way, any female can slip into it and easily fantasize about being this person. I read 400 pages of that book and barely had any idea of what the main character looked like; as far as I was concerned she was a giant Lego brick. Appearance aside, her personality is portrayed as insecure, fumbling, and awkward – a combination anyone who ever went through puberty can relate to. By creating this “empty shell,” the character becomes less of a person and more of something a female reader can put on and wear. Because I forgot her name (I think it was Barbara or Brando or something like that), I’m going to refer to her as “Pants” from here on out.

So after a few chapters of listening to Pants whine about high school, sucking at volleyball, and being the center of attention, the second major character is introduced. Imagine everything women want in a man, then exaggerate it by ten thousand – and you’ve got Edward Cullen. The level of detail that the author goes into while describing Edward’s appearance is remarkable. At one point while reading I started counting the number of times the author used the expression “Edward’s perfect face,” and it was far into the double digits. The author excruciatingly details his muscular pecs, clothing, hair, eye color – even his goddamn breath (I’m not joking).

Edward intensely listens to everything Pants has to say, even if she’s bitching about she had diarrhea on Christmas or her preferred method for cutting a sandwich in half. As far as the reader is concerned, Edward cares about nothing in the world more than Pants. What the author has done is created a perfect male figure – a pale Greek statue which the reader can worship and in turn be worshipped by.

So what about men that like Twilight?

If you’re male and you like Twilight, you’re gay. I don’t mean that in the derogatory sense, I mean it in the “you want to put your testicles against another man’s testicles while gripping handfuls of chesthair” kind of way.

And the movie?

The movie is just the same uninspired crap shat out onto a film reel. If you like the taste of horse manure on your bologna sandwiches, you’re probably gonna like it on your birthday cake as well. The same principle applies with Twilight.

Beyond that, it’s just a romance novel with the occasional vampire teen drama bullshit peppered here and there. It doesn’t really break any new ground in the realm of vampire fiction, other than portraying vampires as a family of uncomfortable retards who prance around the woods eating deer and bunny rabbits. There’s lots of nervous lip-biting, tender kisses between Pants and Edward, and lengthy descriptions of every feature of Edward’s body. Pants is a static character who never really progresses beyond being an insecure vampire fangirl who obsesses over Edward. Whether her character grows beyond that is unknown to me, I’d stopped reading by then and shifted my attention to an electric butt-massaging chair in Sky Mall.

One response to “8-days of Halloween: Day 4, Vampires

  1. For the curious; the answer to whether or not my boss noticed me calling just after the witching-hour is “Yes, yes he did.” Fortunately, not until the next day when he looked and saw he had a missed call. At least I didn’t wake him up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s