real count Dracula | origin

Count Dracula origin is based on Transilvania mythology and on Vlad Dracul real name

Dracula, The Transylvanian vampire Count

Dracula, a fantastic character invented by Bram Stoker, was inspired from Transylvania’s history, traditions and superstitions. However, Stoker was also inspired by the erroneous image of Vlad the Impaler, the famous Romanian lord.

Count Dracula | Definition

Dracula, the vampire count is an extremely popular fantastic character, thanks to the movie adaptations after Bram Stoker’s novel. The author found inspiration for his character in Transylvanian’s history, traditions and superstitions,[1] [2] while also taking elements from the Romanian Lord Vlad the Impaler’s image and personality. Although Stoker initially created Dracula as a combination between a werewolf and vampire, the publishing house subsequently rejected the first chapter in which the count was portrayed as such. The name “Dracul(a)” comes from Vlad the Impaler’s father’s name, Vlad Dracul, the particle “a” or  being used in Romanian language in order to indicate the son of somebody (the son of Dracul in this particular case) and the most important part of the novel takes place in Transylvania.[3]

Vampire Dracula's Transilvanian Origin

Dracula, the vampire count from Transylvania is one of the most famous fictional characters, especially known to the public thanks to the movie adaptations after the novel Dracula, written by Bram Stoker.[4]

Transylvania World points out that Bram Stoker initially created Dracula as a combination between a werewolf and a vampire. Another story written by Stoker, “Dracula’s Guest” was meant to be the first chapter of the novel, but the publishing house eliminated it. It is important to mention in this almost unknown chapter, the werewolf Dracula turned into is a positive character, protecting the main hero from other supernatural creatures.[5] [6] 

The story follows the adventures of a young British solicitor, who travels to Transylvania in order to help Count Dracula with legal advice regarding some London estates. The count, presented as a powerful, intelligent and mysterious gentleman, shows his supernatural powers right from the beginning of the novel, keeping Harker prisoner in his castle and introducing him to a mysterious world. After the solicitor succeeds in escaping he is reunited with his fiancée and friends and confronts Dracula using various traditional Transylvanian methods in order to defeat the powerful count, ultimately managing to kill him.

An important source of inspiration for the count’s image was the Romanian Lord Vlad the Impaler, one of the great defenders of Christianity in the Middle Ages. Well educated and mannered, a polyglot with a brilliant mind, Vlad the Impaler shares all these characteristics with Count Dracula. The resemblances do not end here, as even the Romanian Lord’s clothing (Vlad was a member of the Order of the Dragon) was a source of inspiration for Stoker’s choice of apparel for Dracula.[7]

Vlad the Impaler was not the sole source of inspiration for the author, as Stoker took a great number of elements from Transylvanian legends, especially the myths about the vampire (sursă), a fantastic character with roots in the Dacian mythology, predecessor of the Romanian folklore.

Closely related to Transylvania’s territory is Jonathan Harker’s (the novel’s main character) journey, as he passes either by train either by carriage through Cluj, Apahida, Bonțida, Iclod, Gherla, Ocna Dejului, Dej, Reteag, Beclean, Șieu, Măgheruș, Sărățel, Bistrița, Livezile, Prundul Bârgăului and Borgo Pass. The whole area has a mysterious and dreamlike feeling about it, the journey leading the hero through the virgin forests of the Carpathian Mountains, being interspersed with majestic castles, daunting cliffs and pastoral mystic scenery.[8] [9]

Throughout the novel Harker notices Transylvanian traditional elements, being impressed by the food and drinks he encounters, such as hen roast done up some way with red pepper, eggplant stuffed with forcemeat, polenta, “robber steak”, wine and șliboviț(strong alcoholic drink, similar to plum brandy).

The medieval Transylvanian scenery is packed with gothic castles, plenty of tourists making parallels between the scenery and the magical atmosphere of fantasy movies. Although Dracula’s famous castle does not exist in real life, Stoker found inspiration in the architecture and positioning of the Bran Castle in order to shape the mysterious atmosphere surrounding the vampire count.

Due to the lack of information, excessive commercialism and association with the unjust tyrant image of Vlad the Impaler, throughout time Dracula has generated a large variety of products, services and movies of questionable quality. Transylvania World association opposes all the kitsch and fakeness, supporting Dracula’s image of a misunderstood hero while keeping his enigmatic aura and mystical charm, in harmony with the Transylvanian atmosphere.[10] [11] [12] [13]


Note: The Transylvania World concepts are an essential part of the association brand and their usage has to quote the source and reference this website.

Research sources:

1. Wikipedia, Emily Gerard, Transylvanian Superstitions (source)
2. Emily Gerard, Transylvanian Superstitions (source)
3. Wikipedia, Vlad Dracul (source)
4. Bram Stoker, Dracula, Archibald Constable and Company, UK, 1897 (source)
5. Bram Stoker, Dracula’s Guest and Other Weird Stories, 1914 (source)
6. Bram Stoker, Bram Stoker’s Notes for Dracula annotated and transcribed by Eighteen-Bisang R. and Elizabeth Miller, McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina, and London, 2008
7. Webphoto, Order of the Dragon apparel (source)
8. E. Gerard, The Principality of Transylvania – The Land Beyond the Forest Map Wm. Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh and London, 1887
9. Prof. Univ. Dr. Mihai Ielenicz, Romania – Physical Map, Scale 1:1.150.000, Amco Press, Bucharest, 2000
10. B. Stu Burns, Vampire and Empire- Dracula and The Imperial Gaze, 2011
11. Raymond T. McNally, Radu Florescu, In Search of Dracula: A True Story of Dracula and Vampire Stories, New York Graphic Society, Ltd., 1972
12. Tuomas Hovi, Heritage Trough Fiction- Dracula Tourism in Romania, University of Turku, Finland, 2014
13. Tuomas Hovi, Dracula Tourism, Folklore and Cultural Heritage, 2011

Other concepts


  • Overview of the definitions and concepts developed by Transylvania World Association and the key points of our research.
  • Official concepts

  • Transylvania (Definition, etymology, geography, history and its present state)
  • Transylvania classification into three geographical areas: Central, Political and Transylvania World with its influences
  • Carpathian Mountains (Definition, setting, the connections between legends and reality)
  • Cucuteni Civilization (Definition, geography, facts about the oldest civilization of Europe)
  • Ancient Dacians (About the ancient Dacian people, predecessors of the Romanians)
  • Vlad the Impaler (Also known as "Vlad Draculea" or "Vlad Dracula", one of the most important European leaders who stopped the islamic takeover of Europe in the Middle Ages)
  • The traditional Transylvanian village (definition and overview)
  • Household in Transylvania (About the traditional transylvanian households)
  • Mithological concepts

  • Dacian mythology (Mythology spawned on today's territory of Transylvania, where the Dacians lived, the ancestors of today's Romanians)
  • Werewolf (Incorrectly promoted as a negative character, the concept has generated from the Dacian mithology)
  • Vampire (Definition and concept; global promotion because of the Transylvanian traditions)
  • Dracula real name meaning (The connections between the fantastic character and the Romanian leader Vlad the Impaler)

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