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What did the rumored undead count look like day-to-day? One artist took on the task of rereating Vlad the Impaler’s looks…and the results are blood-curdling.
This Artist Took a Stab at Vlad’s Real Looks
Amid the hundreds of interpretations and imaginings, one thing we do know about “Count” Dracula was that he really did exist – at least in human form.
But what exactly would he have looked like day-to-day…as a real, flesh and (sorry) blood man?
One artist took portraits, plus lore and stories, to put together an amazing artistic rendering of what Vlad Draculea III may have looked like…in real life.
She’s Becca at Royalty Now Studios, and of her dozens of historic artistic recreations, we think this one stands (be)head and shoulders above the rest.
Scroll Down to Watch the Video
Who Was Dracula?
Plenty of myth and legend surrounds the infamous military man, including one of the most chilling: that he drank the blood of his victims.
Born in approximately 1476, Vlad III, also known as Vlad Draculea – he signed his name as “Dragula” or “Drakulya” – got his reputation as the world’s first vampire due to the creative imagination of Brahm Stoker, who wrote the infamous book Dracula in 1897.
In the book, the undead night stalker turned himself into various animals, slept during the day, and drank the blood of innocent women in order to survive.
Scroll Down to See the Artist’s Rendition
A possible crossover from the accusations once made against Elizabeth Bathory of Hungary plus Vlad’s infamous real-life deeds, the drinking of blood appears to be much more story than history. It’s more likely Vlad III tortured his victims for effect than out of a legitimate blood lust.
And hauntingly, he probably did it all to protect the people he ruled – and loved.
Where Dracula Got His Reputation
It was not uncommon in the Middle Ages for kings and military leaders to make examples of those they defeated.
Vlad III, a second son, faced constant threats to his empire. In order to retake and rule the invaded Wallachia, a region in modern-day Romania, Vlad stormed his opposition with every device at his disposal.
Horrific and painful intimidation tactics were not relegated to the famous ruler alone. Demonstrations of terror-inducing power were standard fare of the day.
For example, the grisly tradition of displaying severed heads on spikes may have started as a way to show off war trophies without having to deal with the smell. But the terror factor was such an effective deterrent that eventually, much of Medieval Europe was doing it.
Impaling Wasn’t the Worst of It
Impaling victims so they’d die slow, torturous deaths – something locals would surely have heard even at a distance from the battlefield – appears to have been an effective device for a would-be king constantly at war against the Ottomans to maintain an often tenous claim to his throne.
Not only did he impale, hence the well-known name, but Vlad Draculea performed other dastardly deeds of ultimate intimidation, like nailing his enemies’ turbans directly to their heads, boiling people or skinning them – all while they were alive.
While Vlad “the Impaler” has traditionally been depicted as soulless – or, as in Interview With the Vampire, tortured but damned to a life of cruel murder – some interpretations, like Dracula Untold, tell a different story. These newer works see the medieval ruler as very human, with empathetic and even protective motivations.
Indeed, the real-life Vlad didn’t just torture enemies and storm territories. He controlled crime, ironically making his people safer from terror from other leaders with their own harsh campaigns. He also built villages for citizens in need. These deeds among others make him a local Romanian folk hero to this day.
Watch the Video (and Have a Peek Below it For the REAL Dracula)
While he’ll go down in history as terrifying in all the places our imaginings can go, what we do know is that Vlad III of Wallachia was a human being, just like you and I.
We’ve all seen the portraits painted at a commission. They were probably designed to make the military man look not just noble but fierce and intimidating. But what might the real Dracula have looked like?
Artist Becca at Royalty Now Studios aimed to find out. It was no small task. Issues abounded, including the fact that the most famous portrait we have of Vlad III of Wallachia was painted after his death.
Luckily, there were other clues, such as written first-hand accounts that go into detail about Vlad’s real-life features, long black hair and intimidating stature.
Putting together clues, Becca created a fascinating rendition of how Vlad may have looked as a modern-day man, bringing a little humanity into the legendary so-termed monster. For a sneak peak, though, here’s a still shot of the famous blood-letter:
Do give the video a watch…it’s fascinating. Go to 7:39 for the artist’s final product. Hope you enjoy – and stay phreaky, my phriends!