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Profiles in Carnage: Vlad the Impaler (1431 - 1476)

This guy was pretty much as bad as it gets. Most famous, of course, was his penchant for having people impaled - skewered alive through the anus or vagina on giant wooden spikes, to be slowly dragged down by their own weight. In fact, he liked the practice so much he once impaled 30,000 people at one time, for violations of some trade law or other (those of higher social standing got longer spikes). All told, good old Vlad is said to have impaled hundreds of thousands of people. And while his nickname Vlad the Impaler or, in Romanian, Vlad Tepes ("Vlad the Spike") only came about after death, his behavior certainly could have earned him lots of other colorful monikers.

Vlad the Daddy's Boy: As a boy, Vlad's father, Vlad Dracul ("Vlad the Dragon"), traded him to the Turks as a peace offering. That obviously tweaked the kid a bit. Upon his return, Vlad (called Dracula, or "the Little Dragon") invited his father's murderers, the boyars (Romanian nobility) to an Easter dinner. He arrested them all, sending the healthy ones into slavery to build him a palace (which many of them did naked). The rest he had impaled.

Vlad the Utopian: As ruler of Wallachia, Vlad wanted his realm to be a model of order and productivity and tried several innovative tactics to achieve this. He once had all the poor and sick invited to a great banquet. Like a good host, he fed ‘em, got ‘em drunk, then burned the hall with them all inside. The result: no more poor and sick people. To demonstrate his kingdom's absence of crime, he placed a golden chalice in the middle of a busy square in Tirgoviste and left it overnight. Not surprisingly, no one touched it, knowing what the penalty for thievery was under Vlad's rule (hint: it probably involved a tall spike).

Vlad the Literalist: When Turkish ambassadors said their custom prevented them from removing their hats in his presence, he had their hats nailed to their heads.

Vlad the Renaissance Man and Dietary Innovator: Impaling wasn't Vlad's only pastime. He also enjoyed having people physically disfigured, skinned, dismembered, boiled, eviscerated, or blinded while he watched, and frequently while he ate. His supposed habit of drinking his victims' blood and eating their flesh led to Dracula vampire stories we all know so well. If you happened to be a guest at one of his impaling dinners and you got queasy or expressed disgust, guess what - you got impaled.


Vlad the Impaler, enjoying the sights while he dined.

From mental_floss' book Forbidden Knowledge: A Wickedly Smart Guide to History's Naughtiest Bits, published in Neatorama with permission.

Be sure to visit mental_floss' excellent website and blog!


I'm Romanian and I can tell you the truth.

Vlad was a hero for our people.

He wasn't send by his father; he was taken/abducted by Turks.
You see Turks took boys each year from every country they conquered and trained them to be fighters for their army.

He was smart so Turks put him to be king of Romanian country. He, of course, promised loyalty to them.

But as soon as they made him king, he fought them back.

These 30,000 people you are taken about were Turks. He beat them and as a reminder for those who still thought to come and conquer Romania, impaled them.
("In fact, he liked the practice so much he once impaled 30,000 people at one time, for violations of some trade law or other (those of higher social standing got longer spikes).")
By the way, he didn’t invent it. It was common practice for criminals in medieval each. His invention was using it for enemies and for large groups of people at once.

And yes, he chose to have dinner next to the "forest" of impaled. It was a publicity campaign (as it might be called now). The word spread and the message was "This is what will happen for those who come to occupy Romania!"

And yes, he impaled also criminals and other wrong doers.

As a consequence my country enjoyed a time of peace and order.

"Impaling wasn’t Vlad’s only pastime. He also enjoyed having people physically disfigured, skinned, dismembered, boiled, eviscerated, or blinded while he watched, and frequently while he ate. His supposed habit of drinking his victims’ blood and eating their flesh led to Dracula vampire stories we all know so well. If you happened to be a guest at one of his impaling dinners and you got queasy or expressed disgust, guest what - you got impaled."

This is totally fake. Only truth here is about his name: Dracul. It literally means the devil. Turks called him this, for us he was Vlad.

And also: no, he didn’t kill the old and sick.

He wouldn’t have enjoyed the good reputation he had. He is as one of the most loved and respected Romanian voievozi (kings).

The vampire myth is a merge of several Romanian myths about: varcolac, vampire and about Vlad. The guy who invented this story read several books about Romanian and combined them, giving the vampire name one famous name he came across in his enemies' stories.
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Interesting story although it seems difficult to discern fact from fiction.

But this Vlad guy seems to have been one sick guy. Or maybe the whole age was sick at the time ...
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I'm sure he was a pretty rough guy, but I wonder how many of those stories were inventions after he died by foreign rulers, or proceeding kings who want to seem better than their compared to him.

King1: Hey guys calm down, you think I'm Bad, Vlad over there impales people for fun! Did I mention he's the devil incarnate?
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I was popping over to bring up what Cristina already wrote.

I'm of Greek decent (raised Greek Orthodox) and these things depend on who you ask. There was no option in giving your boys to be Janissaries for the Turks. It also made occupied countries unwilling to take up arms against their occupiers because you would be fighting your own children. So Vlad was a hostage/"soldier" for the very people who had invaded his country.

Vlad is much loved by the people over in Romania. He was/is seen as their deliver.

On the other hand the Russians are pretty fond of Igor the Terrible.
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I have noticed of late that articles from mental floss seem to be very sensational, and judging. I think they sacrifice fact for a supposed "neat" story.
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Vlad was one of the first to fight against Islamic terror. Those bastards he impaled were Muslims- the same bastards who had just invaded the Christian capital and were now marching at his doorsteps. The same muslims who were stealing the children of Europeans to make them sex slaves for the new Caliphate.

They got what they deserved. Vlad was awesome. I laughed out loud reading about how the towel-wearing Turks disrespected him in his own house by refusing to remove their hats. Won't take it off for Vlad? By God they will never remove it for anyone!
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The 30,000 impaled was actually Vlad's form of defense.

Those impaled Turks were a vanguard of an even larger Turkish force. A force that out-numbered Vlad's army. When the Turkish army came upon the impaled one, that army turned around out of fear. Wallachia was safe again.

The Turks conquered much of Eastern Europe but they never got Vlad's piece of it.
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Anyone who finds this interesting should check out The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.

http://www.amazon.com/Historian-Elizabeth-Kostova/dp/0316154547
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Uh oh. I spot a spelling error!

"If you happened to be a guest at one of his impaling dinners and you got queasy or expressed disgust, guest what - you got impaled."

It says "...guest what..." when infact it should be "...guess what..."
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Oops - thanks Ali S.! Fixed now.

Now on to more meaty stuff:

>>He wasn’t send by his father; he was taken/abducted by Turks. You see Turks took boys each year from every country they conquered and trained them to be fighters for their army.

Oh no, Vlad II (Vlad the Impaler's father) was ordered by the King of Hungary to fulfill his oath and drive the Turks out of Europe. He declined, and was kicked off his throne. Vlad II later regained his throne *with the help* of the Turks, which he courted. As insurance, the Turks insisted that Vlad II send his sons Vlad III (the Impaler) and Radu as hostage to the Ottoman Empire.

>> These 30,000 people you are taken about were Turks. He beat them and as a reminder for those who still thought to come and conquer Romania, impaled them.

Not in the beginning - those 30,000 people are mostly merchants and boyars from the the Transylvanian city of BraÅŸov. This was before the Turks tried to invade Wallachia (*that* was because their puppet, Vlad III The Impaler, decided not to pay tribute to the Ottoman Empire anymore).

Of course, as he defeated some of the Turkish invaders, he did impale them too.
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>> Those impaled Turks were a vanguard of an even larger Turkish force. A force that out-numbered Vlad’s army. When the Turkish army came upon the impaled one, that army turned around out of fear. Wallachia was safe again.

>> The Turks conquered much of Eastern Europe but they never got Vlad’s piece of it.

Actually, the first Turkish invaders were so disgusted by Vlad's mass impalements of his subjects that many of them simply turned away. The ones that attacked were repelled by Vlad (and the survivors captured and impaled), but subsequent, larger Turkish forces (led by Vlad's brother Radu) actually succeeded in capturing Wallachia.

Vlad the Impaler ran away, and was imprisoned by Hungary.

If you think he did the impalement thingy simply to scare the Turks away (or to impose order), consider this: he didn't just like impaling people en masse - he liked to *arrange* the impaled bodies in geometric patterns.

Vlad actually enjoyed impaling things so much that when he couldn't impale people while in Hungarian captivity, he impaled rats and insects that he captured in his cell.

He's one sick guy, all right!
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Though some of his methods are questionable due to their graphic nature... they are quiet effective in bringing in order...

But I for one... Applaud VLAD! He was one of the very few European kingdoms with the balls to resist and fight those bastard Ottomans from taking Europe!

and though it was infact the Austrians that stopped the Ottomans from overrunning Europe...(1532)
I think if Vlad hadn't have done what he did the Ottomans probably would have pushed into the heart of Europe faster... and maybe catching the Austrians unprepared...
Vlad did cause alot of problems for the Turks when he was alive... so he probably bought Europe the precious time it needed...
cause if the Austrians hadn't stopped the turks at Guns... we'd probably all be Muslim!

So i guess... THANK YOU VLAD!
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he is a criminal either way
no one has the right to do this to ppl especially that he did that to women and children

and for your information he killed some of his own ppl.. impaling them for minor crimes such as thievery .. if this guy (may his impaled soul rest in hell forever ) is a hero.. then he must be a hero of the criminal land .. and I'm happy the Turks got him eventually :)
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Agree with you totally Avenger! Being Armenian I know what Turks are capable of! Believe me when I say that impalement is not savage enough!!! Long live Vlads memory!!
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