Vlad the Impaler

Before the 1972 TV show In Search of Dracula, few people outside of Romania had heard of Vlad the Impaler. Even now, many think of the 15th century ruler as the inspiration for the Dracula character. He wasn’t a vampire, but he was a horror.
When political envoys refused to remove their customary skullcaps in Vlad’s presence, he said “In all fairness, I want to strengthen and recognize your customs” and had the hats nailed to their heads. The forests of Transylvania were growing thick with the impaled, and the unnerved turks dubbed him "Kazikli Voyvoda", the Impaler Prince.

Curious Expeditions has many more examples of his cruelty and iron hand in the story of the real Vlad Tepes. Link

I've heard that Vlad may have suffered from porphyria, the symptoms of which include photosensitivity and insufficient production of heme ... and may cause, amongst other problems, insanity. I've also heard that this is pure speculation. But it's an interesting thought.
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Not long ago I read somewhere about Vlad the Impaler (wish I could remember where...) One of the commenters on that post was Romanian, and there Vlad is a hero to this day. True, he was brutal in his punishments, but the brutality was more or less theatrics designed to instill fear in the country's enemies. And it worked; much larger, stronger enemies (the Turks?) thought twice about attacking Romania.

I'm going on memory of what I read, but the Wikipedia article on Vlad has a some that sounds like what I remember. Definitely an interesting character deserving of a little research.
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I heard the same thing about Vlad being a Romanian hero. I think I saw it on a vampire special on the history channel, but I don't quite remember.

I always think of Elizabeth Bathory when it comes to vampire lore, or at least more so than Vlad.
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Reading about this character on Wikipedia was enough to give me nightmares. Ironically, this vile lunatic managed to die a relatively clean death in battle.
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vlad the impaler literally impaled people as a death sentence.

there was this horrible pyramid of a spike that he would impale people by.

forcing the spike to enter their body through a private orifice until it reached their brain, at which point they would no longer feel the pain sustained and die immediately.
but that time from entry until death... mustve been so unimaginably painful.
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I remember this from a documentary about Vlad the Impaler: When he was thrown in prison, Vlad continued to impale lizards and mice that he captured in his cell! He just liked to impale things and watch 'em writhe and die.

Oh, and Tempscire wins the Interweb for finding the post!
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@ Bobby Fisher, the pyramid you mention was an accepted measure used (among other techniques) by most European armies to discipline their soldiers. Although I guess they rarely did that to more than one or two victims at a time, whereas Vlad made a real spectacle of it.
Refer the recently published "Redcoat" (I forget the names of the author and publisher).
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i am from istanbul and i read everthing in the neatorama everyday . vlad was a human blood drinker and a torturer who killed poor people and ottoman embassys for fun.
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