Halloween Trivia to Die For
Halloween Legend: Count Dracula is a member of the Undead who may shapeshift into a bat. He ventures out only at night to hunt for victims but must return to his coffin before sunrise. Only a wooden stake driven through his heart can kill him.
Real life counterpart: Vlad Tepes was a son of the governor of Transylvania. Early in his career, he fought against the Turks in his father’s name and quickly earned a reputation of a cruel and unforgiving enemy. In 1462, when the Sultan reached his capital after a long campaign, dead subjects hanging from spikes welcomed him home. The scene was later nicknamed “The Forest of the Impaled”, and it established Vlad as a formidable adversary.
In his own principality, he maintained a “no tolerance” system of justice. Impalement became the most common form of justice for any crime from lying or stealing to murder. Confident in his intimidation tactics, he placed a golden cup in the town square of Targoviste for thirsty travelers. It was never stolen during Vlad’s reign. As crime and corruption dwindled, the people hailed Vlad Tepes as a hero for reinstating honesty and order.
Here is a quote on vampires from Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary written in 1746:
These vampires were corpses, who went out of their graves at night to suck the blood of the living, either at their throats or stomachs, after which they returned to their cemeteries. The persons so sucked waned, grew pale, and fell into consumption; while the sucking corpses grew fat, got rosy, and enjoyed an excellent appetite. It was in Poland, Hungary, Silesia, Moravia, Austria, and Lorraine, that the dead made this good cheer.
Have a safe and Happy Halloween.
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