Vlad The Impaler: Real-Life Dracula's Most Monstrous Acts

By Sophia Maddox | July 28, 2023

He had a knight killed because he held his nose

You could say Vlad the Imapler was a bad guy. After all, you don't get to be immortalized as a bloodthirsty monster if you're Mr. Congeniality. Not only did Vlad III Dracula, or Vlad Voivode of Wallachia, oversee mass murder and genocide, he personally carried out some seriously gruesome acts. No one was safe when Vlad was around, not even his own men. Or women. Or children. Or random buildings.

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Source: Pinterest

To get an idea of just what we're working with here, one story about your boy Vlad that's tough to verify but sounds right up his alley is that one time, he was standing in the middle of a field of 20,000 impaled corpses (he didn't get the nickname because of his fabulous chicken skewers) when he noticed one of his knights holding his nose to avoid the stench. Vlad was somehow offended by this, so he impaled him, too. If this teaches us anything, it's that whenever your boss makes something, you should be nice about it, unless you want to end up on a pike. (You don't.)

As a boy, he was a political prisoner

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Source: Ancient Origins

Like everyone, Vlad wasn't born an impaling madman. It's likely that he was turned that way thanks to his treatment by the Ottomans as a child. In 1442, he and his brother, Radu, were taken by the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire to keep their father loyal during a war with Hungary. At the time, the boys were mostly treated well. They were tutored and supposedly taught everything from sword fighting to military planning. According to legend, Vlad's brother enjoyed his time with the Ottomans, but Vlad acted out. His punishments were brutal, which led to a lifelong hatred of the Ottomons.