Did Count Dracula wear a Priest’s Collar? Don’t Count On It.
First I will present the new theory without commentary. A man named Andy Struthers has written a book claiming that Bram Stoker’s most famous creation, the most recognizable vampire of them all, Count Dracula, was not, as has always been believed, inspired by the real-life Wallachian warlord Vlad Dracula, colloquially known as ‘The Impaler.” Rather Mr. Struthers insists that the real model for Dracula was not the guy who ACTUALLY BORE THAT FREAKIN’ NAME—No, no, I said I was going to withhold comment—but a priest from Devon named Sabine Baring-Gould. Okay. That’s the theory. No editorializing from me. I’m holding off—till the next paragraph.
Can I just quote the great Country comedian Jerry Clower, here: “Now ain’t THAT an educated feller! He done figured out something!” Either this article was seriously misrepresentative of Struthers’s claims, or else his promise that “People will be surprised and sometimes shocked by my findings, as most of what they now hold true will be proven to be false” may instead get him laughed out of the room. Sabine Baring-Gould DID write a book on werewolves, and Stoker DID draw heavily from that book. THIS IS COMMON FREAKIN’ KNOWLEDGE! But it’s at best a stretch to claim Baring-Gould was the inspiration for Dracula. The facts are thus, friends: Bram Stoker drew upon many sources from folklore and history to create his pastiche Count, including Baring-Gould’s book. He took the character’s name and some of his personal history (just how much is still being debated) from Vlad Dracula of Wallachia. Baring-Gould was a pious, gentle, bookish soul. Vlad killed perhaps hundreds of thousands of people and enjoyed such a fierce reputation that his name still sends shivers down peasant spines in his homeland. Which one of these men sounds more like Dracula to you?
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless.
Denn die totden reiten schnell!