Bram Stoker named his elegant and deadly character Dracula after Vlad the Impaler, Prince of Wallachia (now a part of Romania) from 1431–1476/77. Vlad didn’t become known as “the Impaler” for the fun of it either. He was notorious for his cruelty, and it is estimated that his victims number from 40,000 to 100,000 people.
Born in Transylvania to nobleman Vlad II Dracul, he took the name Dracula when he was initiated into a secret order of Christian knights known as the Order of the Dragon. While he is most known for his preferred punishment, impalement, Vlad also employed the tactics of disembowelment, decapitation, torture and mass murder. Some accounts even claim he liked to dine next to his dead or dying victims, dipping his bread in their blood.