Origins of Dracula
Vlad Tepes (Dracula)
I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the earliest Dracula legends in honor of Halloween. The first thing that comes to mind when I think of “Dracula”, is Vlad the Impaler. Vlad III Prince of Wallachia, was a Romanian and member of the ruling house of Draculesti or “Dracula.” Historically he is known for his efforts in fighting the Ottoman Turks during the crusades and working to stop their expansion into Europe. It is estimated that his kills number in the tens of thousands. The Bram Stoker novel “Dracula” circa 1897 was supposedly inspired by Vlad. Despite his paranoia, cruelty and habit of displaying his own subjects on spikes surrounding his castle, he didn’t display any behaviors specific to vampirism. For that, we may need to go biblical.
Lillith and Cain
The popular King James version of the bible doesn’t mention Adam having a first wife, but some Jewish religious texts do speak of Lillith. She was created from dust as opposed to her Adam’s rib. Lillith had her own mind and didn’t subjugate herself to Adam. During lovemaking he preferred the dominant position and she protested stating that she didn’t understand why he had to be on top all the time. Lilith became so frustrated with Adam that she uttered the holy name of God aloud and was banished from Eden. He was then given a more docile wife, Eve and Lillith became the Queen of Demons. When the angels were sent to retrieve Lillith for Adam she made a deal with them that she would be the mother to all demons if they would let her go free. This is how the legend of Vampire Lillith began.
There are also stories that Cain wandered to the Red Sea and had relations with Lillith after being banished from Eden for killing his brother Able. Cain was cursed by God to reside in the “world of darkness” and have a continuous thirst for blood. He met Lillith, and drank her blood thus transforming himself into a vampire. Cain and Lillith are said to have founded the city of Enoch where they created more vampires until the city was eventually destroyed by a flood.
Judas Iscariot is one that I’ve never heard mentioned before in relation to vampirism. After betraying Christ, Judas committed suicide. The act of suicide was believed to result in the person transforming into a demon. I also read that Judas betrayed Jesus for 20 pieces of silver and this is supposedly where the idea of the vampiric weakness to silver originated.
Hope you enjoyed this brief overview. I know there are many other vampire origin stories including accounts that go back to Ancient Egypt. I just thought it would be fun to mention a few of them here. I may do other monsters later on in the month! Happy Halloween!