Probably the most famous vampire of all time is Dracula.
He was named for a 15th century ruler of Wallachia in the
Carpathian Mountains, Vlad the Impaler, also known as
Vlad Tepes or Vlad Dracula. He killed 40,000-100,000
people by impaling them on stakes and displaying them to
frighten his enemies and warn his citizens.
The character of Dracula was
created by Bram Stoker (right)
in his 1897 novel and was
portrayed in the 1931 movie
by Bela Lugosi, a Romanian
actor (below), who
established the definitive
prototype for the popular
Dracula is an example of a vampire
that leaves me with ambivalent
feelings. There is something at once
horrifying and attractive about the
character. I am left strangely
frightened and excited, seeking to
understand the connection between
sexuality and fear.
Stoker's Dracula has superhuman
strength, hypnotic and telepathic skills
and is immortal. He can vanish or
change his shape into that of a bat or a
wolf. His tale is the account of the
count's effort to move from
Transylvania to England and to battle
Professor Van Helsing..