BBMzansi Day 57, 13 facts about Count ‘Dracula’ 2022

13 facts about Count Dracula
13 facts about Count Dracula

 

Since we’ve been dealing with some form of Dracula for so long, we thought we’d put down some facts about the famous bloodsucker. You know so that you know what to do if you ever find yourself in a battle for your mortal soul.
Quite some time ago – a very long time ago, in fact – Themba started to speak in what he called his “Dracula voice”. This spurred the other Housemates – especially the guys – to emulate him. At length. In all honesty, sometimes the accents they put on sounded more Italian, Slovenian, or Russian than it did like some long undead count.
Sometimes they sounded more like what you would get from a bad head cold. Anyway, we decided we’d lean into the skid and post some interesting and surprising facts about the character they’ve been channeling for so very, very long.

  1. The character first appears in the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. It is an epistolary novel, meaning that it is told in the form of “documents”: diaries, letters, etc.
  2. While many people claim that Dracula is based on Vlad III “The Impaler”, there is no clear consensus. While Dracula – like Vlad III – is described as a “Voivode” (a warlord of medieval Romania), there is also evidence that the character may have been based on Elizabeth Báthory, a Hungarian noblewoman and alleged serial killer.
  3. First published in 1897, Dracula has never been out of print, 125 years later.
  4. The novel has been adapted into more than thirty films, and the character now forms the archetype for most modern vampire stories.
  5. When the novel was first published, some critics praised it for its excellent use of horror. Others criticized it for its excessive use of – you guessed it – horror.
  6. Sunlight does not kill Dracula: he doesn’t crumble into dust or burst into flame. He just grows weaker, and cannot pull off any of his supernatural tricks. He also tends to want to have a lie-down.
  7. Speaking of Count Dracula’s supernatural tricks, here are some of them: he has the strength of 20 strong men, and can defy gravity to some extent. He can command owls, bats, moths, wolves, and rats – although only to a point. When his rats were attacked by terriers, they fled – evidently deciding that their undead master wasn’t worth the trouble. He can alter the weather, like Storm from The X-Men.
  8. Some of his abilities make no sense. For example, he cannot be killed by normal means: when somebody tries to stab him in the back, the blade passes through his body as if through the air. Fine. But in another part of the book, he gets hit on the head with a shovel and carries the scar months later. Go figure.
  9. In terms of weaknesses, he has some weird ones. He can only cross running water at high or low tide. This means he needs to be carried over by some lackey, which seems like quite a major limitation for somebody living in Europe, where rivers are everywhere.
  10. He cannot enter a home uninvited. So, basically, he can be thwarted by an after-school special on the subject of “stranger danger”.
  11. Everybody knows he is repulsed by garlic, which would explain why the novel takes place largely in Victorian England, where the cooking was less – uhm – “layered” than somewhere like Italy or France.
  12. Oh, and a branch of wild rose placed on the lid of his coffin will render him unable to escape it. Wait – how did it take so long to beat this guy?
  13. This last one is a bit unsettling. You see, Count Dracula is known to have power over the undead and “creatures of the night”. That’s all fine, but he also has that same ability over – and this is awkward to mention – gypsies and Slovaks. Oh, and people with mental disorders. Yeah… Bram Stoker grew up in a time when you could lump the Romani, Slavs, and schizophrenics into a group with rats and wolves and nobody would bat an eye.

There you have it. mesmerizing fascinating, surprising, and – yes – unfortunate facts about the character emulated by the Housemates.