6 True Stories About Vlad The Impaler (History's Creepiest D-Bag)
You've got to be a pretty bad boy to inspire a legend like Dracula. Typically, someone doesn't sit down to write a story about a blood-sucking Romanian maniac without having some pretty horrible roots to build a foundation on. Oh, and also, you probably don't also end up with the second half of your name being "The Impaler" without also doing some pretty horrific crap. That horrific crap usually entails enough impaling of other people to have the second half of your name be about just how into impaling you are. In the case of Vlad III, he both was the inspiration behind Bram Stoker's Dracula, and also was more commonly known as Vlad the Impaler, mostly because of the absolutely wild stuff he did in real life to create a legend that would probably be rejected in a horror script for being too unbelievable …
Kicking Off His Career With A Beheading
Before we get into Vlad's first creepy move, it's important to know where he was before he became something that Wes Craven might dream up. If we're in the dream world from Nightmare on Elm Street, having only first taken bong rips of Salvia right before going to sleep.
Vlad III was around in 15th-century Transylvania and was partly raised in captivity by the Ottoman Empire. On top of that, he really just lived a pretty brutal life during a time period where there was little else but pure brutality going on around you. Alive in 1450? A really pleasant day would be to have less than double-digit rotten heads roll right off the shoulders of some previously-living body and out of some tower window above you and knock you out cold, where you come to a minute later staring into the eyes of the weird rotten tower head and a swarm of centipedes crawl out the mouth towards you. Have that happen only seven or eight times in a day, and you're basically living on 15th-century easy street right there.
So this was the world Vlad was operating within, which makes his legend even more outrageous.
You had to be one seriously psycho dude to make a name for yourself for being cruel back then. Becoming a legendary creep back then in such a crowded space would be like making it big on Twitch in 2022. You really need to have a strong niche and personal brand. Vlad's brand, essentially, was speedrunning horrible things to do to other people's bodies, and that started in earnest when, after successfully defending his hometown in his first real moment as a leader, he beheaded his rival attacker. One thing you'll come to find about ol' Vlad is that he's like a Mortal Kombat character that the developers really fell in love with during the making of the game, and gave him all the cool, super messed up Fatalities. So, you know, when beheading your opponent is really only used to show where it all began, you've got a hell of a laundry list of diabolical things to get through.
I promise we’ll eventually get to the impaling parts of Vlad the Impaler, but he had to work up to that. You don’t just raw dog straight into impaling. You need some romance, some foreplay. And nobody loved busting out the whipped cream like our guy Vlad. And by whipped cream, I, of course, mean some kind of rusty, horrible, forsaken tool chest of torture devices and instruments that he kept right beside his rusty, horrible, forsaken 15th-century anal beads. So Vlad kept warming up his diabolical plans when a crew of Turkish ambassadors paid him a visit one time.
Vlad wanted the Turkish ambassadors to remove their hats in order to show him the proper respect in his home. The Turkish dudes weren’t having it. They wanted to keep their sick Turkish flat brims on and cited religious reasons for keeping them on. Vlad wasn’t happy. So what do you do if you’re Vlad The-Soon-To-Be-Impaler? You get to some warmup impalin’; that’s what the hell you do. Vlad decided to honor their desire to keep their hats on. Permanently. He nailed the ambassador’s hats into their skulls. A move that may seem a tad bit overboard on paper, yes. But honestly, I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t at least CONSIDER staple gunning a fedora to any houseguest’s head who had the nerve to disrespect my home in one of those, so it’s really hard to get on Vlad for this one without knowing exactly what kind of hats these Turkish guests rolled up in.
Less an Impaler… More a Kebaber
It’s probably not right to go any further into a story about a dude named “The Impaler” without getting to the impaling. If I was to write a profile about Dick The Fartsmoker, I wouldn’t tease you too much before diving into ol’ Dick’s legendary fartsmoking. I get it. But there’s really no clear indication of exactly when Vlad got into impaling, but that’s probably mostly due to the fact that it seems like he kind of always was?
At the very least, this calling card of his seems to be a major part of his many unbelievably bloody battles with the Ottomans. Impaling became, to Vlad, like a family-size bag of Smartfood popcorn. He took a look at his downed enemies and thought to himself, “I’m just gonna have a few,” and before anyone knew it, Vlad was doing that thing where you’ve got the popcorn bag turned upside down, and you’re sending every last kernel straight down your throat and licking the white dust off of your fingers. Only, his kernels and dust weren’t popcorn. They were dudes. Sometimes alive. Placed on poles. Vlad’s Smartfood was screaming, bloody, agonizing pole dudes and not white cheddar popcorn. If pop culture's lasting image of your life’s exploits looks like this, you might need to reconsider some things:
What’s wild is that just thinking about the whole impaling thing is enough to give you a pretty rough visual and understanding of the idea, but when you learn more about his preferred methods, it’s scarring enough that I have to share it with all of you so that I don’t have to sit on terrible knowledge impaling pole this alone. The process went a little something like this:
1) Grab a dude that you really don’t like.
2) Make sure that you REALLY don’t like this dude because he’s about to be pretty pissed off.
3) Do that whistle and click thing you do to get a horse’s attention and call two of them over.
4) Proceed to tie the legs of the dude you don’t like to each horse and have those horses start pulling his legs open. A step that could easily be done without the help of horses, but, again, remember, you really don’t dig this dude.
5) Inspect your imaplaing rack for the right tool. I(f Vlad really didn’t like you as a dude, that meant selecting the least sharp, more rounded wooden selection.) Really walk around the rack and feel the impaling options and look at the dude while you do it like you’re considering lumber in the hardware store.
6) Use the dullest wooden pole you’ve got and insert it into the anus of the dude you don’t like.
7) Because you didn’t choose the sharp one, work it up slowly and purposefully all the way towards his mouth, being sure to keep his organs intact so that he’ll spend maximum, agonizing, time as a kebab dude.
8) Push the pole from the anus through the mouth and step back, hands on your hips, and look at the fruits of your labor that started with a long morning at Transylvanian Home Depot.
9) Find a really nice little spot to display your new kebab dude and jam it into the ground using the same technique you may deploy to really drive a beach umbrella into the sand. You don’t want your new kebab dude blowing away in front of everyone. How embarrassing would that be?
10) Do the thing where you clap the dust off of your hands, nod, and turn back to your pile of other dudes you really don’t like and get to work on the following kebab because, as you’ll see next, Vlad the Kebaber’s work is never truly done.
Vlad’s Absurd Kill/Death Ratio
If you take a look at the leaderboard for some of history’s most ruthless killers, you’d absolutely find xXBadVl4dKushGod69Xx somewhere near the top. That’s because this bastard is believed to have killed some 80,000 people during his reign. And perhaps even most outrageously, some 20,000 of those were impalings. TWENTY. THOUSAND. Think about the process we just detailed above and then do that 19,999 more times. Who the hell has time to be that sadistic? How did Vlad not get sick of it after a few thousand? Even wilder to me, how did he not come up with a new schtick? More likely, he probably was kind of stuck with it at this point because it kind of became his thing. Like a comedian that becomes the puppet guy, even though all he wants to do is go out there and tell some jokes about his dick and butt, he can’t do it, because the arena is packed with people expecting him to pull out the beloved puppets and march through the act that he’s hated for years once more. In fact, there’s no getting around it, Vlad the Impaler is basically a less horrible Jeff Dunham.
One of the things that really stuck out to me about Vlad’s numbers here was from a report he sent back from the battlefield that read:
“We killed 23,884 Turks, without counting those whom we burned in homes or the Turks whose heads were cut by our soldiers… Thus, your highness, you must know that I have broken the peace."
HOW did he get this exact figure? 23,884 is so damn specific and insane that I would call bs with just about anyone else but the dude who has become famous for sticking poles into dudes' buttholes and turning them into human corndogs. It’s so upsetting to me because I actually believe that he got that number down with exact precision. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was just a savant in the most terrible ways imaginable. That he could look out over his battlefield of dead and kebabed opponents and accurately guess the number to the very last decimal like the world’s sickest version of guessing candy in a jar for a Halloween contest. Moral of the story here is: If the ghost of Vlad the Kebaber ever comes into your store in late October, hide that jar of candy corn because he’s about to take you for everything you have.
Dead Dude Diner
I like to set the mood for a big feast. It takes a certain deliberate ambiance to pair the right meal with the right vibes, and if just one thing is off, the entire operation can be boned. So if somebody is reaching over for those au gratin potatoes that I slaved over and a spot of blood drips from the mouth of the impaled dude hanging above my perfect table setting, I’m going to blow a goddamn gasket. But for Vlad, that’s exactly the scene he liked to set. According to one legend, Vlad set the stage for his own feast by surrounding his table with his impaled prizes before digging in.
I can picture him hurriedly, but purposefully, darting about the table like a grizzled Thanksgiving grandma making sure everything’s just right. Moving one Ottoman’s asshole just slightly to the right, while shifting another’s screaming body on his pole so that a hint more sun could splash onto the table. Does one of Vlad’s guests not like the Ottoman off to the back that keeps looking into his eyes and screaming at the top of his lungs for just an ounce of mercy? Please, please, stay seated, Vlad will get that moved right away. You just enjoy your wine.
He really did have an eye for detail, going so far as to even place his more prized kebabs on taller poles to really make sure they’re on full display. Something that had to at least be some consolation when you were sitting up there, in unimaginable pain, you could at least look at your boys and be like, “I knew I was a cooler battle Ottoman than Steve. Dickhead.” To add even further to Vlad’s legend, the story goes that he may have even gone as far as to dip a bit of his bread into a bowl of the blood of his enemies. A touch that, even for Vlad, is a bit much. He’s really just become an anime villain at this point and somebody needs to reign his crazy ass in.
Related: 'Seinfeld's Diner: A History
Vlad Gets His
Somebody did indeed end up reigning Vlad’s crazy ass in. Well, actually, just chopping it off instead. Vlad’s career ended much in the same way it began: with heads coming off. In one of his classic skirmishes with the Ottomans, Vlad’s believed to have finally lost his battle and was decapitated in the process. His head was then sent back with his rivals and, what else, proudly put on display in a slightly redemptive twist of irony that isn’t nearly sufficient for the kinds of acts he had committed before becoming his own Sims: Medieval Edition wall decoration.
Vlad’s one of those guys who truly was legendary, even while alive. So damn horrible that even before information could be spread in any real way, word got around that there was a dude a few towns over that was into some super weird crap. He’s also a cautionary tale, one that everyone should look at and think to themselves: am I doing things right now that one day an author will look back on and decide, “Oh, man, this guy’s a total dickhead. Like, SUCH a creepy dick. I have the perfect idea for a character now because of this creepy, weirdo dickhead that is going to become one of the most famously evil symbols of all time. All because of this one actually real, creepy, weirdo, douchebag dickhead who inspired me.” If you think you’re on that path, there may still be time to reverse course.
Thumbnail: Wiki Commons