Bram Stoker based his fictional character, Dracula, on the real person with a taste for blood, Vlad the Impaler. Vlad III, the Prince of Wallachia, was born in 1431 in what is now Transylvania.

ryan murray Salem Ma. identical twin. co-owner of @blackveiltattoo
Terrifying portrait in heavy blackwork style done by Ryan Murray at Black Veil Tattoo in Salem Ma.
Melissa Vargas in Costa Rica
A bloody Vlad with impaled skeletons done by Melissa Vargas in Costa Rica.

Now to his gruesome nickname. Vlad invited hundreds of people to a banquet, people who were questioning his leadership, and had them stabbed, then impaled on spikes. According to legend he then continued to eat while watching his guests twitch as they slowly and painfully died on large spikes.

Done at Black Book Tattoo Romania
Vlad and the castle done at Black Book Tattoo in Romania.
VT at The Amber Rose Tattoo
Zombified Vlad head in American traditional style done by VT at The Amber Rose Tattoo.

Vlad is also credited with impaling dozens of Saxons in 1456, as well as a group of Ottoman men. The latter refused to remove their turbans for Vlad, and Vlad commended them on their belief, saying they would never be apart from their turbans again, reportedly nailing their turbans to their skulls.

Jason Herring at Inkaholics art Studio
Realistic black and grey portrait with some red background done by Jason Herring at Inkaholics Art Studio.

Though there is much uncertainty surrounding Vlad, it is confirmed that he did die, unlike the numerous Dracula stories. Vlad was killed during a raid, but there is much debate as to where his tomb is.

Jelle Jansen at The Office Tattoo
American traditional Vlad portrait done by Jelle Jansen at The Office Tattoo.

Many lovers of horror choose to get tattoos of Vlad, the “original” Dracula. Most tattoos are portraits, often blackwork or American/neo traditional.

Lisa Orth
Beautiful line work piece with Vlad and impales bodies, made to look like the old wood carvings. Done by Lisa Orth.
vlad impaler
Wood carving of Vlad eating while watching his guests being impaled.

Which tattoo is your favourite?

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