In the year 1897, Bram Stoker's Dracula was published. This popular novel about a vampire was destined to change the way the world viewed Vlad Tepes- also known as Prince Dracula. Although storytellers have portrayed Dracula as a form of evil, the legends have long separated the man from the myth. The world view on evil is one of the main reasons Prince Dracula is considered to be thus.

"Anything which causes suffering of any kind to sentient beings" is how a dictionary defines the term "evil". If this meaning is held to be correct, then is there no being that is good? Books, people and movies also seem to have their own descriptions of evil. These "feelings" come from opinions people have. They include taste, smell, sound, sight, and touch. All of these fear senses link together in the human thought process, thus forming the idea of evil. Some examples of these fear senses are the smell of a swamp or bog, and rotten/ spoiled food for tastes. Other examples are the hooting of owls, the screeching of a bat, or a gate on rusty hinges for evil sounds. The way evil is considered to look is a deformed animal or perhaps a gnarled old tree. Finally, evil to the touch might be considered to be the feel of sharp objects on the skin, or even a shiver that runs down a person's spine when frightened. Demons, which are a form of evil, also give people a "feeling" of fright.

Demons are considered by the world to be ugly and grotesque. Depictions of these creatures show horns on the head, facial hair that includes a sparse mustache and goatee, a bifurcated tail, and a pitch fork. These beings are thought to have the ability to influence or control human behavior- even to the point of possession. The definition of demon is: "a persistently tormenting person, force, or passion". If this is so, then all humans at one point or another are possessed by demons, are they not? When considering the definition of demon, one must also look at monsters.

One definition of monster is: "one who inspires horror or disgust". With this definition, one must wonder if they themselves are monsters. Men with un-kept beards look strikingly similar to werewolves, and women with bad hair days could quite possibly be mistaken for the wife of Dr. Frankenstein's monster. But on a more serous note: some people with missing limbs or defects from birth are, sadly, looked at as monsters. Even people with thought problems are lood upon as monsters. A great amount of monsters are considered stupid, or have more primal thought processes. Werewolves are considered to have the intelligence to sense danger, and avoid it. These unattractive beings supposedly have also survival instincts like animals. Again, an example is the werewolf. This wolf like creature has a powerful sense of smell that can detect anything from chickens, to humans and thus find its prey. Almost every monster is thought of as repulsive, many having missing limbs or multiple scars marring their physical appearance. Only one such creature stands out among these as attractive, and that is the vampire.

Vampires are the creatures of the night that use their beauty to seduce their victims. When the victim is in their grasp, they suck the life from them through two tiny puncture wounds most commonly on the neck. These beings sleep during the day in sarcophagi, and roam the night in search of blood. The definition of vampire is: "a soul of a dead person superstitiously believed to come from the grave and wander about by night sucking the blood of persons asleep, thus causing their death". Many people have become fascinated with the vampire legend- some even writing about these creatures.

Bram Stoker was one of these many people. He wrote about Count Dracula, an extremely powerful vampire with many abilities. Some of his abilities include creating lesser vampires to serve him, becoming fog, and shape shifting. In the beginning of the story, Dracula is at war with the Turkish army. He vanquishes the army- only to find out when he returns from battle his wife has committed suicide because of lie about his death. Dracula curses God, and thus becomes the vampire. Some of these falsities did indeed happen, but were exaggerated or added onto to make the vampire story work correctly. One large problem in this fiction is that Dracula was not immortal; he lived only forty-six or forty-seven years.

Vlad Dracula was born aroun lated 1430, in Schassburg, a town in Transylvania. Soon after his birth, his father joined a brotherhood called the Order of the Dragon. This order required that its followers wear its insignia at all times. Thus he desided to change his surname to Dracul, meaning "dragon". At this time, Dracula's father had a claim to the throne of Wallachia, a part of the country south of the Transylvanian Alps. He defeated the current holder of the throne, his half brother, in 1436. Two years later, his father entered into an alliance with the Turks. The sultan doubted the man's loyalty, and had him imprisoned. Dracul nevertheless reaffirmed his loyalty and sent his two youngest sons, Vlad and Radu, remain with the sultan to guarantee the pact.

During his many years of imprisionment, Vlad learned the Turkish language and custums, but his treatment ingrained the cynicism evident in his approach to life. Thus he became infused with a Machiavellian attitude towards political matters. Meaning, he used clever trickery, amoral methods, and expediency to achive his desired goals. His life with the Turks also seemed to set within his personality the desire to seek revenge from anyone who wronged him.

In December of 1447 his father was murdered, and his older brother was burned alive. The death of his brother made Vlad the successor, but the throne was taken from him. He attempted to claim the throne, but his reign lasted only a few months before he was forced to flee. Nine years later, Vlad returned to Wallicha and claimed the thrown. On Easter Sunday, Vlad Dracula committed his first major act of revenge. He arrested the boyar families, who he found responsible for the deaths of his father and brother, impaling the older ones. By performing this punishment, and using it throughout his reign, he gained the nickname Tepes, or The Impaler. He forced the survivors of his wrath to build his new chateau: Castle Dracula. Throughout his short six-year reign, Vlad Tepes tortured and impaled more then 40,000 people. He has often been compared with Ivan the Terrible, but Ivan killed less then 10,000 people during a reign of fifty-four years. His short but terrible reign enede at some point at the end of December 1476 or early January of the next year, at the hand of an assassin. Because of the many massacres he led, many myths about Dracula dining amongst his victims, and consuming their blood, among others, are heard of in the area around Transylvania.

One such myth was about a golden cup. Dracula was known throught his kingdom for his insistence on honesty and order. Because of this, theives seldom practiced their trade within his domain- they knew their fate would to be put on a stake if caught. He was so confident in the effectiveness of his lawas that he placed a golden cup on display in the central square of Tirgoviste- his capital city. The cup was never stolen durning his reign. A rumor about Dracula's death started to spread once it was noticed that the golden cup had vanished.

Because storytellers have portrayed Count Dracula as a form of evil, many people have become confused about the differences between the legends and the facts. Dracula was not some romantic vampire who cursed God because of the suicide of his wife. He did not live three and a half centuries to meet his re-incarnated wife, only to be rejected by her. In the end of his life, he did not come to happy ending of love regained and peaceful death. He was killed by the had of some unknown man, an assassin he did not know. The life he led was full of danger, deception and hate towards all others. He was the strictest, and most bloody ruler the world has ever seen.