Castlevania: The Real History of Dracula

Castlevania is a very loose adaptation of the story of Dracula, whom is also inspired by real-life villains from history.

Castlevania Season 1 Dracula

The world’s most infamous vampire, Count Dracula, has terrorized the living for over a century through books, movies, TV, comics, and even video games. In terms of the latter, we have Konami’s seminal Castlevania series for providing the Dracula-themed scares for over 30 years.

While not exactly an accurate retelling of the original novel by Bram Stoker, Castlevania is a brilliant Japanese reimagining that sets a vampire hunter loose in Dracula’s monster-filled castle for an action-packed and spooky adventure that ends in the hall of the greatest vampire who ever lived, the Count himself. If you’ve not played any of these games but want to know more about the Belmont family’s centuries-long struggle against the Lord of Vampires, go pick up Castlevania Requiem, a new collection of two of the series’ most memorable entries, for the PS4.

Or you could tune into the excellent animated series from Netflix, which is entering its second season. Based on Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, the show tells the story of Trevor Belmont, who is on a quest through the cursed land of Wallachia to reach Dracula’s castle and save Wallachia’s people from the monsters that stalk them in the night. Along the way, Trevor also faces off against a malevolent Church, which is responsible for Dracula’s outrage in the first place. It’s certainly a dark story but also a brilliant video game adaptation. 

Ahead of Castlevania season 2, which drops on Friday, Oct. 26, Netflix has released a new video detailing the real history of the people who inspired the legendary literary villain. Check it out below:

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In case you’re not caught up on your history, Dracula is based on two incredibly cruel rulers: Vlad the Impaler, Prince of Wallachia, and Elizabeth Bathory, a countess from the Kingdom of Hungary. Vlad was known as a vicious warlord who impaled hundreds of his enemies or burned them alive. He also washed his hands in their blood.

Further Reading: Castlevania Season 3 Confirmed

Believe it or not, Countess Bathory was even more sadistic. Known as one of the most prolific female murderers in history, Bathory tortured and killed hundreds of women in order to bathe in their blood because she believed bathing in the blood of virgins would keep her young. Talk about superstition. 

Interestingly enough, Dracula didn’t turn out as evil as either of these real-life villains. I guess we should count ourselves lucky?

John Saavedra is an associate editor at Den of Geek. Read more of his work here. Follow him on Twitter @johnsjr9

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