Everyone is wondering when the legend of Dracula came in the public attention for the first time and if this legend has something to do with Vlad the Impaler- the prince of Wallachia. Well the legend starts when this man Vlad the Impaler was chosen by the well-known writer Bram Stoker to be the leading hero for his book published in 1897. Since then, Dracula and Transylvania, the land where the mysterious castle full of ghosts and vampires is located, became the subject of many movies, over 750 in numbers, documentaries or stories inspired from Stoker’s book. The very first successful movie about the life of vampires is the movie named Dracula which starred Bela Lugosi, a Romanian actor who had previously incarnated the titular character on the stage, and would forever be remembered, and unfortunately typecast as Dracula.
What is interesting to note, is that Stoker's vampire, while being loosely based on Vlad the Impaler, is nowhere near as threatening, nor as sadistic. Stoker's Dracula is a mysterious, somewhat sensual character who kills and feeds to survive, much like any being in nature. In fact, as much as there is reference to the evil of Dracula, it can be reasoned that all of his actions were motivated by survival. Vlad the Impaler, on the other hand, killed not just to feed, but to revel in his own power, and just for the sheer pleasure of seeing the suffering of his numerous victims.
The important thing that you need to know is that Vlad the Impaler got his nickname the Dracula from his father Vlad Dracul ( a nickname derived from the Order whom his father was a member, The Order of the Dragon- a very exclusive knight order). So, when Vlad the Impaler become a ruler he called himself Vlad III Dragulea signing documents with this name (and this is a certified fact), It means "the son of the Dragon", after his father name, Vlad Dracul (the Dragon). In old Romanian the suffix "-ea" meant "the son/daughter of". So, it's that simple: if the father name was Dracul, the son took Dracul-ea name to show his affiliation.
One more thing- Due to the changes in Romanian language, in time, Draculea became Dracula, I don’t know how but I guess it’s all about that type of “marketing”, I can say, when people shift information between them, between “mouth to mouth”,and you know some information can be missed or modify trough time.
Another story about Vlad the Impaler says that the transformation of him in Count Dracula, the one with thirst of blood, it was possible because of the traditions which were made in that medieval time, the right winner in any land battle was supposed to extinguish his thirst by drinking a cup of the enemy’s blood.
To understand all of you, it's all about Dragon, not Devil.
So this legend is still alive in these days, and the Bran Castle, from Brasov County keeps this mysterious legend inside of the rooms and walls of the castle, were you can also learn more about the Bram Stoker’s book or about the legend of The Vlad the Impaler. Also I recommend you to go and visit the other castle which was the second home for Vlad- the Corvinilor Castle, in Hunedoara County.
So this is my story about this beautiful legend, i hope it was a good reading and i also hope you'll visit Romania and Transylvania one day to see and learn more about this. Also enjoy the pictures!
Source of information: http://www.exploringromania.com/vlad-dracul.html