Count Dracula dies in Germany

November 21, 2007 (Spiegel Online) -- Ottomar Rodolphe Vlad Dracula Prince Kretzulesco, an adopted descendant of Count Dracula, has died in Germany aged 67 after spending a colorful life organizing blood donor parties and medieval festivals at his estate in eastern Germany.

Germany is mourning the death of its very own Count Dracula, a baker who was legally adopted by an ancient Romanian dynasty whose roots go all the way back to the legendary Romanian prince.

He was plain Ottomar Berbig until the 1980s, when his life was changed by a chance encounter with an elderly Romanian princess who was struck by his Transylvanian appearance with his curly black hair and drooping moustache.

Ekaterina Olympia Kretzulesco, a genuine blood descendant of legendary count Vlad Dracula, was childless and wanted to ensure the family line continued.

"She thought I looked typically Romanian, so she decided to introduce me to the rest of the family," Ottomar once recalled. She adopted him and he went on to fulfil the role of Count Dracula with gusto.

Vlad Dracula, also known as Vlad the Impaler, was a 15th century prince notorious for the cruel punishments he meted out. He served as the inspiration for the blood-sucking vampire villain in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula.

Ottomar the baker was more benevolent. He organized "blood-sucking parties" in conjunction with the German Red Cross at which guests were invited to donate blood. He also held medieval festivals and ghost story-telling evenings. Hundreds of guests came to his parties at a 46-room palace he bought in 1995 in Schenkendorf, southeast of Berlin.

He became a local councillor and campaigned fiercely against Schenkendorf being incorporated into the neighboring town of Mittenwald, even resorting to proclaiming the town "Dracula's Principality."

Financial difficulties forced him to move out of his palace last year and his family confirmed on Tuesday that he died of a brain tumor last weekend. But Dracula lives on in his son, Ottomar Dracula Junior, who turns one next month.


no proof

It seems this is a "fact" that will never die -- "[Vlad the Impaler] served as the inspiration for the blood-sucking vampire villain in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula." There is no proof of this, yet time and time again, people who write these articles fail to do the proper research. They just keep perpetuating the myth...

Fanged Films

USA, 1993
Leif Jonker's Darkness / Darkness: The Vampire Version
Spain, 1971
Im Zeichen der Vampire / Lesbian Vampires / Lesbian Vampires: The Heiress of Dracula / Das Mal des Vampirs / Schlechte Zeiten für Vampire / El Signo del Vampiro / The Heiress of Dracula / The Heritage of Dracula / The Sign of the Vampire / The Strange Adv

From the Library

As the 20th century evolved, rational man turned to science to explain mythology that had pervaded for thousands of years. How could a man be mistaken for a vampire? How could someone appear to have been the victim of a vampire attack? Science, in time, came back with answers that may surprise you.Anemia
A million fancies strike you when you hear the name: Nosferatu!N O S F E R A T Udoes not die!What do you expect of the first showing of this great work?Aren't you afraid? - Men must die. But legend has it that a vampire, Nosferatu, 'der Untote' (the Undead), lives on men's blood! You want to see a symphony of horror? You may expect more. Be careful. Nosferatu is not just fun, not something to be taken lightly. Once more: beware.- Publicity for Nosferatu in the German magazine Buhne und Film, 1922  

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