In the 15th century Romanian ruler Vlad the Impaler impaled 20,000 Ottoman Turks on long, sharp poles on the banks of the Danube.
The real-life Dracula might not have sucked blood out of his victims’ necks, but he still drank it in a different way: by dipping chunks of bread into buckets of blood drained from the people he killed.
In the 1400s, the region of Wallachia was under constant threat from its neighbors, the Turks. Vlad who didn’t like being pushed into a corner, sent an army to push the Turks out of his land. Eventually, though, the Turks forced Vlad into a retreat—but Dracula was not done. As he retreated, he burned down his own villages along the way so that the Turkish army would have nowhere to rest. He even went so far as poisoning his own wells and murdering thousands of his own villagers, just so that the incoming Turkish army wouldn’t have the satisfaction.