Saturday, September 03, 2005

Bloodlines: The Dracula Family Tree

When a team of Dracula hunters - notably members of a family linked to the real-life Prince - tries to unearth the truth about the tyrant, they are haunted by mystifying events, misfortune and tragedy, 500 years after the 15th century prince dies.
Almost 30 years ago, two scholars from Boston revealed the historical truth behind the legendary vampire known as Dracula. For the first time, their 15-year research demonstrated the link between Bram Stoker's infamous vampire and a 15th century prince named Vlad Tepes, or "Vlad the Impaler.

The groundbreaking work of the two professors, Radu Florescu and Raymond McNally, drew headlines and television coverage the world over. But, what the newspapers and TV stations didn't report was as fascinating as the revelation of the real Dracula.

The hunt for him in the Transylvania Alps involved a death, strange diseases and sicknesses; accidents and apparitions; baffling disappearances of key documents; and the disappearance of Vlad Tepes' body itself.

Tepes (also known as Vlad Dracul - Dracul meaning devil) was legendary in the 15th century for crimes that were brutal in nature and extraordinary in number. His reign ended violently in 1476 when Turkish attackers killed him as he attempted to escape from his own castle through a hidden passageway. His headless body was sent to the Sultan in Constantinople and the body was interred on an island monastery north of Bucharest.

Proffessor Florescu's uncle, George Florescu, excavated the tomb in 1931. When he and fellow historian Dino Resetti lifted the tombstone, the body disintegrated in front of their very eyes. George Florescu would later die a mysterious death in 1969 after trying to scale the steep slopes leading to Dracula's castle.

We will learn about the eerie misfortunes of the Dracula hunters and investigate the theories behind the disappearance of Dracula's body. We will also attempt to trace Dracula's genealogy. Did he have children? Are there any living descendants? It is believed that the Florescus are descendants of the wife of Dracula's brother, Radu the Handsome. But, do they have blood ties to Dracula himself?


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