From Nosferatu and Count Dracula to modern-day bloodsuckers in Twilight and Vampire Diaries, the world-wide frenzy for the undead is insatiable. Estonian researchers believe they may have finally discovered the whereabouts of “Dracula’s” grave, which is in Italy and not the Romanian Transylvanian Alps as first thought. The inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s 1897 gothic novel Dracula is thought to be Vlad III, the 15th century Prince of Wallachia in Eastern Europe. Known posthumously as Vlad the Impaler, he was known for his brand of cruelty across Europe, which included impaling his enemies.
Psychologists may say that frightening stories have their origin in a much greater belief in the nether world, including a genuine faith in the existence of the Devil, than what is prevalent today, along with the eerie darkness which enveloped the world after nightfall because of the absence of electricity. Once Thomas Alva Edison released the genii of light from the glass bulb, the bloodthirsty ogres melted away. It is difficult to believe that such stories could have been written in the 20th century with such chilling impact on successive generations. Dracula’s place has been taken, therefore, by Darth Vader of the Star Trek series, who enslaves his enemies with the use of psychotic power.
There are other villains like those who confront Superman or Spiderman who defy the forces of nature—another of mankind’s quests. But what is significant is that they do not take advantage of darkness as the malevolent creatures of the earlier ages used to do to strike terror into the hearts of all. Instead, they make their appearance in broad daylight. Unlike Dracula, who recalls a living prince, the mechanical monsters of today who feature in computer games have their origin in the fertile imagination of their creators who are only responding to the urge for the mysterious unknown wired into the human brain.