Vlad the Impaler

In a bloody six year reign, Prince Vlad Dracula, first heir to the throne of Romania, was more than just the inspiration to one of the world’s most marvelous, renowned horror tales. He is best known as the real Count Dracula, drinking the blood of his dead or still dying victims. A dictator who went to the upmost extremes to keep his country running, he is by far one of the most monstrous people in history. To this day he is referred to as Vlad tepish, translating into ‘Vlad the impailer’ in favor of his favorite method of killing.

Prince Vlad Dracula was not your average Ruler. When he was thirteen years old his father the King of Romania sent Vlad and his younger brother Radule to Turkey to be held as life time prisoners. He did so on the premise that he would not start a war between the two countries of Romania and Turkey.

Vlad was young and being held hostage in a strange, foreign land, it affected him as he grew, imprinting a raw, ravenous rage towards anything and everything. With his sense of abandonment and betrayal he spawned hatred for the Turkish sultan and his court, and for his father who had imprisoned him. Being the former Prince of Romania and having to resort to bearing chains, he wanted to regain the former power he once had. To Vlad, independence and leadership was everything, being strong willed and controlling he thirsted for power.  Vlad was overly intelligent, he learnt to analyze the enemy and knew exactly how to manipulate those around them.

He began to fake his approval and admiration towards the Sultan and eventually, the sultan took the two Romanian brothers under his wing. He gave them a military upbringing (warfare, combat, archery, horseback riding and swordsmanship) and treated them like they were his own children. By using manipulation, Vlad had turned the sultan into his own little, adoring puppet, all the while brewing his temped up rage into a violent, silent storm. The Sultan even took them along to public executions designed to induce fear and showcase the sultan’s power, it was here Vlad’s sadistic nature began to show itself as he grew jealous of the sultan having all the power.

In 1448, Vlad’s father the King was murdered by a beautiful female assassin whose specialty was to seduce powerful men and poison them. Vlad was speculated to have hired her in a plot for Vlad to take his rightful place on the thrown as the true blood king. After 6 years in exile and at 19 years of age, his chance had finally come to rule. Using his manipulative skills and connections he influenced the Turks to raise an army and put Vlad as the new, true King of Valackia Transylvania. They were hoping for peace between the two feuding countries, but within 3 years Vlad betrayed them and threw the Turks out of what was now his kingdom. Prince Vlad Dracula had began his infamous and bloody rein.

Vlad had absolute power now that he was the King. His position overshadowed the sultan, thus giving him influence over Turkey. He knew he had absolute power and abused that in every way possible. Even from a young age Vlad manipulated people to do things for him, mentally twisting their arms until they did as he commanded.

Once in power he built watch towers, battlements and underground tunnels turning Transylvania into a gothic looking fortress, this was where the stereotypical look of ‘count Dracula’ originated from. He knew he was on the brink of war with the Turks and took every measure to help in his favor.

To ensure absolute loyalty and submission among his people Dracula employed a terror tactic he witnessed in captivity, public execution using a foul tactic; Impalement. Although his methods were highly unnecessary they did their job more than well, there was absolutely no crime in Transylvania and no one dared speak out about him. Cocky and eager to test how powerful his influence was, he placed a priceless golden chalice in each of his districts, unguarded, every hour of every day. In the entire duration of his rein not once was one of them stolen.

Soon, Vlad became impatient; he thrived on watching people mindlessly carry out his each and every whim. He controlled his country by inducing fear and revoking all independence. Impalement wasn’t just to keep order, to him; the executions were a leisurely pass time. He would impale women for nothing, his reason being they weren’t working hard enough. Some say he took sexual pleasure from this. He even impaled the children and the elderly because to him, they were useless. He killed people on a whim and hung the corpses around his kingdom from trees and walls and the roof tops. The unbearably foul stench of death filled Valackia; turning the capitol into a grim, unbearable graveyard. Every time an old corpse was cut down a new one would replace it. Nobody could leave, they would be impaled. Vlad used his power to make the people lived in fear.

Vlad took care in ensuring his victims had the worst, most horrific death imaginable, worse than crucifixion even. Disgustingly so Vlad also had a strange appetite. He would summon soldiers to gather the blood of his recent victims and put the foul liquid in golden bowls. Then sitting alone, he would dip his bread into the bowls, slurping up the glugging liquid like it was merely gravy. This made him feel like he had the ultimate power, the power over life and death, in his mind, he was like God himself.

Vlad was using his power to sadistically murder and torture innocent human beings, purely for the sake of his entertainment. He envisioned that staking’s would rid Valackia of crime, but somewhere along the lines he became unhinged and mentally unstable. Vlad was now in absolute control, fear let him control the lives of thousands, giving him a greater sense of empowerment and importance.

Soon the Turks had enough, they gathered an army that tripled Vlad’s and invaded Transylvania. Vlad did everything he could to stop the invasion; he burnt crop fields and poisoned wells, even if it meant that his people would also suffer. He burnt villages and left the victims to pass on the fearful word, all because he was selfish and frightened of the prospect of death.

Crossing the border into Romania the Turks had to go through a real life physical vision of hell. A forest of 20,000 dead and dying, wailing, impaled bodies blocked their path. Many Turkish soldiers turned back and fled, but the brave still carried on.

After a bloody battle with the loss of more than half their men, Vlad was killed by being beheaded. As proof his bloody, severed head was taken back to the Sultan who raised him and Vlad’s younger brother Radule, whom had stayed loyal to the Turkish army and become a General. Vlad’s long and bloody rein had ended and peace filled Europe once again. It is said that whilst Dracula was King the Pope supported him in his bid to eliminate all crime, once has to think of whether the Pope realized just how harsh Vlad’s methods were.

In several ways, Vlad’s influence in the place of leadership had both productive yet horrific consequences. During the six years of his rein, there was absolutely no crime at all within Romania and Transylvania. Petty crimes were punishable by death, so his people were on their best behavior. But whilst in power his death toll reached into the near hundreds of thousands, most of them being innocent human beings (the majority children and elderly). To me, Vlad had an intriguing story yet was undeniably a sick human being. Taking the lives of hundreds upon thousands of people is unforgivable, giving him a firm place in history as one of the most ruthless, notorious monsters who ever ruled in power.

– by Kat Anset, 10ENG

Jack the Ripper

Jack the Ripper is the most widely known name for the unidentified serial killer in Whitechapel, London during 1888. The name “Jack the Ripper” came from a letter written by someone claiming to be the murderer, and signing it from “Jack the Ripper”, evidence to support whether this was a hoax or whether it was the Ripper himself is insufficient. He went by two other nicknames which were “The Whitechapel Murderer” and “Leather Apron”. All of his alleged murders were done on female prostitutes in the slums of the area. He became widely known and feared by the vast speculations from the media.

The Whitechapel murders involved that of 11 deaths, five of which, known as the conical five, are widely believed to be connected to the Ripper. Three of these five had internal organs removed from them, starting the belief that the murders were somehow connected. During the time of September and October 1888 it was believed that the Ripper had some sort of anatomic or surgical knowledge.

The conical five, the murders believed to be committed by the Ripper, spanned from August through to November in 1888. All of these murders happened around the time of a weekend and usually toward the end of a week or month. The severity of the murders increased as they went on, all except one. His first victim, Mary Ann Nichols, was discovered in late August 1888. Her throat was severed deeply by two knife wounds and her abdominal region was partly ripped open by a deep and jagged wound with several other incisions made by the same knife. His second victim was found only eight days later, with the same two cuts to the throat with the addition of her abdomen being entirely ripped open and her uterus was removed.

His next two victims, Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes, were killed and found several hours apart on the 30th of September 1888. Stride was found around the time of 1 am. There was a slight difference in Stride’s death to the Ripper’s normal pattern, her throat one slashed with one clear incision to the main artery with no abdominal mutilations. It is suggested that maybe the Ripper was interrupted during his attack, which would make sense because serial killers like to make sure that their killings are correct and that they follow a pattern that they have set. So when Eddowes was found three-quarters of an hour later with her throat severed and her abdominal region ripped open with a deep, jagged weapon and with her kidney and a major part of her uterus removed. This seems to be a kind-of OCD thing for the Ripper, failing in his first attempt so killing someone else in order for his pattern to be correct. The last of the conical five was Mary Jane Kelly, her brutally mutilated body was found in her bedroom with her throat severed down to the spine and her whole abdomen was basically emptied of its organs, the heart was missing from the scene.

There were several more killings in the years following the conical five but none of these murders followed the same pattern that the five did nor did they really have any connection to the Ripper’s usual tactics, suggesting that it was not him.

Jack the Ripper was by far a monstrous man, but maybe to him he felt like he was doing the right thing. All of these women were prostitutes around in the slums of the city, which were greatly frowned upon back then, so did he do the right thing? Or maybe it was just for his own personal hatred toward women like this. Even though no one knew his true identity, Jack the Ripper certainly had the power of fear over the area of Whitechapel, England.

– by Benjamin Clarke, 10ENG

Joseph Stalin

Most of the peasants in Russia in the nineteenth century were forced to confront poverty, young Joseph Stalin was no exception.  However, he battled against this hollow factor and rose to become one of the greatest communist revolutionaries and powerful ruler of the former Soviet Union.

Joseph Stalin was born as Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili on the 21st of December 1879 in Gori, Georgia (which was, at the time, a part of the Russian empire) to an alcoholic cobbler and a maid.  As a young boy he earned the nickname ‘Pocky’ due to the scars he acquired to his face when he contracted smallpox.  It was in his youth that Joseph realised just how he wanted the Soviet Union to be ruled and that he himself must take action to help this.  He had received a scholarship to a fine theological seminary in the Georgian capital but he had no interest whatsoever in such studies.  Joseph devoted himself to the revolutionary movement against the Russian monarchy and even joined a secret revolutionary organisation called ‘Messame Dassy’.  This group persevered for the release of Georgia from the claws of the Russian Monarch so it could become independent.  Naturally, when Joseph’s allegiance was discovered, he was expelled from the seminary.

Stalin set to work immediately after his expulsion, teaching middle class children.  With a lot of spare time on his hands, Joseph effectively motivated workers and peasants to organise strikes and shut-downs.  His enthusiasm and persuasiveness gained him much popularity among the people.  However, he soon had to go into hiding once the Monarch’s secret police learned of his revolutionary activities.  But Joseph persisted, which subsequently lead to his arrest and his exile to Siberia.

Eventually, with the assistance of other activists, the communist party came into power with Joseph in the high ranks.  With sheer cunning and desperation to be leader, Joseph had the other men who were competing for leadership turn against each other and eventually they were exiled.  Stalin had now become the supreme authority of the Soviet.

Joseph was arguably the Soviet Union’s most powerful and ruthless leader.  With his socialist-economic policies he attained the favour of the poor and working class people and with the power endowed by this popularity he trounced the prominent party leaders of his oposition.  The concept of a ‘Five-Year-Plan’ was adopted by the Soviet Union as they sought escalated industrialisation and a collectively controlled economy where peasantry was directly in political control.  However, it was through these programs that the true brutality of his nature shone.  Stalin was cruel and merciless and the lives of all those who he ruled were at his expense.   Stalin was at the top, and he enjoyed his absolute power and authority.

In fear of any corruption in his rule or plots against him, Stalin took action to ensure his safety and supremacy.  He launched the great terror of the 1930’s; a vicious campaign entitled ‘The Purge’ which constituted of the execution of the party members and other sectors of the Soviet Union who he deemed suspicious and disloyal to him and also the exile of millions to slave labour camps.  Joining with the ally forces against the Nazi’s, Stalin assailed Germany due to its breach of the non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union despite the fact that they once collaborated.  This powerful force strongly aided in the defeat of Germany despite the huge death toll in the Soviet Union – but this did not faze him in the least.  He even extended his savagery to those who had committed either political or criminal offences. The Russian archives record that, under Joseph’s ruling, around 800,000 prisoners were executed.

Joseph Stalin remained supreme ruler until his death on March 5, 1953, at the age of 74.  Joseph’s supremacy acted as a drug in his system and he was continually hungry for more.  The obsessive measures he took to ensure that his position was secured exceeded the necessary force of a ruler.  He knew how he wanted the Soviet Union to be ruled and he took the steps that he saw fit in a desperate effort to achieve that goal.  Under this monster’s treacherous rule, death and suffering was cast upon tens of millions of people.

– by Kristina Macula, 10ENG

Jim Jones

Jim Jones was a self-obsessed American Cult leader who manipulated the poor and vulnerable, demanded their complete obedience, and ordered the murder of thousands of people, including two hundred children, to take their own lives in a jungle settlement in South America called ‘Jonestown’, constructed around his own warped and paranoid fantasy.

Jim Jones once said, “I am the way, the truth and the light. No one can come to the father but through me.” James Warren Jones was born in Indiana to a family that was struggling to cope with the effects of the Great depression. From a young age Jim felt sorry for the poor and had empathy for them, and as a teenager he became strongly involved with the Pentecostal Church, preaching to black and white people on the streets. With his jet-black hair and olive skin, his shades and his fixed confident grin, Jones was a handsome and charismatic person, not only that but a person that would convince and manipulate many people.

But even from a young age there were hints of a darker side to Jones. He clearly did not appreciate rejection, and once shot a friend who did not do as he commanded. For many years his wife Marceline, who held traditional Methodists views, suffered his jealous and manipulative behaviour. When Jones for a short period of time rejected God early in the marriage, he threatened to kill himself if she continued to pray and he forcefully and unsuccessfully tried to adopt a 12-year-old son of Marceline’s cousin, against the boy’s wishes. His behaviour was often hypercritical, he demanded clean living for those around him.

In 1952 Jones seemed to have recovered his faith, partly because he realized that his wife’s Methodism religion was interested in the plight of the poor. But Jones personal views, mixture of Christianity and socialism, traditional family vales and social liberalism led him to establish his own church, the ‘Peoples Temple’ which he would have a high ranking position. The people’s temple set up a soup kitchen and offered support to the poor and outcasts, such as former prisoners and drug addicts. Jones promised miracles for all kinds of illnesses, including cancer in an attempt to recruit more followers.

Jones did not do much good for the people that followed his ways and views. Jones just thought that he was doing well, when in reality he was doing the complete opposite. Unless convincing parents and children to commit suicide was a good thing to do, I think not. He was motivated by his own power hungry appetite and self interest.

In 1965 Jones moved with his family and 140 followers to Ukiah in northern California, apparently because he believed it would be safe from a nuclear attack. By 1968, as his following dwindled he affiliated the Peoples temple with the Disciples of Christ, a larger church group, which gave him access to 1.5 million members. But as his cult grew even bigger, so did the scrutiny from journalists and politicians, accusations began to emerge that Jones was taking fund from cult members for his personal use. Eger to escape in 1977 Jones and his followers moved to Guyana, where, in the rainforest, they set up a commune called ‘Jonestown’. In the process, his followers handed to Jones control of all their possessions. People were already moving giving him control of possessions and following Jones wherever he wanted with his manipulative ways and his persuasive manner. He had clear control and brainwashed many people but as he got away from all the suspicion of the public eye, Jones began to tighten his grip on his followers. There were reports of beatings and death threats, and each person was required to confess their sexual practices and fantasies, which women were, encouraged to criticize their husbands’ skills in bed.

On the 17th of November 1978 United States representative for California Leo Ryan arrived in Guyana with a group of journalists and concerned family members to inspect the camp. After fourteen members of the cult agreed to defect, Jones gripped by paranoia believed that his fantasy was crumbling around him. On 18th of November, as Ryan and the defectors made their way to the airplane that was due to fly them home to the United States, they were attacked by members of the Peoples Temple. Jones got people to attack others, which they would possibly never of even considered if they hadn’t been overcome by the control of Jones. Ryan was shot dead, along with three journalists and one defector. Back in the camp Jones ordered his followers whom he had trained for mass suicide on many occasions to come together drink a punch laced with cyanide. The vast majority went through with it unthinkingly; babies had the lethal cocktail force into their mouths with syringes, which anyone who objected was coerced or shot. Jones took an easy way out shooting himself in the head. When Guyanese troops arrived at the scene to pursue those who had committed murder on the airstrip, the sight of nearly a thousand bodies, men, women and children greeted them, slumped together on the ground. From Jones manic desire of domination and when that control was threatened, he was prepared to bring destruction down on all those around him. He had ultimate control over everyone who was brainwashed and believed every word that came out of his mouth.

He was most certainly a monster and will be remembered for a long time for all the wrong reasons. Anyone who could convince not only adults to commit suicide for him but also force their kids to commit suicide as well had to have a very manipulative, persuasive, cunning, selfish and power hungry persona. Jones was someone who will go down in history that’s for sure, someone who had men, women and children’s deaths on his conscious, their blood was forever on his hands.

– by Mia Holt, 10eng

Gaddafi

When Muammar Muhammad Gaddafi became ruler of Libya, he took advantage of everything he could, leaving Libya in a horrific state of poverty.  This was all because he wanted wealth and he wanted power. Libya is now left to pick up the pieces and start again.

Muammar Muhammad Gaddafi, who we know by the name of Gaddafi was born in Surt, Libya in 1942. Libya gained independence in 1951 under a Western leader, King Idris. Gaddafi joined the military. After graduating, Gaddafi slowly rose through the ranks of the military. King Idris became a man who many disliked so Gaddafi became involved with a movement of young officers who tried to overthrow the king. On September 1st, 1969, Gaddafi staged a coup to seize control, King Idris was overthrown. Gaddafi was named commander in chief of the armed forces and at the age of 27, Gaddafi had become the ruler of Libya. He gained support in the early days of his rule but his corruption, military interference in Africa and human rights abuse turned a lot of the Libyan population against him, as he was accused of supporting terrorism. In the last decade of his rule, after Gaddafi and his government were nearly overthrown they he spent months on the run, until October 20, 2011 when Gaddafi was killed in his hometown.

This man was in power for 42 years, he lived the majority of his life as a ruler. He was a wealthy man who let nothing stand in his way. For many of these years he abused the rights a leader should have, he took advantage of his power. Libya was a place great for oil, Gaddafi knew this and he soon took it away from other countries, when he did this he did it for himself. Gaddafi was a selfish man, and the income that he received from this oil he used for his own good. Libya was struggling, for food, for water for the bare necessities but Gaddafi would not give them these things. The country had the money, they had more than enough but Gaddafi saw it as his and would not share.

He shut down American and British military bases in Libya, has he thought they would be better off on their own and he wanted to be fully independent. He did not want help from anyone; Gaddafi had a mindset that he would be able to do all things himself, with the help of his close friends and family. He made sure of this by making his government only friends and family, these where the people in power, these where the people he trusted and believed in, the people who would never betray him no bad things got.

A man with great power that turned monststrous just like Gaddafi had no right to be in power, I believe that to be a ruler you need to lead your country into victory not into poverty. Gaddafi didn’t quite get his country to victory and I don’t believe that what he did to his country was fair at all. He was a human being who misunderstood what it meant to be in power. Gaddafi’s body was put on display in a meat room, it was open to the public, this is disgusting and no human being deserves that no matter what they have done.

– by Ally Reid, 10ENG

Elizabeth Bathory

Elizabeth Bathory  born in 1950, and was a member of one of the oldest and wealthiest families in Hungary. her family had powerful and wealthy member who controlled entire countries, such as the lands controlled by Stephen Bathory (her uncle). As a young girl Elizabeth was surrounded my many servants and peasants who constantly fulfilled her needs, this gave her great power and control. At the age of 5 she began experiencing violent seizures, caused by an unknown neurological disorder. This could possibly have led to her horrid behaviour during her older life. As a child she also experienced horrific torture of a gypsy.

At the age of 11 Bathory married 16 year old Ferenc Nadasdy. Ferenc was a warrior and wasn’t often around, this led to Elizabeth alone in their castle. Here at the castle she managed the family seat and “the task of disciplining the servants”. One particular harsh punishment would be sicking “pins into the upper and lower lips of the girls, and under their fingernails”. Another punishment involved girls being dragged out into the snow, where she or a women servant poured cold water on them until they froze to death.

In 1600 Count Ferenc died, this was when Elizabeth’s true slaughters started. In an incident where a young servant girl was brushing Elizabeth’s hair. After pulling a bit too hard, in a momentary rage Elizabeth hit her against the face drawing blood. Elizabeth noticed after washing her hand the patch of skin where the blood was looked white and creamier, and believed she had found the secret to eternal youth.

Beginning at the age of 30, Elizabeth started capturing and torturing young women. Teenagers and women in their twenties were swept off the streets throughout villages around the castle and were locked in Bathory’s dungeon. These girls became Elizabeth’s servant girls and slaves. She drained their bodies of their blood and bathed in it, believing that it would help her reclaim her youth. She drained their bodies of their blood and bathed in it, believing that it would help her reclaim her youth. But Elizabeth didn’t get blood in any way that we would recognize today. She preferred to do it a bit more earthy-like. To get the blood that she wanted, she mercilessly tortured and killed hundreds of girls and young women, cutting them open, locking them in cages, flogging them to death or mutilating their bodies.

When the castle was raided in 1610, the governor found over 50 bodies in the castle alone. And another 30 in a cavern where the blood was kept. The death toll due to Elizabeth’s insanity rose and exceeded 650 girls. Bathory was locked up in a bricked-off part of the castle and died in 1614.

– by Georgie Burn, 10ENG

Elizabeth Bathory

‘The most prolific female serial killer in history’

Elizabeth Bathory was born in 1560, into one of the oldest and wealthiest families inHungary, being the niece of Stefan Bathory, the King of Poland. Around the age of 5, Bathory began to have violent seizures which were caused by an unknown neurological disorder, which may have led to her gruesome behaviour later in life. As a child, she always had servants and peasants around her to fulfil her every whim, which gave her a feeling of power and control. As a teenagerElizabethwas very intelligent, and quickly became fluent in Hungarian, Latin and German.

Elizabeth married in 1575, aged 15, to Count Ferenc, and lived with him Castle Csejthe inHungary. Count Ferenc was a soldier, and would often be away for months at a time, and as a result, would often have affairs with some of the male peasants at the castle.Elizabethwas dissatisfied. Despite being surrounded by servants and being of the highest nobility in the land, she began to seek other ways to spend her time. Elizabeth and her old nurse began to find ways of torturing the servant girls in the castle grounds.

In 1600, Count Ferenc died, which was whenElizabeth’s true atrocities began. When a young servant girl was brushingElizabeth’s hair, she pulled the brush a little too hard, and in a blind rageElizabethsmacked her across the face so hard she drew blood. After washing her hand,Elizabethin her insanity believed that the patch of skin where the blood was looked whiter and creamier than the rest of her hand, and in her anxiety of losing her beauty, she believed she had found the secret to eternal youth.

Elizabeth began to hire maids and henchmen who would go about and abduct young girls to become servants at her castle. She would then kill the girls, and drain their blood into a vat, which she would bathe in daily. This went on for ten whole years, and it is believed that the castle was never searched in the time as people were intimidated by her level of nobility and her wealth. When the castle was finally raided in 1610, the governor found over 50 bodies in the castle alone, and another 30 in a cavern nearby where the vat of blood was kept. The death toll as a result ofElizabeth’s insanity and monstrous actions exceeded 650 girls. Elizabethwas locked up in a bricked-off section of her castle, and eventually died in 1614.

– by Charlie Mackie, 11ENG