Horrible and sinister tales were handed down over the centuries telling of the vampires and werewolves, how they came in the dark of night to attack their victims and turn them into vampires and werewolves also. During the nineteenth century, a blood chilling legend of the king of vampires, Count Dracula, unfolded in the form of journals and letters. Dracula lived in Castle Dracula, in the province of Transylvania, in Rumania. The castle was surrounded at night by wolves, preventing any person from entering or leaving. The dreaded creature, the vampire, would live for untold centuries on the blood of human victims; it would roam only at night and had to return to a hidden grave or coffin like box filled with sterilized earth when day would break. The corpse would remain in this state until night when it would rise again to carry on its terrifying work. They would breed their kind by attacking a living victim and when that person died, their corpse would rise from its tomb to roam at night as a new vampire. The only known method to release the agonized soul of the vampire was to drive a stake through the heart of the corpse as it lay in its coffin during the day. The legends of the vampire were best known in the Rumanian sector of the old world and many peasants living there today still hold a superstitious fear of the vampire. Count Dracula lived for centuries in his castle with three beautiful women vampires. The mere mention of his name caused the frightened local resident to scurry to their homes, lock their doors and windows and place a crucifix at any possible avenue of entrance. They would sleep with a crucifix or a wreath of garlic about their necks to ward off the evil vampire. An English solicitor, unfamiliar with Count Dracula and the suspicions of the country folks around his castle, was summoned there on a business matter. He found himself a captive in the castle and the three women vampires tried to attack him but were driven away by Dracula who claimed the Englishman for himself. Not satisfied with his domain, Dracula spread out to England where he killed a beautiful lady and turned her into a vampire. As she was laid to rest in her coffin, a medical specialist recognized the marks of the vampire on her throat and told her loved ones she was doomed to walk in the dark of night in search of human blood. To keep her corpse at rest and free her soul from the fate of the vampire, he advised them to drive a wooden stake through her heart, cut off her head and fill her mouth with garlic. This seemed too horrible and her friends refused. Several nights passed and children were becoming ill from loss of blood. Their only explanation was that they had met a beautiful lady at night who invited them for a walk and they could remember nothing more. The friends had to admit the specialist was right and in order to free the soul of Dracula's latest victim, the beautiful lady, her head was cut off and a stake driven through the heart of the corpse. The people were enraged and gathered determined to avenge her death. Dracula became alarmed and made plans to flee back to his castle in Transylvania. The english solicitor he had held captive had escaped from the castle and joined the others in their relentless search for Dracula. They finally caught a cart transporting long boxes back to Transylvania. They opened the coffin-like box of Dracula and drove a stake through the heart of the corpse and the vampire's reign of terror was over. To this day, Dracula has become a type of symbol associated with the vampire. The chilling account of Dracula was first published in 1897, a horror romance type of novel by Bram Stoker who lived from 1847-1912. With its Gothic references of gloomy castles and open graves at midnight, its realism and horror captured the reader. Stage plays and movies have been based on Dracula, with his black formal attire and large cape suggesting his ability to change from human form to a vampire bat at will. Dracula is recognized as the world-wide symbol of vampirism.