Dracula's Descendant Wants His Own Country

A Batty Plan for a New Sovereign Nation

By Buck Wolf

May 7, 2002 --  You can probably imagine how long your wait would be at airport security if your passport read "Kingdom of Dracula."

Still, the last known relative of Vlad the Impaler, the medieval Romanian nobleman who inspired Bram Stoker's Dracula, says he's fed up with high German taxes, and he's got local support in his hometown outside Berlin to form a vampire paradise.

Yes, several elected officials in Schenkendorf, with a population of 1,200, are backing him in his bid to secede from Germany and create a country with less bureaucracy and a more responsive government. "We could change 'I want to suck your blood' to 'I come to collect your tax arrears," says Ottomar Rudolphe Vlad Dracul Kretzulesco, who warmly embraces the moniker "Count Dracula."

"In the Kingdom of Dracula, you'll find that tax collecting is much less of a pain in the neck," he told The Wolf Files, speaking through an interpreter. "I want a maximum tax of no more than 20 percent."

‘Fangs Are Tacky’

This Count Dracula has a little different style than his namesake — the Wallachian who relished torturing his enemies, driving sharpened poles though the bellies of disobedient subjects, heretics and unchaste women. Vlad was infamous for feasting outdoors, among mounds of mutilated corpses.

The 21st-century Count Dracula is a hometown hero, but a little less remarkable. He's a 61-year-old retired banker and antiques dealer who is famous for turning his home into a beer garden and vampire museum, featuring "Blood Red" wine, a hearse and coffin museum, and, of course, hundreds of bats.

Make sure you pick up a Songs of Dracula CD when you pass through the gift shop.

If he's turned his family legacy into a tourist trap, at least he's generated some attention and tourism income for depressed Schenkendorf, where he's known for putting on a cape and getting a laugh. "I don't wear fangs," he says. "That's a little tacky."

A Good Reason to Suck Blood

If Prince Otto, as he likes to be called, seems a little removed from the bad old Vlad, it's because he came to the family name late in life. That's right, vampire fans: He's not a blood relative. He doesn't even have a Transylvanian accent.