So, his wife did commit suicide? I kind of thought that it was a bit that had been created for Bram Stoker's Dracula...
I have Vlad's biography at home, but I have yet to read it.
I have found, looking for some other foreign friends for English materials, this one article
that tells you the story of his life without turning it into literature, but merely from a historical p.o.v.
Here, it is said that "The Turks finally succeeded in forcing Dracula to flee to Transylvania in 1462. Reportedly, his first wife committed suicide by leaping from the towers of Dracula's castle into the waters of the Arges River rather than surrender to the Turks.
Of course, vampires are supposed to be night-walking - I'm only saying that there's a difference between being a nocturnal creature and being literally harmed by sunlight.
And, of course, the early vampires from literature, like Dracula and Mircalla, were written as active in daylight.
I agree about the sunlight, it is not written anywhere, nor it is known in folklore... That was exactly what I was trying to say, that although they are night creatures, they are not known to be harmed by sun light.
Regarding the tying of hands and so on: people still do that in Romania?
Oh yes... they still do all the things I said before, although I admit not always. Sometimes, a sane person like me will come along and threaten to chop anyone's hand if they put garlic near their loved one's body *it was too much*...
I had no say in the hands and feet being tied though, they actually do that at the morgue, after dressing the body and putting it in the coffin. They do, however, cut the strings after the religious ceremony is over, right above the grave. The priest is the only one who can do it.
Then the grave has to be smoked with holy incense for three weeks, every morning. A cup must be placed at the window where they used to live, and filled with fresh water every night. You must go to a special ceremony every Saturday for six weeks, making a cake called coliva
and giving it all away for free, then, 40 days after, when soul is finally supposedly at peace, the relatives throw a big free dinner, pomana
, usually with the food the deceased enjoyed, to rest his soul, and so on... this stuff still, really happens... creepy, I know.