Italian tomb probably does not contain Dracula


Word on the Internets is that some Estonian researchers found the tomb of Dracula in Naples and are petitioning to open it and inspect the occupant. (Insert jokes here.) But at Discovery News, Rossella Lorenzi explains why this story shouldn't be taken seriously.

For one thing, the Estonian researchers involved are big old quacks — promoters of all sorts of nonsense involving Freemasons, the Illuminati, and magical vortices.

For another, the best available information on the tomb in question strongly suggests that it belongs to a not-particularly-famous Italian nobleman, the brother of a Neapolitan count. (Not that sort of count.)

I strongly suggest reading Lorenzi's full piece, because it's got some great background on how a totally bullshit press release can turn into truthy-sounding click fodder. (Heck, I almost shared the Dracula story, myself.) But the short version is this: There's just not any credible evidence to suggest that Vlad III Dracul even went to Naples, let alone died there and lots of credible evidence supporting the idea that he died on the battlefield in Romania. Though, you know, maybe we should avoid opening that Italian count's brother's tomb, just in case.