Vampire Land

Romania Add comments

In the early hours of the day, sounds of the whole village travel up that mountain and one standing there can hear them; the rhythmic crack of a carpenters hammer, roosters crowing good morning, herders shouting at their cattle, dogs barking for food, the click and rattle of a horse and wagon and old trucks starting and growling away.

Smoke billowing out of chimneys hangs low in the valley, enshrouding the whole town in an eerie fog.

The people of Romania are over 95% Christian. Their crude wooden crosses dot the mountainside and stand staked in fields and along roadsides.

At the center of the village, Romania’s largest tourist attraction Bran Castle, towers creepily from a rocky outcrop on the side of a mountain. It was built over 500 years ago as a gateway since Bran’s valley provides access through Transylvania’s bordering mountain ranges.

All this makes Transylvania and more specifically, the village of Bran and its forbidding castle, the perfect setting for a vampire novel.

The setting of Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula may be living in Bran, but his character was based on a Lord from Southern Romania. Lord Vlad Tepes lived in the 1400’s and was known for impaling his enemies through their backbone with a wooden stake being careful not to touch any vital nerves. This ensured two days of constant suffering before death.

Vlad was called Dracula in his day, meaning “son of the dragon”. There is a story that when Dracula’s castle was about to be invaded, he left it so the enemy would find it empty. However, before he left, he impaled 20,000 people on wooden stakes out in front of his castle. When the enemy came to take it over, they were so horrified that they turned around and left!

Bran is becoming a hotspot for tourists of Eastern Europe. The castle and its 57 rooms is the highlight, but the whole town is leveraging Stoker’s Vampire story. There is a Dracula Restaurant, Vampire Camping and plenty of fake blood and plastic fangs for sale. It is reminiscent of Roswell, New Mexico and how that town plays off the UFO that supposedly crash landed there in the 50’s. Most tourists in Bran come from other parts of Eastern Europe or bordering countries, but that will likely change once Romania gets the EU status it’s hoping for in the next few years.

Romania celebrated Halloween on October 28th this year and with the colors of dying leaves, the cold windy air, overcast skies and puffing chimneys, it was a perfect time to be in Vampire Land.

3 Thoughts on “Vampire Land”

  1. UT Says:

    20,000? Holy crap, that’s a lot of wooden stakes. You would thik 200 would be sufficient to scare somebody away. In 1400 that must have been 1/2 of Romania. Where are they all buried?How many men did the guy have to accomplish this?

  2. kevin Says:

    Funny how Roswell is doing that now. I grew up there and there was NOTHING…i mean NOTHING ufo related whilst i grew up. Love the shot of the valley.

  3. Jeff Says:

    Been awhile since I have been to this site but I am loving reading all the stories! How cool is that that you spent Halloween in Transylvania?! I spent it in my new condo watching Monster House. 🙁 (horrible movie by the way)

Share your Thoughts

WP Theme crafted by N.Design Studio and tweaked by me with inspiration from the 4HWW Blog.
All content © copyright 2018 John P Morgan Jr | Log in