Halloween at Bran Castle
When you think of Halloween travel, Transylvania is at the top of the list. Romania is home of Vlad the Impaler, a very bad dude who enjoyed impaling anyone he did not like, ruled Wallachia before dying a gruesome death himself in 1486. In the 1897, Bram Stoker wrote a book further vilifying Vlad’s horrific legacy into that of a vampire. Halloween at Bran Castle brings the history of the Dracula story off the page, presented in a fun-filled night.
Vampire and Dracula are synonymous with each other because of Vlad’s family tree. The name Dracula comes from Vlad’s father who was Vlad Dracul the second, a Wallachian ruler. Vlad the Impaler was really Vlad Dracul III. So many names to keep track of.
Transylvania is a region of Romania that borders Wallachia. Bran Castle located in Transylvania comes into the Dracula story via Bram Stoker’s storytelling as it is the only possible castle where Dracula could have lived due to the described location. Mr. Stoker took a few creative liberties.
Bran Castle is in fantastic condition because of the massive restoration work and funding because of the Dracula story. Also in the 1920s Queen Maria of Romania took a shine to the castle and made it one of her residences.
During Halloween week there are a few parties, private and for the public at Bran Castle. On Halloween night I was lucky enough to get to participate in the G Adventures party that went on until the wee hours of the morning.
My vampire and my roommate Becky’s witch doctor:
First we took a tour of Bran Castle led by a local guide and got the real history (not Dracula’s version). A Vlad the Impaler character then gave us the Bram Stoker’s Dracula version of the castle.
Vlad turned out to be quite the partier after the tour:
It was the perfect mix of real and fiction. And of course we took many photos with the torture devices as it was Halloween at Bran Castle.
Drinking, dancing, and costume contests ensued. This was one of the most fun Halloweens I’ve ever experienced and definitely the most unique.
Brasov is the closest town to Bran Castle and on Halloween Day it was foggy and dreary adding to the Halloween feel of Transylvania. The whole day including the bonfire and mulled wine the night prior made the whole experience memorable.
While Halloween is really a North American thing, they do celebrate it in this region with bonfires, parties, and some costumes as well. Not to the same degree but still some festivities.
If you are a fan of Halloween or just want to go to Romania, a Halloween/Dracula/Vlad the Impaler tour is a great way to experience the country. And the party on Halloween at Bran Castle is a blast!