The leaves are turning. The nights are getting longer. There’s creepiness in the air. Yes, we’re fast approaching Halloween!
In keeping with this creepiest of seasons, let’s talk about creepy travel. More specifically, a really nasty 15th century Romanian prince, Vlad Tepes, Prince of Wallachia and the real-life inspiration for the baddest of Halloween ghouls, Dracula.
Indeed, he was bad. His alias, Vlad ‘The Impaler’ says graphic things of his favorite form of justice. The guy was about as bad as you can get. And yes, he really did live in a castle within the mystic realm of Transylvania.
Contrary to what the tourist board of Romania might have you believe, Tepes had little, if anything to do with Bran Castle. For the real goods on Dracula’s Castle, you need venture further south, to the top of the Arges River valley. That’s where you’ll find Poienari Castle. Tepes spend much time here in the 15th century. And befittingly, the castle sits in ruins, far off the beaten track. Yet for the intrepid, ghoulish traveller looking for the true hang-out of Stoker’s inspiration for our favourite vampire, it waits, as it has for five centuries, hinting of the horrors that transpired within.