Dracula - Facts, Myth, Novel

The story of the three phenomena that are associated with the term "Dracula". The Prince Vlad Tepes III., who led the country with an iron hand; the fictional character of Bram Stoker, who was always in search of blood and the finally mysticism. The superstition is still rooted in the people. The eBook is referring to numerous documents that deal with the topic of vampires also from the public.

The story of the three phenomena that are associated with the term "Dracula". The Prince Vlad Tepes III., who led the country with an iron hand; the fictional character of Bram Stoker, who was always in search of blood and the finally mysticism. The superstition is still rooted in the people. The eBook is referring to numerous documents that deal with the topic of vampires also from the public.


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For the dead travel fast<br />

1<br />

PEOPLE<br />

<strong>Dracula</strong> is the Romanian expression for "the son of the dragon"<br />

or “devil". Surrounding the fictional character there were many<br />

important people, some are listed here. It is up to you to decide<br />

how high their share of the global success of "<strong>Dracula</strong>" was.

Eleonore von Schwarzenberg<br />

• 20. Juni 1682 - Schloss M!lník<br />

• 5. Mai 1741 - Palais Schwarzenberg, Wien<br />


In 2007, an Austrian documentary titled "The Vampire Princess" was<br />

released. The movie was co-produced by several TV-stations and<br />

organizations: ORF, ARTE, ZDF, Smithsonian Network, BMUKK and<br />

Pro Omnia.<br />

In this documentary, the Viennese media researcher Rainer Maria<br />

Köppl represents the thesis that Bram Stoker got the inspiration for<br />

his novel from the life of Princess Eleonore of Schwarzenberg.<br />

The connection to Bram Stoker's novel is also the reason why this<br />

interesting documentary is included in this e-book.<br />


Fellow carriage travelers whisper a<br />

phrase from the ballad "Leonore" into<br />

the ear of "<strong>Dracula</strong>" protagonist Jonathan<br />

Harker: "For the dead travel fast."<br />

The movie is based on an archaeological<br />

find in the former cemetery of Cesky<br />

Krumlov: Three skeletons were found in<br />

typical vampire burial.<br />

In Christian tradition, as a rule, corpses<br />

are buried facing East. The three skeletons<br />

were buried facing from North to<br />

South.<br />

Stones are used to weigh down the<br />

corpses. One of the skeletons' head was<br />

separated and placed between the legs.<br />

In this corpse's mouth was a stone. The<br />

hands were tied with a rosary.<br />

The funeral of the three dead was carried<br />

out according to the rules of Magia<br />

Posthuma. This is the classic ritual of<br />

vampire burial. The Magia Posthuma<br />

was written by Charles Ferdinand von<br />

Schertz in 1706.<br />

Prince Adam Franz Karl of Schwarzenberg<br />

and his wife Eleonora of Schwarzenberg<br />

lived during the first half of the 18th<br />

century in Cesky Krumlov.<br />

Eleonore of Schwarzenberg was born on<br />

June 20, 1682. She suffered massive insomnia<br />

and was therefore very tired during<br />

the daytime. People speculate that<br />

her behavior is associated with the "vampire<br />

disease", which was discussed<br />

among experts in these times.<br />

The Countess lost her husband in a hunting<br />

accident and lived alone and withdrawn<br />

thereafter.<br />

The princess was interested in the occult<br />

and made a very mystical impression to<br />

everyone around her. She ordered vast<br />

amounts of spermaceti, crab eye and<br />

ground unicorn, probably from a narwhal.<br />

It was most likely her lifestyle that led<br />

Gottfried August Bürger to writing the ballad<br />

"Leonore". This ballad in turn was the<br />

inspiration for Bram Stoker's novel.<br />


Eleonora died on May 5, 1741 in Vienna. Immediately after the<br />

death the personal physician of Emperor Charles VI undertook an<br />

autopsy. At that time, this was a completely unusual approach, especially<br />

for nobles.<br />

The doctors who conducted the autopsy were paid handsomely.<br />

This large sum might reflect the hazard involved, or - as suggested<br />

in the documentary - the discretion and silence of the doctors was<br />

bought.<br />

In the context of a post-mortem examination, a kind of vampire execution<br />

could have been carried out without making any waves: the<br />

removal of the heart, which is equal to impalement.<br />

The mortal remains of the Princess were transferred to Krumlov on<br />

the day of her demise.<br />

In the St. Vitus Church, Eleonore of Schwarzenberg was buried in a<br />

dedicated and sealed tomb. According to the records, neither high<br />

dignitaries nor family members attended the funeral, which<br />

strangely took place at night.<br />

The simple tombstone shows neither her surname nor the family<br />

crest.<br />


Gerard van Swieten<br />

• 7. Mai 1700 - Leiden<br />

• 18. Juni 1772 - Wien<br />


Gerard van Swieten (later Baron von Swieten) was born 1700 in Leiden.<br />

His connection to the fictional character of Bram Stoker began<br />

in 1745, when he was appointed personal physician to Empress<br />

Maria Theresia in Vienna.<br />

He designed the Austrian health care system and introduced a medical<br />

college education. He also was the founder of the Older Vienna<br />

School of Medicine.<br />


Abhandlung des Daseyns der<br />

Gespenster, nebst einem Anhange<br />

vom Vampyrismus.<br />

German Version<br />

These facts were of great importance for<br />

the Austrian Empire and Empress Maria<br />

Theresa. For Bram Stoker, the decisive instance<br />

was that he took an important part<br />

in the fight against popular superstition.<br />

Van Swieten was concerned specifically<br />

with the case of vampires. They were the<br />

topic of many reports from southern European<br />

villages from 1720 on.<br />

In the year 1755, Gerard van Swieten was<br />

sent to Moravia to explore the vampire rumors.<br />

For him it was pure barbarism of ignorance.<br />

He had set himself the goal to explain<br />

all cases and extinguish the rumors<br />

once and forever.<br />

The investigation and findings were reported<br />

in the "Treatise of the existence of<br />

ghosts."<br />

According to Van Swieten, the conditions<br />

of the exhumed bodies were not due to<br />

vampires, but to natural causes.<br />

Many medical professionals supported his<br />

theories. The increased mortality in villages<br />

was partially attributed to epidemics.<br />

Encouraged by the report of her personal<br />

physician, the Empress forbade all of the<br />

common defenses against vampires. The<br />

impaling, beheading or burning of "vampires"<br />

was banned.<br />

His fight against the vampire superstition<br />

made Van Swieten the model for the vampire<br />

hunter Van Helsing.<br />


Hermann Vámbéry<br />

• 19. März 1832 - Szentgyörgy<br />

• 15. September 1913 - Budapest<br />


Hermann Vámbéry was born on March 19, 1832 in Szentgyörgy<br />

near Pozsony and died on September 15, 1913 in Budapest. He<br />

was a highly educated Hungarian Orientalist, Turkologist, traveler,<br />

and supposedly also an agent in the service of the British crown.<br />

In 1890, Bram Stoker met Herman Vámbéry. Following this meeting,<br />

Vámbéry, who in the meantime spoke fluently Arabic, Turkish and<br />

Persian, became an inspiration for the novel <strong>Dracula</strong>. The decisive<br />

factor was the legend of the Romanian prince Vlad III. <strong>Dracula</strong>.<br />


Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu<br />

• 28. August 1814 - Dublin<br />

• 10. Februar 1873 - Dublin<br />


The Irish writer is regarded as one of the most famous authors of<br />

classic horror stories. Le Fanu studied law, but decided to pursue<br />

journalism after finishing his studies. In the year 1838 he published<br />

his first short story "The Ghost and the Bonesetter" in the Dublin University<br />

Magazine.<br />

His numerous works oftentimes focused on spirits, ghosts and<br />

other scary things. His most famous story is probably "Carmilla",<br />

which was published in 1872. It is very well possible that this publication<br />

represented an inspiration for Bram Stoker as well.<br />


The novel takes place in a castle in Styria.<br />

Carmilla is a female vampire who is attracted<br />

to other female creatures.<br />

The text appeared initially in three episodes<br />

in the magazine "The Dark Blue", which were<br />

illustrated by M. Fitzgerald and D.H. Friston.<br />

Later, Le Fanu published the story as the anthology<br />

"In a Glass Darkly".<br />

The documents of Bram Stoker show that he<br />

initially settled his novel in Styria, Austria. Furthermore<br />

it is interesting that his first draft<br />

also included a female vampire.<br />





John William Polidori<br />

• 7. September 1795 - London<br />

• 24. August 1821 - London<br />


John Polidori studied at the University of Edinburgh. He was only 19<br />

years old when he received his doctorate. From 1816 on he was the<br />

physician and traveling companion of the poet Lord Byron.<br />

In the long evenings in Lord Byron's villa on Lake Geneva, a favorite<br />

pastime was to spend the evenings telling gruesome stories and<br />

tales. In this environment, Mary Shelley began to write her novel<br />

Frankenstein, which was published in 1818.<br />


Polidori expanded a draft of Lord Byron into his story "The Vampyre".<br />

With this novel, the first vampire story in world literature was<br />

created. The main character of the novel is Lord Ruthven, who embodies<br />

a modern vampire.<br />

The story was published on April 1, 1819 without Polidori's permission.<br />

Due to an error, Lord Byron appeared as the author. This confusion<br />

was intended by both Byron and Polidori. Both refused to<br />

accept a fee for the novel.<br />

The fact that Lord Byron was named as the author made the story<br />

very successful.<br />

Polidori's figure of an elegant vampire was groundbreaking for practically<br />

all of the following novels of this type.<br />




Polidori transformed the wild beast that<br />

caused his mischief among the people into an<br />

educated member of the aristocracy.<br />


Abraham „Bram“ Stoker<br />

• 8. November 1847 - Marino Crescent (Dublin)<br />

• 20. April 1912 - London<br />


He was born as the third of seven children. Up to the age of seven<br />

he could neither stand nor walk alone due to a mysterious illness.<br />

The first years of his life is also reflected in his literary work. The eternal<br />

sleep and the resurrection of the deceased are the core theme<br />

of the bloodthirsty Count.<br />

With the novel <strong>Dracula</strong>, the Irish writer became world famous. However,<br />

the author has never seen the country in which the most successful<br />

vampire story of all times takes place.<br />


Bram Stoker published his novel in 1897. Two<br />

years after the death of Stoker, an introductory<br />

chapter was published as a short story entitled<br />

"<strong>Dracula</strong>'s Guest". This part takes place in Styria<br />

and is about female vampires.<br />

Reading "<strong>Dracula</strong>'s Guest" clearly shows that<br />

Bram Stoker was very impressed by Le Fanu's<br />

story. The fact that Count <strong>Dracula</strong> was finally<br />

settled in Transylvania dates back to a conversation<br />

with Hermann Vámbéry. The opinions on<br />

whether or not Bran Stoker created his vampire<br />

after the ruler Vlad Tepes differ.<br />

The novel <strong>Dracula</strong> launched a flood of horror<br />

stories. The classic content of this kind of stories,<br />

such as crumbling castles, dark fortresses,<br />

ghosts, and ancestral curses, have survived<br />

to this day.<br />








Bela Lugosi<br />

• 20. Oktober 1882 - Lugos<br />

• 16. August"1956 - Los Angeles<br />


Bela Lugosi was the first performer of Count <strong>Dracula</strong> in the eponymous<br />

novel adaptation of 1931. His real name was Béla Ferenc<br />

Dezso Blaskó. In the early days of his career as an actor he also performed<br />

under the name Arisztid Olt. The name Lugosi was chosen<br />

in tribute to his hometown. In Hungary, where Lugosi became one<br />

of the most famous actors, he was politically active. This led to him<br />

having to flee to Vienna. In the year 1919, he emigrated to Germany<br />

and lived until his immigration to the United States in 1921 in Berlin.<br />

From 1927 on, Lugosi was the successful hero of the Broadway<br />

play <strong>Dracula</strong>. This play was written by Hamilton Deanes based on<br />

the novel by Bram Stoker.<br />


Lugosi added an erotic touch to his role and<br />

therefore conquered his audience. In the year<br />

1930 the director Tod Browning decided to<br />

film the novel <strong>Dracula</strong>. After much back and<br />

forth, Browning finally offered Lugosi the title<br />

role. The fee was only $ 500 a week and<br />

there was no profit share for the provided title<br />

character.<br />

<strong>Dracula</strong> was a huge success and Bela<br />

Lugosi became a celebrated star overnight.<br />

Horror films made Bela Lugosi world famous.<br />

As the popularity of this type of films decreased<br />

in the 1930s, his film career came to<br />

an end.<br />

Today, the great horror actor is a cult figure.<br />

His fame is mainly due to his exceptional performance<br />

as Count <strong>Dracula</strong>.<br />

DRACULA - 1931<br />




Reality, Mystery & Fantasy<br />

2<br />

PLACES<br />

The fictional character Count <strong>Dracula</strong> is still alive in readers'<br />

minds. When traveling to Romania on the footsteps of Vlad<br />

Tepes, reality merges with mysticism and fantasy.

Hotel Castel <strong>Dracula</strong><br />

• 427363 Piatra Fântânele<br />

• DN 17 Bistrita-Nasaud<br />

rezervari@casteldracula.ro<br />

www.hotelcasteldracula.ro<br />


If this hotel had been there a few hundred years ago, Bram<br />

Stoker's fictional character Jonathan Harker might have stayed<br />

here. Hotel Castel <strong>Dracula</strong> is located about 40 km after Bistrita, at<br />

1.116m above sea level. It was built in the years 1976 to 1983. In<br />

the year 1980, 21 members of the London "<strong>Dracula</strong> Society" included<br />

a document with their signatures in the hotel's building<br />

shell.<br />

Right outside the hotel doors, next to two birch trees, there is the<br />

statue of author Bram Stoker. The birch trees are named Adam<br />

and Eve. Another eerie element is the small cemetery in the hotel's<br />

frontcourt.<br />


Bram Stoker never visited the country in<br />

which his novel takes place. He placed the<br />

castle of the vampire, Count <strong>Dracula</strong>, in the<br />

north of Transylvania. Bistrita and the Borgo<br />

Pass found their way into his narrative. In reality,<br />

however, this area had nothing to do with<br />

Vlad III.<br />

But since this is about vampires, a visit to Romania<br />

on <strong>Dracula</strong>'s footstep should definitely<br />

include a visit to this hotel.<br />

The crypt of the vampire is on display in the<br />

hotel's basement. But be careful: It is well<br />

known that vampires sleep when it is light<br />

outside, but they are very active in the dark.<br />

According to the novel, Jonathan Harker was<br />

picked up by the Count's coach at the place<br />

where the hotel is located. Bram Stoker<br />

placed the castle of Count <strong>Dracula</strong> on the Izvorgul<br />

Câlimanului (2,033 m), about 20 km<br />

southeast of the Borgo Pass.<br />


The hotel is very comfortably furnished. The<br />

rooms and suites are stylishly adapted to suit<br />

the subject.<br />

Every year at Halloween, vampire fans meet<br />

at the hotel, which also contributes to the<br />

creepiness of the place.<br />

At the front desk, which is located on the first<br />

floor, "original documents" of Count <strong>Dracula</strong><br />

are offered for sale.<br />



This monastery was built by Mircea the Old (also Mircea the Great).<br />

Mircea cel Bătrân lived from 1355 until 1418. He was one of the<br />

most important rulers of Wallachia. It was under his leadership that<br />

Wallachia reached its greatest extent.<br />

After his death, the army commander was buried in the monastery.<br />

The voivode was the illegitimate father of Vlad Dracul II, who later became<br />

the father of Vlad III. <strong>Dracula</strong>.<br />



Schäßburg, or Sighişoara, was founded in the second half of the<br />

12th century by the Transylvanian Saxons.<br />

Vlad III. was born in 1431 as the second son of Vlad Dracul II, and<br />

the Moldavian princess Cneajna.<br />

In the year of his birth, his father became a knight of the Order of<br />

Dragons of the Emperor Sigismund in Nuremberg. Only five years<br />

later, Vlad III was also accepted into this Order.<br />

One of the main reasons to come to Sighisoara was that this was<br />

the place where Vlad II Dracul had the right to mint coins.<br />


In 1436, Vlad II overthrew his younger halfbrother<br />

Alexandru Aldea. A year later he<br />

formed an alliance with the Turks and together<br />

with Sultan Murad II he conquered<br />

Transylvania.<br />

In the year 1442, he allowed the 20,000 men<br />

of the Turkish army to cross Wallachia on<br />

their way to Transylvania. In Sibiu, the attackers<br />

were pushed back by the Hungarians.<br />

Vlad Dracul wanted to leave the throne to his<br />

son Mircea II for some time. However, Basarab<br />

II immediately recognized this opportunity<br />

to disempower him again. The Turks<br />

helped Vlad Dracul to regain power.<br />

Vlad Dracul II tried alternately to win the favor<br />

of the Hungarians and the Turks. Therefore,<br />

the Sultan demanded his two sons, Vlad III<br />

<strong>Dracula</strong> and Radu cel Frumos to be sent to<br />

the Ottoman Empire as a "bargaining chip".<br />

The character of the young Vlad III developed<br />

in captivity. His dislike of his half-brother<br />

Radu and later Sultan Mehmed II grew constantly.<br />



Targoviste is the county capital of the district Dâmboviţa. Vlad III<br />

<strong>Dracula</strong> was crowned in the former capital of Wallachia in the year<br />

1456. This was already the second time that Vlad III ruled Wallachia.<br />

In 1447 he was briefly in power, but had to flee to his uncle Bogdan<br />

II in the Principality of Moldavia in the same year.<br />

Overall, Vlad Tepes was in power three times: 1447, 1456 until 1462<br />

and finally 1476.<br />


As a ruler, he often stayed at the court of his<br />

capital. Under his reign, the construction of<br />

the Chindia Tower was begun. There is also<br />

evidence that he was staying in Bucharest<br />

now and then.<br />

There are countless legends about Vlad Tepes.<br />

Depending on who is telling the story, he<br />

was either a national hero or a bloodthirsty<br />

despot. Long after his death many pamphlets<br />

were published reporting his deeds.<br />

The city of Targoviste is also the place where,<br />

on December 25, 1989, dictator Nicolae<br />

Ceausescu and his wife Elena were executed<br />

after a military tribunal sentence.<br />



Bran Castle is located in the village of Bran. The fortress was built in<br />

1377 by residents of the nearby town of Brasov.<br />

While there is one source in which is documented that Vlad II spent<br />

one night in this castle, sound evidence is missing. Today, the castle<br />

is a tourist attraction and - as already mentioned - the spirit of the<br />

prince is where we imagine him to be.<br />



Prince Rudolph Bessaraba the Black, the legendary founder of<br />

Wallachia, is considered to be the builder of Castle Poienari. After<br />

the castle had been of great importance in the 14th century,<br />

it subsequently deteriorated and was finally abandoned. Vlad III<br />

was aware of the strategic importance of the location.<br />

The reconstruction and expansion of the castle was carried out<br />

by forced laborers. For Vlad III the stronghold became his main<br />

fortress.<br />



The Snagov Monastery is located on a lake, about 40 km north of<br />

Bucharest. Previously you could only visit the place by boat, now<br />

there is a bridge.<br />

Vlad Tepes may be buried here. In fact, the remains of the ruler were<br />

never found.<br />


How Vlad Tepes actually died is not documented.<br />

Some say he may have fallen in battle<br />

and other sources speak of an assassination.<br />

It is proven, that his head - preserved in honey<br />

- was presented to Sultan Mehmed II. The<br />

head was publicly displayed.<br />

When the grave was opened about 450 years<br />

after his death, it was empty. This fact gave reason<br />

to the speculation that he was "undead", a<br />

vampire.<br />



Bucharest was first mentioned in documents dating back to<br />

September 20, 1459, which were signed by the voivode !<br />

Vlad III <strong>Dracula</strong>.<br />

In the years from 1458 to 1459, Vlad III built a stone fortress at<br />

this point. The building was used as a residence during his<br />

stays in Bucharest.<br />


The foundation walls, which were built under<br />

Vlad III, still form the central core of the fortress.<br />

Later the building continued to be rebuilt<br />

or expanded. The walls of the vault to<br />

the east, west and north still correspond to<br />

Vlad's plan today.<br />

The Old Court (Curtea Veche) is located in<br />

the historic center of Bucharest and should<br />

not be missing in any sightseeing.<br />



On the occasion of the National Exhibition of 1905, a water tower<br />

was built in Carol Park. Visually, the building resembles Vlad Tepes'<br />

Castle Poenari.<br />

Besides the impression left by the tower, there is no historical reference<br />

to the ruler.<br />



Comana was first mentioned in a document in the year 1461. A certificate<br />

signed by Vlad Tepes lays down the boundaries of the monastery.<br />

According to legend, Vlad Tepes was murdered by order of his opponent<br />

Basarab Laiota in December 1476. This act occurred in the vicinity<br />

of the monastery. His head was transported to the Ottoman rulers<br />

to Istanbul as proof of his death. The body was probably buried at Comana.<br />

Today, the local people still believe in the legend that Prince<br />

<strong>Dracula</strong> was murdered near the "Walnut source".<br />



Johann Hunyadi rebuilt the old fortification to the ancestral castle of<br />

the Hunyadi at this location in 1440. From 1458 on, the building<br />

was extended by King Corvinus and further alterations followed in<br />

the 17th century.<br />

When Vlad III returned from a crusade against the Turks in 1462, he<br />

had to flee to Transylvania, where King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary<br />

granted him protection for the time being. As he was accused<br />

of being a traitor, Vlad III was imprisoned in Castle Corvin. However<br />

he spent the majority of his detention in castle Visegrád, located<br />

north of Budapest.<br />



There are still many places and companies that have recognized<br />

<strong>Dracula</strong> as business. The vampire is everywhere you can imagine.<br />

<strong>Dracula</strong> is known either as an elegant Count, or as a bat that is at<br />

home in the dark.<br />

On the next page, I have listed some companies that have a direct<br />

or indirect reference to <strong>Dracula</strong>.<br />


Hunter Prince Castle & <strong>Dracula</strong> Hotel<br />

4/6 Sterca Sulutiu Street<br />

Turda 421012<br />

Corona de Aur (Die Goldene Krone)<br />

Pia"a Petru Rare! 4<br />

Bistri"a 420036<br />

House of <strong>Dracula</strong><br />

Strada Poiana lui Stechil 22<br />

Bra!ov 500001<br />

Pension <strong>Dracula</strong><br />

Transf"g"r"!an<br />

C"p"#îneni-Ungureni 114095<br />


Vampires in the 21st century<br />

3<br />


Vampires, werewolves and zombies have a fixed place in the<br />

faith of many people. Especially in southeastern Europe this<br />

belief has a long-standing tradition. It is thus not surprising<br />

that many front doors are draped with garlic.


The vampires in Transylvania, Wallachia and Moldavia are called<br />

Strigoi. The belief in these creatures is not limited to Eastern Europe.<br />

In parts of Africa there is the "Asanbosam", in the Arab world the<br />

"Ghoul", Assyrians speak of "Ekimmus", Australians "Yara-Ma-Yha-<br />

Who", Brazilians of "Jaracacas" and the Chinese of "Chiang Shi ".<br />

But Strigoi is not just the name of a vampire. It also refers to a state<br />

of mind, which is unconsciously present.<br />


There are two days on which Strigois are particularly active: in the<br />

night before the holiday of St. Andreas (November 30) and on St.<br />

George's Day (April 23). In Romania, St. Andrew is called the Lord<br />

of the Wolves.<br />

Strigois leave their abode at midnight on these days and walk to a<br />

road junction. There they meet up with other Strigois and fight until<br />

sunrise.<br />

In 2004, ARTE.TV and the German magazine "Der Spiegel" reported<br />

a sinister vampire case that accidentally was discovered.<br />

When Gheorghe Marinescu's brother in law Toma passed away, the<br />

family was certain that the deceased was a vampire. Since the revenant<br />

feeds on blood, Gheorghe was starting to get weaker and<br />

weaker. The only solution to the problem was to dig up Toma's<br />

corpse, tear out his heart and burn it. The ashes then were mixed<br />

with water to create a drink, which was given to the affected "victims",<br />

the son, his daughter and his granddaughter.<br />

In Gheorghe's eyes, this process was very successful, because his<br />

son felt much better after only a few days.<br />

This recorded incident occurred in the small village Marotinu de Sus,<br />

about 160 kilometers south-west of Bucharest. The full reports (all in<br />

german) can be found here:<br />





ARTE.TV<br />





A horse is led by a young man on the grave of a recently deceased alleged<br />

undead. If the horse does not cross the tomb or if it shies, then<br />

this is absolute proof that a Moroi was buried.<br />

Unlike a Strigoi, who is still alive, the Moroi has already died and returns.<br />


If one or more of the following phobias are true, one should be very vigilant.<br />


• Fear of garlic<br />


• Fear of mirrors<br />


• Fear of the sun<br />


• Fear of rivers / flowing waters<br />


• Fear of being evaluated negatively in social situations<br />


• Fear of crosses and crucifixes<br />


• Fear of wood / forests<br />



This unique monastery was carved directly into the rock. It is also<br />

known by the name of "Temple of the Chosen". The monastery is<br />

located about 45 km from Brasov. The beginnings of this holy place<br />

date 7,000 years back.<br />

High mystical powers are attributed to this place. One even speaks<br />

of it being a portal into a different world.<br />



In the vicinity of Bucharest is the small village of Boldesti. The enchanted<br />

Witches' Pond lies in Boldu-Creteasca Forest. As the story<br />

goes, witches gather here in the nights around St. Andrew and St.<br />

George. Rumors say that a door into another world opens. The<br />

pond has a depth of about 1 to 1.5 meters and this depth never<br />

changes. According to stories, this is also the place where Vlad III<br />

was beheaded. There are repeated reports of eerie apparitions and<br />

strange phenomena around the pond. Even animals refuse to drink<br />

water from the Witches' Pond.<br />



The small Village Poeni in the Poiana Rusca Mountains has been associated<br />

with an eerie curse for more than one hundred years:<br />

Wolves come to the village to haunt and attack people. The elders<br />

of the village are convinced that it is undead in wolf form, which<br />

drive their mischief in the village. People who have escaped the attacks<br />

are telling horrible stories about a large black animal with ruffled<br />

fur, which seems to be floating above the ground.<br />


BUCEGI<br />

Loosely translated Bucegi means the "Beech Mountains". The massif<br />

is part of the Southern Carpathians, and is located near Brasov.<br />

There is also the mighty Sphinx. Residents tell stories of strange<br />

lights over the peaks and rainbows that last for weeks.<br />

It is here where you can also find the Valley of Treasures and the<br />

source from which gushes the clearest water in the world, containing<br />

no bacteria whatsoever.<br />

The mountains are separated by hundreds of kilometers of caves, of<br />

which only around 20 km are explored.<br />



The forest near the city of Cluj-Napoca, which spans about 620<br />

acres, is also called the "Bermuda Triangle of Romania". Visitors get<br />

a very eerie feeling in the world's most ghostly forest. The reason<br />

may be that the forest is said to be haunted by the troubled souls of<br />

murdered farmers.<br />

UFOs, lights in the sky, poltergeists, and interferences with electronic<br />

equipment are the phenomena that occur at this mysterious<br />

place. When Nicolas Cage made a film in Sibiu in 2012, he wanted<br />

to visit the forest.<br />



The sky above Boziouru could be described as bluer than blue.<br />

About 30 km from Buzau and 170 km north of Bucharest you will be<br />

able to see this indescribable color of the sky.<br />

The so-called color temperature is measured in Kelvin. Normal daylight<br />

is equivalent to 5,000 Kelvin; in Bozioru the color temperature<br />

measures 16,000 Kelvin. The higher the color temperature, the<br />

more blue is the image. Accordingly, the sky is "super blue" here.<br />

This intense colour of the sky has led to many mystical tales about<br />

this are. You should see it for yourself.<br />


Bloodsuckers and vampires<br />

4<br />


Many believe that bloodsuckers and vampires are just a product<br />

of the imagination of writers. Below you will find a number<br />

of documents that confirm that even public organizations have<br />

been dealing with this topic.

1725<br />





The Imperial Provisor at the Gradisker District in Hungary wrote this<br />

gruesome report. A copy of the letter was published in the Viennese<br />

Diarium of 21 July 1725.<br />

Here, the bloodsuckers are referred to as "Vampyri".<br />

The "Wiener Zeitung", as the Viennese Diarium was called at its<br />

founding, first appeared on August 8, 1703. This makes it one of the<br />

oldest daily newspapers in the world still in production.<br />


1732<br />


W.S.G.E.<br />



The year 1732 was the publication year of many titles about these<br />

alleged bloodsuckers. This is one entitled (original title): “Curieuse<br />

und sehr wunderbare Relation, von denen sich neuer Dingen in Servien<br />

erzeigenden Blut-Saugern oder Vampyrs”.<br />


1732<br />


E.W.S.G.<br />



The title of this work (including subtitles) is: "Acten-mäßige und Umständliche<br />

RELATION von denen VAMPIRen oder Menschen-<br />

Saugern, Welche sich in diesem und vorigen Jahren, im Königreich<br />

Servien herfürgethan. Nebst einen Raisonnement darüber und einen<br />

Hand-Schreiben eines Officiers, des Printz-Alexandrischen<br />

Regiments, aus Medvedia in Servien. An einen berühmten Doctorem<br />

der Vniversität LEIPZIG."<br />


1732<br />





On January 26, 1732 the Austrian General Physician Johann Flückinger<br />

wrote a report about a vampire in Serbia. The name of the first<br />

officially mentioned Vampire was Arnont Paole.<br />

It is quite possible that both the word Vampire as well as their special<br />

liking to suck blood was used by some authors of later novels.<br />


1733<br />





In 1733, Johann Christoph Meissner wrote a memoir entitled “Vernünftige<br />

und Christliche Gedanken über die Vampirs Oder Bluhtssaugende<br />

Todten”.<br />

During this time, the belief in vampires became more and more prominent<br />

and also the so-called vampire disease was diagnosed more<br />

often.<br />


1734<br />





In 1734, M. Michael Ranfts published the "Treatise of the chewing<br />

and smacking of the dead in graves." The title alone is already<br />

creepy. Again, the terms "vampire" and "bloodsuckers" were used.<br />

A "TRACTAT" (treaty) is a short written essay.<br />


2010<br />





The theme of vampires, werewolves and zombies is discussed in<br />

depth in this publication. It includes some foldout maps and a separate<br />

section dealing with Transylvania.<br />

Publisher of the book is Peter Rauper Press. It is published in English.<br />

The authors are Dr. Max Sturm and Baron Ludwig Von Drang.<br />


Tracks of Vlad Tepes<br />

5<br />


There are many stories about Vlad Tepes. Most discuss his<br />

bloodthirsty excesses. I have deliberately omitted stories and<br />

rumours in this e-book and strived to report the facts.

If you want to judge for yourself as to what<br />

Vlad Tepes III actually looked like, you will<br />

find most paintings of the prince in Austria.<br />

A life-sized painting of the prince can be<br />

found in the ancestral gallery of Castle Forchenstein<br />

in the Austrian province Burgenland.<br />

Further portraits are displayed in Vienna<br />

and Innsbruck. There is a painting in Slovenia,<br />

which depicts the ruler as Pontius Pilate.<br />

Furthermore, there are some drawings and<br />

not precisely definable paintings, which were<br />

produced around the time of the invention of<br />

the printing press. I have confined myself to<br />

the most common representations, without<br />

knowingly excluding anyone.<br />

Above: Belvedere, Vienna<br />

Bottom left: Castle Forchtenstein<br />

Bottom right: Palace Ambras, Innsbruck<br />


Palace Ambras, Innsbruck<br />

Second half of the 16th century<br />

German master<br />

Oil on canvas, 60 x 50 cm.<br />

It is one of the first objects collected in the<br />

cabinet of art and curiosities of Archduke<br />

Ferdinand II. The painting is the work of a German<br />

master and was created about 100<br />

years after the death of the prince. The probability<br />

that it is an authentic representation is<br />

supported by a description of Nicholas<br />

Modrussa, the ambassador of the Pope at<br />

the Hungarian court:<br />

"He was not very tall, but stocky and muscular.<br />

His appearance seemed cold and had<br />

something frightening. He had an aquiline<br />

nose, distended nostrils, a reddish, thin face,<br />

with very long lashes shadowing his large,<br />

wide-open, green eyes; black bushy eyebrows<br />

gave them a threatening expression.<br />

He wore a mustache. Squarrose temples let<br />

his head look even bulkier. A bull neck joined<br />

his head, covered with black curly hair, with<br />

his broad-shouldered body. "<br />


Castle Forchtenstein, Forchtenstein<br />

Approximately 1622<br />

unknown master<br />

Oil on canvas, 218 x 130 cm.<br />

The lord of Castle Forchtenstein, Palatine Nikolaus<br />

Esterházy, set up a family gallery around<br />

the 17th century. Even distant relatives, such<br />

as Vlad Tepes III, were included.<br />

The inscription on the top left reads: "<strong>Dracula</strong><br />

Waida Princeps et Waivoda Walachiae Trans<br />

Alpinae hostis Turcarum infensissimus 1466"<br />

(<strong>Dracula</strong> Prince of Walachia, most bitter enemy<br />

of the Turks in 1466)<br />

Taking a closer look at the painting, one can<br />

see that the irises and pupils of both eyes<br />

were scratched out. There are no notes available<br />

as to who may have performed this corruption,<br />

but it is quite possible that the superstitious<br />

staff of the castle wanted to get rid of<br />

the evil eye of the prince.<br />

In Castle Forchtenstein there are also regular<br />

tours about <strong>Dracula</strong>.<br />


Church of Mary am Gestade, Vienna<br />

Approximately 1460<br />

Altar wing image - Crucifixion of Christ<br />

Master of Mary am Gestade<br />

Oil on wood, 202 x 161 cm.<br />

The figure of Vlad Tepes measures about 110 cm.<br />

The painting shows clear influences of the great<br />

Dutch painters and was probably painted by an<br />

Austrian master.<br />

The time of creation of this altarpiece dates back<br />

to the years 1460-1462. At this time the first incunabula<br />

of the "wild Raver Dracole-Weyde" were<br />

produced.<br />


Austrian Galerie Belvedere, Vienna<br />

Approximately 1470-1480<br />

Altar wing image - Martyrdom of St. Andrew<br />

unknown Styrian painter<br />

Oil on spruce wood, 81.5 x 71.5 cm.<br />

The oriental-style shape on the left behind the<br />

executioner obviously represents Prince Vald<br />

Tepes; the picture is originally from the Diocese<br />

Lilienfeld in Lower Austria. In 1953 it<br />

was handed over to the Austrian Gallery in Vienna.<br />

The image is no longer part of the permanent<br />

exhibition of the Austrian Gallery Belvedere.<br />


Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna<br />

Approximately 1575-1595<br />

unknown artist<br />

Oil on paper on wood laminated 13.5 x 10.5 cm.<br />

The painting, which was made on behalf of<br />

Archduke Ferdinand II for his portrait collection,<br />

shows at the top right: AVEIDA DVX<br />

WALA (Voivode and Prince of Wallachia).<br />

The portrait was copied from a painting located<br />

at Ambras Castle. It is part of a comprehensive<br />

collection of about 1000 images of<br />

famous people.<br />

The image is on display on the panel 3 "Balkan<br />

and Orient" in the coin cabinet of the Museum<br />

of Art History in Vienna.<br />


Slovenian National Gallery, Ljubljana<br />

Approximately 1463<br />

unknown artist<br />

Tempera on wood 83.5 x 51.5 cm.<br />

The painting is part of the altar painting and is<br />

part of the collection of paintings from the<br />

15th century.<br />


6<br />


The topic <strong>Dracula</strong> is more alive than ever. Two current projects<br />

are supposed to show that the legendary ruler is still going<br />

strong. One project is a comic book and the second project is<br />

a movie.


The artist Mark Sable and Salgood Sam tell the story of Vlad Tepes<br />

in the form of an exciting comic. Historical data are mixed with legends,<br />

rumors and fairy tales.<br />

The work of both artists and authors describes the ruler in an exciting<br />

story. If you want to learn more about the project, you should<br />

visit the website of the artist at: www.salgoodsam.com<br />


Today, the castle in which the ruler resided is<br />

nothing more than a ruin. In the comic, the fortress<br />

is drawn the way it may very well have<br />

looked like ages ago.<br />

The dark time of the reign of Vlad Tepes is being<br />

depicted masterfully in this comic book.<br />

The publication is in English.<br />



The protagonist of this movie, which was created with an immense technical<br />

effort, is played by Luke Evans. In contrast to conventional <strong>Dracula</strong> films, the<br />

ruler of Transylvania is actually the hero of the movie. Release date was October<br />

2, 2014. Official website: po.st/<strong>Dracula</strong>Website<br />


Information<br />

7<br />


Up to this point, this e-book was about vampires, bloodsuckers,<br />

princes and rulers, fiction, superstition, and reality. At<br />

the end you will find some useful details which will come handy<br />

on your trip to Transylvania on the trails of <strong>Dracula</strong>.


The list of Romanian tourism offices worldwide. If you are planning a<br />

trip to Romania, please contact these offices.<br />

You will receive valuable tips for your trip and maybe also learn<br />

some secret tips.<br />



Romanian Tourist Office<br />

Opera Ring 1, R Staircase,<br />

Floor 4, Door 404<br />

1010 Vienna<br />

Tel: +43 (1) 317-31-57<br />

Fax: +43 (1) 317-31-574<br />

E-mail: Rumaenien@aon.at<br />

www.rumaenien-info.at<br />

FRANCE<br />

Office de Tourisme de Roumanie<br />

7, Rue Gaillon<br />

75002 Paris<br />

Tel: +33 (1) 40-20-99-33<br />

Fax: +33 (1) 40-20 99-43<br />

E-mail: info@GuideRoumanie.com<br />

www.GuideRoumanie.com<br />


Romanian Tourist Office<br />

Reinhardtstraße 47<br />

10117 Berlin<br />

Tel: +49 (30) 400-55-904<br />

Fax: +49 (30) 400-55-906<br />

E-mail: info@rumaenien-tourismus.de<br />

www.rumaenien-tourismus.de<br />


Romanian Tourist Office<br />

12 Harley Street<br />

London<br />

W1G 9PG<br />

Tel: +44 (207) 224-36-92<br />

E-mail: romaniatravel@btconnect.com<br />

www.RomaniaTourism.com<br />

ITALY<br />

Turismo della Romania<br />

Via Torino 95, Galleria Esedra<br />

00184 Rome<br />

Tel: +39 (6) 488-02-67<br />

Fax: +39 (6) 4898-62-81<br />

E-mail: office@romania.it<br />

www.Romania.it<br />

POLAND<br />

Ośrodek informacji Turystycznej Rumunii<br />

Krakowskie Przedmieście 47/51<br />

00-071 Warszawa<br />

Tel / fax: +48 (22) 826-40-10<br />

E-mail: info.rumunia@wp.pl<br />

RUSSIA<br />

Romanian Tourist Office<br />

Masfilmovskaya Street 35,<br />

Office 313<br />

119330, Moscow<br />

Tel: +7 (499) 143-87-65<br />

Fax: +7 (499) 143-86-72<br />

E-mail: info@romaniatravel.ru<br />

www.RomaniaTravel.ru<br />

SPAIN<br />

Romanian Tourist Office<br />

Calle Alcántara 49-51<br />

28006 Madrid<br />

Tel: +34 (91) 401-42-68<br />

Fax: +34 (91) 402-71-83<br />

E-mail: oficina@RumaniaTour.com<br />

marina@rumaniatour.com<br />

www.RumaniaTour.com<br />

USA<br />

Romanian Tourist Office<br />

355 Lexington Avenue, 8th Floor<br />

New York<br />

NY 10017<br />

Tel / Fax: +1 (212) 545-8484<br />

E-mail: Info@RomaniaTourism.com<br />

www.RomaniaTourism.com<br />

<br />


THE END<br />

This book was produced with the kind help of the Romanian Tourism<br />

Office in Vienna.<br />


Rudolf J. Strutz<br />

Author & Photographer<br />

Writing a book about <strong>Dracula</strong> is a daunting challenge.<br />

One of the reasons for this is definitely<br />

that there are many diverse characters united in<br />

the figure <strong>Dracula</strong>.<br />

One of the people who are known by the name<br />

"<strong>Dracula</strong>" is the historically documented figure of<br />

the Prince of Wallachia. He ruled his country<br />

with an iron fist. During these times, a change of<br />

power was almost always carried out by murder.<br />

One may assume that the way he led his<br />

country was according to the rules of the time. It<br />

was a time of great unrest and power struggles<br />

between Christians and Ottomans. According to<br />

the respective winners of the battles, Vlad Tepes<br />

was either hero or enemy.<br />

However, the name <strong>Dracula</strong> in the sense of a<br />

bloodthirsty vampire is attributed to the fictional<br />

character of Bram Stoker. The Irish writer, who<br />

never visited Transylvania, created Count<br />

<strong>Dracula</strong>, who lived in a fictitious castle near the<br />

Borgo Pass and subsequently went to England<br />

to feed on the blood of young and pretty ladies.<br />

The third area is the superstition that surrounds<br />

vampires and prevails throughout Eastern<br />

Europe. Even Empress Maria Theresa of Austria<br />

tried to end the superstition.<br />

To this day, many people believe in vampires<br />

and stick to the traditional narratives. This sometimes<br />

goes as far as one case in February 2004,<br />

where a wooden stake was rammed into the<br />

chest of an "undead", lying in his grave. Afterwards<br />

his heart was cut out. In the seclusion of<br />

Transylvania you may even find yourself believing<br />

in the existence of supernatural beings.<br />

<strong>Dracula</strong> is everywhere and nowhere at the same<br />

time. It is the combination of mysticism, good<br />

and evil, and the temptation to believe these<br />

tales of days long passed, that make people<br />

hold on to the belief. Walking in the footsteps of<br />

<strong>Dracula</strong> in Transylvania is highly recommended.<br />

And if you do like eating garlic, it won't hurt.<br />


Many organisations and institutions helped me to collect the<br />

data for this e-book. Here is the list of sources for the historical<br />

pictures and documents that were used in this e-book.<br />













© Auvi - Rudolf J. Strutz - 2015<br />

The book was licensed under the Creative Commons<br />

License CC 3.0: attribution - non-commercial<br />

- non-derivative - share alike.<br />

All logos and company names have been used exclusively<br />

for information purposes. A usage besides<br />

this e-book has to be discussed with the owners.<br />

This e-book is available free of charge.<br />


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