HauntedAmericaTours.com - Information on Ghost, Hauntings and Stories of the Unexplained!
 Haunted America Tours
Haunted America Tours © 2004-2013
Haunted America Tours Home Page Breaking Paranormal News Online Shopping Events Links Contact Us

Web www.hauntedamericatours.com


Book The Real Things You Want To Do Worldwide!

We offer over 5,500 sightseeing tours and activities in over 400 destinations

Warning: include(): http:// wrapper is disabled in the server configuration by allow_url_include=0 in /home/america4ghost/public_html/phpincludes/sidemenu.php on line 473

Warning: include(http://www.hauntedamericatours.com/phpincludes/top10mostread.php): failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /home/america4ghost/public_html/phpincludes/sidemenu.php on line 473

Warning: include(): Failed opening 'http://www.hauntedamericatours.com/phpincludes/top10mostread.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/america4ghost/public_html/phpincludes/sidemenu.php on line 473




Brad and Sherry Steiger

Please Visit his Official Web Site ~ edwardshanahan.com

Conscious Channeler Edward Shanahan



Jonathan Harker's Journal ...

We kept on ascending, with occasional periods of quick descent, but in the main always ascending. Suddenly, I became conscious of the fact that the driver was in the act of pulling up the horses in the courtyard of a vast ruined castle, from whose tall black windows came no ray of light, and whose broken battlements showed a jagged line against the sky.

Dracula Bram Stoker Chapter 1

Castle Dracula

Bran Castle

This majestic castle still stands today in the Carpathian mountains.

Bran Castle was originally a fortress built by the Knights of the Teutonic Order in the year 1212. King Ludovic I de Anjou, began the construction of Bran Castle, to fortify the one of the kingdom gates against Ottoman Empire danger.It was known by the name of Dietrichstein at the time. Bran Castle was used by Dracula Voivode (Vlad the Impaler) as fortified citadel on the fight with Turks after he conquired Brasov in 1460. Towards the end of the 13th century, it was taken over by the Saxons in that region in order to protect the City of Brasov, an important trade center.


Ten years late, the castle has belonged to the voivode of Romanian country, Mircea cel Batran. After his death, the castle has belonged to princes of Transylvania.
Vlad Tepes, well-known as Dracula (The Devil), made this castle his residence.

Under its walls there were tough fights againsts the Turks, which were defended.

The castle was a princely prison, too. At the end of XIX century, the castle was abandonment. In 1920 the castle was lived by Royal Family of Romania, which made some changes.Nowadays, the castle is a splendid Museum of Medieval Art.


Bran Castle, and it used to be one of Prince Vlad Tepes' temporary residences... Vlad Tepes used Bran Castle as headquarters for his incursions into Transylvania.This castle should not be mistaken for the actual Castle Dracula (now in ruins), which is located on the Arges River, Vlad Tepes, the real Romanian king that inspired Bram Stoker's book the presumed residence of Dracula is in Bistrita, some 300 kilometers north.


'Dracula's' Castle returned to owner

One of Romania's most popular tourist attractions, Dracula's Castle, is to be returned to its ancestral owners 60 years after being seized by communists. The fourteenth century castle at Bran, near the city of Brasov, is one of the best surviving medieval buildings in Romania.

The best time to approach Bran Castle is after midnight. Spotlights make the white walls soar suddenly above the little village of the same name. The jumble of pointed towers give it exactly the sinister air Bram Stoker imagined for the home of his hero, Count Dracula.

The return of the castle to Dominic von Hapsburg, a New York-based architect, is the latest step by the Romanian government to restore property nationalised under the communists. He's a relative of Queen Marie of Romania, who used it as a summer residence between the world wars.

The castle is one of Romania's top tourist destinations, though the links with Vlad the Impaler, the probable inspiration for the Dracula figure, are rather tenuous. At best he appears to have stayed here for a few nights in 1462 while fleeing the Turks.

Nick Thorpe, BBC News



Poenari Castle

Jonathan Harker's Journal Continued

Within, stood a tall old man, clean shaven save for a long white moustache, and clad in black from head to foot, without a single speck of colour about him anywhere. He held in his hand an antique silver lamp, in which the flame burned without a chimney or globe of any kind, throwing long quivering shadows as it flickered in the draught of the open door. The old man motioned me in with his right hand with a courtly gesture, saying in excellent English, but with a strange intonation.

"Welcome to my house! Enter freely and of your own free will!" He made no motion of stepping to meet me, but stood like a statue, as though his gesture of welcome had fixed him into stone. The instant, however, that I had stepped over the threshold, he moved impulsively forward, and holding out his hand grasped mine with a strength which made me wince, an effect which was not lessened by the fact that it seemed cold as ice, more like the hand of a dead than a living man. Again he said.

"Welcome to my house! Enter freely. Go safely, and leave something of the happiness you bring!" The strength of the handshake was so much akin to that which I had noticed in the driver, whose face I had not seen, that for a moment I doubted if it were not the same person to whom I was speaking. So to make sure, I said interrogatively, "Count Dracula?"

Dracula Bram Stoker Chapter 2


Poenari Castle

LOCATION: Central Romania - Vallachia Region This is the "real" Dracula's Castle. It takes 1425 steps to get to the top but it is well worth it. The castle is near the city of Curtea de Arges.


REBUILT by Vlad Tepes: A.D. 1457

Poenari is the ruins of a fortress ("cetate" in Romanian) rather than a castle, located at the entrance to the gorge of the Arges River, north of the town of Curtea de Arges. Poenari was the castle fortification that Vlad Tepes forced the nobles of Tirgoviste to build.

This is where, according to another local legend, Vlad Tepes' first wife flung herself, committing suicide rather than being taken captive by the advancing Turks. This castle is where Vlad would go for refuge in the face of advancing enemies. And from its towers he had a commanding view of anyone approaching from any direction . On top of that the fortress was practically impenetrable.


Casa Vlad Dracula

The ocher-colored house named "Casa Vlad Dracula" ( HOUSE OF DRACULA ), house where Vlad the Impaler was born, better known as Vlad III Dracula. This is now a cozy restaurant. You can find inside Gothic-style furniture and serve good soups and traditional Romanian dishes.


Hunedoara Castle

Hunedoara Castle was the place where Dracula Prince was imprisoned 7 years by Matei Corvin.

Hunedoara (Corvinus) castle was built sometime in the 13th century as a small citadel. It was given to a local nobleman by the name of Vojk (Voicu) (the father of Johan Huniad / Ioannus Corvinus (Iancu of Hunedoara, Janos Hunyadi). Vojk did not make any major changes to the citadel, but his son, Johan Huniad who became the governor of Hungary and ruler of Transylvania enlarged it by adding fortifications, bastions and towers and halls. However this castle was not Johan's favourite but his wife's. His wife, Elizabeth spent a lot of her life in the castle of Hunedoara.

14 th Century Gothic castle. It was built on old Roman fortifications. Hunedoara castle is also named Corvinesti Castle. Hunedora is evocative, with three huge pointed towers, a drawbridge and high battlements. Five marble columns with delicate ribbed vaults support two halls (1453), the Diet Hall above the Knight's Hall below. The castle wall was hewn out of 30 m of solid rock by Turkish prisoners.

The fortress was extensively restored by Iancu de Hunedoara from 1452 onwards. The castle was restored in 1952; a handful of its 50 rooms today houses a feudal art museum. Anjou family built the castle on the older Roman fortifications in 1320.
Sigismund of Luxemburg offered the castle in 1409 to the Corvins as reward for special military merits. Iancu de Hunedoara Corvin was the Transylvanian Prince. Matei Corvin de Hunedoara, Iancu's son become the King of Transylvania and Hungary.

Iancu Corvin (Johannes Corvin de Hunyad or Iancu de Hunedoara) enlarged the construction existing in the XIV century; as a result of two succesive construction stages, a new precincts was developed, between 1441 - 1446, equipped with 7 protective towers - 4 circular ones and 3 rectangular ones. He also built most of the Chapel, the palace proper (The Council's Hall, The Knight's Hall), the tower of the winding stairway and the South side, which included house hold facilities, during the second stage (1446- 1453).

The Corvins' Castle

The Castle is also known by the name "Hunyadi Castle". "Hunyadi" is a more internationally recognized name for the same family, "Corvins" being used only by Romanians and Hungarians.

The impressive size and architectural beauty sets it among the most precious monuments of medieval art, subsequent developments mixing Gothic style with Renaissance and Baroque. The building lies on a rock around which flows the river Zlasti. It has an impressive draw bridge, countless towers, a number of interior courts, and two large halls, "Knight Hall" and "Diet Hall", as it housed the diet of Transylvania for a very short period.

The castle history is mostly related to the Hunyadi family, being the place where Iancu de Hunedoara spent his chilhood. Today the castle is being cared for by the municipality, as there are no recorded descendants of the Hunyadi that could pledge for it. Vlad Dracul, the ruler of Wallachia, father of the notorious Vlad Dracula, was imprisoned here, as he had fallen into disgrace with Hunyadi, not providing the help promised in the battle against the Ottomans. (Dracula, who had once been traded as a hostage to the Ottomans by his own father, later became a protege of Hunyadi and took over Wallachia shortly before his mentor's death of a fever). The castle and surroundings are often used by international film companies for the production of movies about medieval times.

Iancu de Hunedoara continued his father incursions against the Turks (Ottoman Empire) and had Vlad the Impaler as an ally. Vlad attains the Wallachia throne in 1456, with an army and help from Iancu de Hunedoara.

In 1458 Matthias Corvin (known also as Matei Corvin) succeeds Iancu de Hunedoara and become king of Hungary.

3 years before, 1455 the Constantinopole, the Christian gate to Europe, had fall to Turks.

Vlad Dracula fight the Turkish army and has a succesful campain along Danube.
On a massive reply the turks made a big invasion in Romania (Wallachia province) and Vlad is forced to flew in the Transylvanian Alps mountains. When Vlad refugiated and ask for help to fight back the Turks, he was imprisoned in the Hunedoara Castle by the king Matthias Corvin. After 7 years Vlad Dracula was recognized at the court to be an devoted ally. He got Matthias's cousin sister as wife and army support. Vlad the Impaler reconquired the Wallachian (South Romania province) throne once again from the Turks collaborators.

During his imprisonment in the Hunedoara Castle, Vlad continued his habits: he beheaded mouses and impaled them. Also he protected bats and was talking with them. The guardians were horrified by his requests to get more flesh in blood at the dinner.

The Hunedoara Castle is combining specific elements of late Gothic style with early Renaissance style made this castle the most known nobiliary fortified residence in Central-Est Europe. The Corvins owned the castle and the estate of Hunedoara up to 1508, followed by 22 other owners up to XVIII century when the castle and estate became the property of the Habsbourg Empire.

In 1974 the castle become a museum.

The second restoration works has been going on up now, but because because of "unseeable" inhabitants roaming the castle the workers left.

Ecclescrieg House

Ecclescrieg House, in St. Cyrus, Aberdeenshire is another very spooky place. Bram Stoker used to spend his holidays at nearby Cruden Bay, and it's said that he used the old house as inspiration for Count Dracula's castle.

It's supposedly haunted due to a curse that was placed on the original owners, the Forsyth-Grant family.

It all started when Osbert Clare Forsyth-Grant who lived from 1880 to 1911 joined the Navy against the wishes of his father. Supposedly, he sailed from Montrose to command a whaling ship whose crew was composed of Scots and Eskimos. Something happened between Osbert and the Eskimos...no one seems to know what...but they put a curse on him and his family. Not long afterward his ship, the Seduisante was wrecked in a storm and missing. Supposedly, there was a mutiny and killing on board, but no one knows what happened for sure, because only a few Eskimos lived to tell about it.

But Grant's body was never recovered. It's said that his father never quite recovered from the incident and continually stood on the terrace, staring into some binoculars at the sea, and hoping his son would return. Supposedly, the old man is still seen walking the grounds today, waiting for a son that will never return.

Story goes the Forsyth-Grant family who owned it had a son who, according to locals, was a bit of a character. Placed in charge of a whaling ship he had a crew with mixed backgrounds and nationalities, including a group of eskimo's.

Whilst in charge of the ship, he briskly ordered the eskimo's off but not before attaining their curse. Where upon the ship shortly after went missing in a violent storm, supposedly shipwreked. Rumours have it that there was supposed to have beeen a violent mutiny and killings on board, but its curious only the eskimo's survived - curse or not ?

The Eskimo's had according to rumour placed the curse only on the ship but insisted it was the son 'Osbert Clare Forsyth-Grant' who sent them a shore, in order for them to perish.

To this day the family crypt has only one missing place as no body was ever found. It is also said 'Osbert Clare Forsyth-Grant' sustained the wrath of his father for joining the navy and not the army where the family had a long distinguished and honoured reputation.

Of course it is still said to this day that you can hear footsteps along the terraces, And the figure who is sometimes seen with binoculars looking out to sea searching for his sons ship.

Though now ownership is in private hands, Ecclescrieg House casts dark shadow over the nearby village.

Snagov Monastery with Dracula's Grave

Birth: Dec., 1431
Death: 1476

Romanian Prince. Some people believe he was the inspiration for the fictional 'Dracula' character. Vlad Dracula was commonly known as Vlad "Tepes" (tepes means the impaler in Romanian) he was well known for impaling his enemies and collecting their blood in jars and having feasts near their bodies. He would dip his bread in these jars of blood and eat it. This site is the supposed burial place because in 1931 explorers dug up this site which according to Romanian legend he was buried in. But all they found were animal bones.

Fitting Burial in Snagov: The village of Snagov is a short jog north of Bucharest, and may be a worthwhile trip for any Dracula enthusiasts. The most notable feature is the lake, in the center of which is located an island. On this island is a 16th century monastery . . . and in the monastery—you guessed it—is the tomb of Vlad the Impaler. What setting could be more perfect for the grave of one of history’s spookiest personalities?

The Legend of Snagov: In one version of the story, Vlad the Impaler was murdered in a nearby forest, and the monks of the monastery took it upon themselves to inter the villain. Perhaps the monks felt indebted to Vlad for the additions he insisted be added to their abode—most bizarrely, a prison and a torture chamber. Whatever the reasons, the monks dressed the body richly and put it to rest in front of the church alter.

The Mystery of Snagov Monastery: Less romantically, there are some arguments against the body in the tomb being that of the real Vlad. While Vlad did request to be buried at the monastery, some say that it was another nobleman who was placed in this tomb.

Getting to Snagov: You can reach Snagov by bus. The buses run every couple of hours to Snagov and stop in the village. Make sure you wear your walking shoes, because you’ll have to hike a kilometer or so to get to the lake. There you can rent a rowboat to take you to the island, but you’ll have to row yourself. If you want to enter the monastery, you’ll have to be wearing the proper attire, which usually means no shorts for anyone and headscarves required for women.

Expenses in Snagov: It’s possible that this could be an expensive trip, as the people who run the rowboat service and those who allow you access to the monastery are well aware of the cash-making potential of their legendary Impaler. A $3 rowboat rental could cost you three times as much on an off-hour, and entrance fees to the monastery probably vary from traveler to traveler. So be ready to bargain if you don’t want to pay the asking price.

Bram Stoker

Bram Stoker (1847-1912) studied at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. He earned a degree in science (with honors) in 1868 and a master's degree in mathematics in 1872. Stoker began work as a civil servant at Dublin Castle in 1868. He also worked as an unpaid drama critic for the Dublin Evening Mail, and later, as a business manager of the Lyceum Theatre. Stoker's first book, The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland, was published in 1879. His short story collection, Under the Sunset, was published in 1882. In 1892, Stoker began writing Dracula. Stoker's childhood illness, which had hysteria-like symptoms, may have led him to imagine the predicament he would later create for his vampire victims.



Dracula was the Wallachia (Medieval Romania) king. His hystorical name was Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler). Vlad was born in Sighisoara, Transylvania province. He was very cruel, especially with thiefs and country enemies (turks). The only radical low applied was dead trough splinter. The condamned was introduced in the tip of a tall sliver (3 meters), vertically fixed on the ground. The death was produced by the loose of the blood.

Learn More About Dracula Visit Here.

Vlad Tsepes Dracula aka Vlad The Impaler, Prince of Wallachia (1431-76)

Dracula Vampire Legend is very controversial these days. Numerous historical facts prove Dracula was the first well-known vampire in Transylvania.

Why do Romanians think Vlad the Impaler was a Good Guy?

us understand more generally how the perception of evil can differ from person to person.


Dracula Legend

Some say that Transylvania sits on one of earth's strongest magnetic fields and its people have extra-sensory perceptions. Vampires are believed to hang around crossroads on St. George's Day, April 23rd, and the eve of St. Andrew, November 29th. The area is also home to Bram Stoker's Dracula, and it's easy to get caught up in the tale while driving along winding roads through dense, dark, ancient forests and mountain passes.

Count Dracula, a fictional character in the Dracula novel, was inspired by one of the best-known figures of the Romanian history — Vlad Dracula, nicknamed Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler) — who was a ruler of Wallachia (1456-1462).

Many "Dracula Tours" are being offered throughout Romania. They include the most important historical places related with Vlad Tepes, such as 14th Century town of Sighisoara — Vlad's birthplace. The house in which Vlad Dracula was born has a small plaque on the door and now is a restaurant and small museum of medieval weapons. Other Dracula sights are: the Snagov Monastery — where, according to legend, Vlad is said to have been buried after his assassination; Castle Bran (Castle Dracula); the Poenari fortress; the village of Arefu — where many Dracula legends are still told; the city of Brasov — where Vlad led raids against the Saxons merchants; and, of course, Curtea Domneasca — Dracula's palace in Bucharest. Some tours also cover the folkloric aspects of the fictional Dracula. For instance, eating the meal Jonathan Harker ate at The Golden Crown in Bistrita, and sleeping at Castle Dracula Hotel — built no so long ago on the Borgo Pass, approximately where the fictional castle of the Count is supposed to be.


An Intriguing Figure in The Fifteenth Century
by Benjamin Hugo Leblanc - EPHE-Sorbonne (Paris) & Laval University (Quebec) Count Dracula is more than 100 years old and still alive! Of course, almost everybody has heard about this Nosferatu: through movies featuring Max Schreck, Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee or Gary Oldman; in several books — among which the recent Vampire Chronicles of Anne Rice; or even in bedtime stories told to us in our childhood. We all have an idea of who or what the Count is. However, on the other hand, Vlad Tepes (Dracula), the historical figure who inspired Bram Stoker for his novel, is definitely less known.

Vlad Tepes was born in December 1431, in the fortress of Sighisoara, Romania. Vlad's father, governor of Transylvania, had been inducted into the Order of the Dragon about one year before. The order — which could be compared to the Knights of the Hospital of St. John or even to the Teutonic Order of Knights — was a semi-military and religious society, originally created in 1387 by the Holy Roman Emperor and his second wife, Barbara Cilli. The main goal of such a secret fraternal order of knights was mainly to protect the interests of Christianity and to crusade against the Turks. The boyars of Romania associated the dragon with the Devil and decided to call Vlad's father "Dracul" — which in Romanian language, means "Devil"; "Dracula" is a diminutive, which means "the son of the Devil."

In the winter of 1436-1437, Dracul became prince of Wallachia (one of the three Romanian provinces) and took up residence at the palace of Tirgoviste, the princely capital. Vlad followed his father and lived six years at the princely court. In 1442, in order to keep the Turks at bay, Dracul sent his son Vlad and his younger brother Radu, to Istanbul, as hostages of the Sultan Murad II. Vlad was held in there until 1448. This Turkish captivity surely played an important role in Dracula's upbringing; it must be at this period that he adopted a very pessimistic view of life and learned the Turkish method of impalement on stakes. The Turks set Vlad free after informing him of his father's assassination in 1447. He also learned about his older brother's death and how he had been tortured and buried alive by the boyars of Tirgoviste.

When he was 17 years old, Vlad Tepes (Dracula), supported by a force of Turkish cavalry and a contingent of troops lent to him by pasha Mustafa Hassan, made his first major move toward seizing the Wallachian throne. Vlad became the ruler of Wallachia in July of 1456. During his six-year reign he committed many cruelties, and hence established his controversial reputation.

His first major act of revenge was aimed at the boyars of Tirgoviste for for not being loyal to his father. On Easter Sunday of what we believe to be 1459, he arrested all the boyar families who had participated at the princely feast. He impaled the older ones on stakes while forcing the others to march from the capital to the town of Poenari. This fifty-mile trek was quite grueling and no one was permitted to rest until they reached destination. Dracula then ordered boyars to build him a fortress on the ruins of an older outpost overlooking the Arges River. Many died in the process, and Dracula therefore succeeded in creating a new nobility and obtaining a fortress for future emergencies. What is left today of the building is identified as Poenari Fortress (Cetatea Poenari).

Vlad Tepes adopted the method of impaling criminals and enemies and raising them aloft in the town square for all to see. Almost any crime, from lying and stealing to killing, could be punished by impalement. Being so confident in the effectiveness of his law, Dracula placed a golden cup on display in the central square of Tirgoviste. The cup could be used by thirsty travelers, but had to remain on the square. According to the available historic sources, it was never stolen and remained entirely unmolested throughout Vlad's reign. Crime and corruption ceased; commerce and culture thrived, and many Romanians to this day view Vlad Tepes as a hero for his fierce insistence on honesty and order.

In the beginning of 1462, Vlad launched a campaign against the Turks along the Danube River. It was quite risky, the military force of Sultan Mehmed II being by far more powerful than the Wallachian army. However, during the winter of 1462, Vlad was very successful and managed to gain several victories. To punish Dracula, the Sultan decided to launch a full-scale invasion of Wallachia. His other goal was to transform this land into a Turkish province. He entered Wallachia with an army three times larger than Dracula's. Finding himself without allies, and forced to retreat towards Tirgoviste, Vlad burned his own villages and poisoned the wells along the way, so that the Turkish army would find nothing to eat or drink. Moreover, when the Sultan, exhausted, finally reached the capital city, he was confronted by a most gruesome sight: hundreds of stakes held the remaining carcasses of Turkish captives, a horror scene which was ultimately nicknamed the "Forest of the Impaled". This terror tactic deliberately stage-managed by Dracula was definitely successful; the scene had a strong effect on Mehmed's most stout-hearted officers, and the Sultan, tired and hungry, decided to withdraw (it is worth mentioning that even Victor Hugo, in his Legende des Siecles, recalls this particular incident). Nevertheless, following his retreat from Wallachian territory, Mehmed encouraged and supported Vlad's younger brother Radu to take the Wallachian throne. At the head of a Turkish army and joined by Vlad's detractors, Radu pursued his brother to Poenari Castle on the Arges river. According to the legend, this is when Dracula's wife, in order to escape capture, committed suicide by hurling herself from the upper battlements, her body falling down the precipice into the river below — a scene exploited by Francis Ford Coppola's production. Vlad, who was definitely not the kind of man to kill himself, managed to escape the siege of his fortress by using a secret passage into the mountain. He was however, assassinated toward the end of December 1476.

The only real link between the historical Dracula (1431-1476) and the modern literary myth of the vampire is the 1897 novel. Bram Stoker built his fictional character solely based on the research that he conducted in libraries in London. Political detractors and Saxon merchants, unhappy with the new trade regulations imposed by Vlad, did everything they could to blacken his reputation. They produced and disseminated throughout Western Europe exaggerated stories and illustrations about Vlad's cruelty. Vlad Tepes' reign was however presented in a different way in chronicles written in other parts of Europe. (Excerpts from a feature published in Issue #5 of Journal of the Dark, by Benjamin Leblanc).



Nosferatu (1922)

Originally released in 1922 as Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie Des Grauens, director F.W. Munarau's chilling and eerie ... all » adaption of Stoker's Dracula is a silent masterpiece of terror which to this day is the most striking and frightening portrayal of the legend.

Director: F.W. Murnau