Skip to main content

The Mysteries and Legends of Bran Castle

The Bran Castle is located on a steep hill in Transylvania, a region in Romania.

The Bran Castle is located on a steep hill in Transylvania, a region in Romania.

A Castle Filled With Mysticism and Legends

Bran Castle is located in the famous Romanian region called Transylvania – a historical region frequently used in many horror novels and movies through the centuries. Stories that have earned their respected cult status within the horror genre for years to come.

The Birth of Bran Castle

The magnificent Bran Castle was built on order from the King Louis I of Hungary. The reason for that was all more expiring and invasive Ottoman Empire, possessing a threat to the Transylvanian region. Thus Bran Castle came into existence as a "defensive wall" against the Ottoman Empire.

The legendary Bran Castle was built in the 14th century, between 1377 and 1388. Being built on top of a large, steep hill, its placement was strategically very fortunate and possessed a tremendous strategic advantage to its owners. This proved right a couple of years later. In 1441, the Transylvanian governor János Hunyadi managed to overcome the Ottoman army at the gates of this magnificent castle.

Filled With Mysteries and Legends

Bran Castle's rich and dreadful history still gives chills to those who dare to visit this dark castle. But why is it so mythical and scary? Why is it linked with vampires, ghosts, and demons? Let's dig deep and unravel some of Bran Castle's chilling secrets and mysteries.

Nice overlook from within Bran Castle, also known as Dracula's Castle.

Nice overlook from within Bran Castle, also known as Dracula's Castle.

The Famous Dracula

The legend and myth of Dracula have been forever linked with Bran Castle. A castle that is nowadays known by many as Dracula's Castle. What's the reason behind that, you may ask?

Well, the character of Dracula, more precisely Count Dracula, was created by the famous Irish author Bram Stoker. When creating Dracula, Stoker was deeply inspired by the dreadful and blood-freezing history of the Transylvanian landscape and one of its cruelest personas to set feet in the Transylvanian region back in the day. Yes, I am talking about the notoriously known Vlad III, also called Vlad Dracula.

Who was he then? Vlad III, by many even referred to as Vlad the Impaler, thanks to his horrifying methods of execution, was a hugely feared warlord. He was born in the Transylvanian region in 1431 and died during the war in 1476.

Vlad was a hugely cruel person, as stated above, and operated with fear during his 45 years old life. One could ask why he was called Vlad the Impaler. The reason for that is his well-known delight in impaling his prisoners and victims. It is said that he even drank the victim's blood. That, together with the fact that Vlad was a member of the so-called House of Draculesti, inspired Stoker to create the vampiric version of Vlad.

Vlad's direct connection to Bran Castle seems to be his imprisonment time within the castle walls. Vlad has never owned nor ruled over Bran Castle in the past.

Scroll to Continue

Dracula Brought a Vampiric Atmosphere to Bran Castle

The fictional vampire figure Count Dracula, inspired by Vlad, indisputably brought a new scary atmosphere into Bran Castle. However, it is said that Bram Stoker, who created Dracula, has never been to Transylvania and Bran Castle himself.

Thus the association with the castle itself is a rather loose one, to say at least. But as well as the real Bran Castle, even Dracula's Castle in Stoker's gothic novel is depicted as a castle placed on top of a big, steep hill, meaning Stoker's inspiration can be easily identified and understood given the real castle's geological position.

From the outside, Bran Castle looks like a decayed castle.

From the outside, Bran Castle looks like a decayed castle.

Paranormal Activities and Ghost Sightings at the Bran Castle

Bran Castle is known for its many strange paranormal activities and ghost sightings surrounding its history-rich walls. A considerable amount is down to the fact that the Transylvanian region, where Bran Castle is located, is filled with many scary folklore legends about mystical creatures such as phantoms and strigoi that terrorized the villages in Transylvania.

Queen Marie

One of the most common ghost sitings at Bran Castle to be witnessed is those of Queen Marie, the last queen of Romania. During Queen Marie's lifetime, she fell in love with Bran Castle after moving in at the beginning of the 20th century. Queen Marie was also the very person that ordered Bran Castle's restoration and modernization.

After her death on the 18th of July 1938, her spirit seems to have remained attached to this castle. There are reports of her ghost appearance, both to be observed in the castle's interiors and, as well, in the castle garden.

Does Vlad the Impaler Haunt Bran Castle?

It should be given that the spirit of the most feared, cruelest person in the region should, at least in some way, be attached to the castle, more so when acknowledging that Vlad III Dracula was indeed a prisoner in Bran Castle.

While there haven't been any conclusions on whether Vlad haunts this castle, there have been reports of shadow figures in the castle's interior. There are also reports of floating light orbs and many more paranormal activities.

Most importantly, the castle seems to be haunted by a poltergeist. Those who know what the poltergeist stands for are, without any significant doubt, more than convinced that there must be some connection with the so-feared Vlad the Impaler. However, it remains a wild speculation.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Jan Stepan

Related Articles