Erected some time in the 15th century, Castle Dracula became the home fortress of Wallachian warlord, Vlad Tepes, better known throughout history as the vampire, Dracula. In 1459, Turkish forces under the command of the Sultan Turac invaded Transylvania and took control of the castle, forcing Dracula's gypsy servants to flee. Dracula himself became a prisoner of the Turks for a brief period of time.
In the late 19th century, a solicitor from London named Jonathan Harker visited the castle to negotiate a real estate purchase for Dracula in Carfax Abbey. Dracula imprisoned Harker at the Castle and left him to be tortured by his vampire brides. Harker eventually escaped and returned to England. Along with the professor Abraham van Helsing and Lord Arthur Holmwood, Harker returned to the Castle for a final confrontation with Dracula. A stake was driven through the vampire's heart, and his remains were left in the castle's lower dungeons.
Several years later, John Falsworth discovered Dracula's remains and removed the stake from his chest, thereby reviving him. He knew of the legend of the vampire and sought to claim Dracula's power as his own. This plan failed however and Dracula repaid Falsworth's efforts by transforming him into the vampire, Baron Blood.
In July of 1942, Nazi forces began rounding up gypsies from the surrounding Romanian territories and imprisoning them at the Ploesti concentration camp. To get revenge against the Nazis and free the remainder of his Gypsy servants, Dracula invited army Sgt. Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos into the castle for the evening. Dracula and Fury entered into a brief covenant where they agreed to fight together to rid the Nazi threat from Transylvania.
Following the war, the castle remained empty until it was handed down to Dracula's last "living" descendant, Frank Drake. Drake and his friend Clifton Graves inspected the property and Graves inadvertently resurrected the vampire lord from yet another of his many transient deaths.
In modern day, Castle Dracula was burned down by the Legion of the Unliving, an elite group of vampires under Dracula's command who purged his followers under the pretense of being dissident vampires, as part of the vampire lord's plan to start the vampire nation anew.
Points of Interest
- Dracula's Coffin: Although the Lord of Vampire has used many coffins over the years, one could always be found nestled in the lower dungeons of the castle. The inside of the coffin was lined with native Transylvanian soil - a restriction common to most vampires.
- Pit of Death: Within the lower crypt of Castle Dracula is a deep, hollowed out pit known as the Pit of Death. After slaying his victims, Dracula often brought their remains down into the crypt and disposed of them inside the pit. Over the course of centuries, the bottom of the pit became a compressed sea of rats and bones. After resurrecting the vampire lord, Clifton Graves found himself flung into the pit, though he survived and managed to claw his way to freedom with the help of Frank Drake.
- Dining Hall: Most of the rooms in Castle Dracula were unused and fell into disrepair, but Dracula's servants always kept the dining area in proper order for the rare occasion when they would receive guests. It was here that Dracula negotiated the purchase of Carfax Abbey with London solicitor Jonathan Harker. The hall was also used to entertain American soldiers in 1942 when they helped Dracula liberate a Nazi concentration camp.
- The literary Castle Dracula was loosely based on Bran Castle, a fortress located on the Transylvanian/Wallachian border and erected by the Turks during the reign of the Ottoman Empire. Although colloquially referred to as "Dracula's Castle", the real Dracula did not own the estate, and legend has it that he only spent two days there as a prisoner in one of the dungeons.
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