Halloween is coming around the corner, and if you want to get spooky and celebrate the October thrills, Transylvania is just the perfect place for you. This region of Romania is known as a Halloween hub because of the spine-chilling stories that haunt its cities and forests. No matter where you go, a sinister story will follow - but we've picked out the most frightening spots for you to get in the Halloween spirit. Have a fang-tastic time!
Sighisoara is a medieval town in Transylvania where the Romanian ruler Vlad The Impaler was born. If you haven't heard of his story, then this is the ideal place to find out more about him. Vlad's cryptic life inspired Bram Stoker to create the famous fictional character of Count Dracula. This town, however, is the opposite of spooky. In fact, it's packed with colourful little houses lined up on the cobblestone streets. There are plenty of folk shops with tons of crafts that you can buy, and the town is filled with amazing historical sites. You can climb up the endless Scholar's stairs, or visit the fortified Church on the Hill. But after hearing the stories of Vlad, you may look at this town a little differently, and walking around at night could give you the creeps. That's the point of Halloween though, isn't it?
During your journey through Transylvania, every place you explore will be filled with eerie stories, including the dazzling medieval city of Sibiu. It is said that Vlad The Impaler's son was actually killed in front of the Evangelical Church - so it is a landmark that you need to visit. Despite the dark history, Sibiu is actually a stunning city that looks especially incredible during the night. You will need to spend some time discovering the nooks and crannies of this old town because there are hidden passageways that will lead you to old bookstores and charming bistros. Sibiu is one of the cultural hubs of Romania, and naturally there are many museums and art galleries for you to check out. As intriguing as the stories of the city are, don't let them bring you down because there's a lot to enjoy in Sibiu!
Dracula may not be real, but his castle sure is. Bran Castle is the most visited landmark in Romania, and people come from all over the world to see what Count Dracula's headquarters look like. It actually is Bran Castle that Bram Stoker used as an inspiration for his vampire's lair. It sits on top of a hill overlooking the forests of Transylvania, and when it's foggy at night, you'll really feel the chills. This castle was built in the 1300s and although it's known as Dracula's castle, it actually has no connection to the real Dracula - Vlad the Impaler. Visiting this castle during Halloween is perfect because there is a spectacular Halloween party that is open to the crowds every year!
Corvin Castle is one of Europe's largest castles and it looks like it's been taken out of a fairytale. This castle was built in the 15th century by John Hunyadi, a Hungarian militant, and since then there have been many stories that haunted the castle - one of which leads back to Vlad The Impaler. Rumor has it that he was locked in the dungeons of this castle for over seven years, and that his imprisonment drove him crazy. We're not sure how true this is, but the tour guides make it pretty believable. Just like Bran Castle, Corvin Castle also hosts an annual Halloween party for their guests and a night in this gothic structure is bound to get freaky.
This forest is known as one of the creepiest forests in the world, and that alone is a good enough reason for you to check it out. It's dense with trees and bushes, and the constant fog that fills the air doesn't help lift the mood either. In the middle of the forest you'll find "The Devil's Heart," an area that is weirdly void of trees. There are many legends, stories and myths going around about this forest and none of them have a happy ending. Furthermore, it is said that there has been paranormal activity in the area, which attracted dozens of international ghost hunters. You don't have to venture through these forests alone, there are guides that can take you around during the day - and during the night if you're feeling adventurous. Just stick to your guide, stay on the designated path, and the chances of you encountering a ghost will probably be less than 1 percent.