01 December 2010

Vampire Secrets part 9/9

and the last part:

02 November 2010

Searching for Dracula

here is an article from "The Guardian", on Dracula's Trail in Romania:

Dracula-related places are visited and shortly described: Sighişoara, Târgovişte, Poenari, Bran Castle, Bucharest. 

28 October 2010

Vampire Secrets part 8/9

We get to know the story of Susan Walsh, who decided to write an article about the vampire clubs in New York city, the Rome of modern vampires.

She submits the story and than vanishes. No-one knows when she is and if her disappearance can be related to vampires subculture. The blood drinking societies in New York and the reasons behind there behavior are analyzed more in depth.

Halloween in Transylvania

When thinking of Halloween many people think about Vampires, Dracula, Transylvania.

While Transylvania can be as spooky without any Halloween celebration, the mystery of Halloween enriches the experience. Before continuing I have to mention that all the points presented here are just some ideas and you should be accompanied by locals, or at least play common sense, take caution for wild animals and badly intended people, as well as other hazards, like for example fast-driving people on narrow roads.

The top places to visit in Tranylvania for Halloween would be:
  1. Bran Castle. This article tells more about Bran Castle
  2. Râşnov Fortified citadel - visit it by day, as a walk from the parking to the stronghold during the night is subject to encounters with bears, and this can be more than scary.
  3. Sighişoara, birth place of Vlad Dracula. You can walk through the medieval town but also go up to the church on the hill as the night falls. The German cemetery is open only during the day, pay respect when visiting it.
  4. any small villages, visited by night. Go for example to Feldioara and walk up to the ruins of the fortification, but also visit the church and the cemetery.
  5. Take/rent a bike and ride on a local road connecting two small villages, by the sunset. Wild animals are still plenty in Transylvania, so I would always suggest being accompanied by a support car.
  6. Visit any Gypsy village close to the towns, this can be more spooky that you are looking for.
  7. Go to the cheapest possible pub in Braşov, Mediaş or other town and try to resist there for more than one hour :)
  8. Go to Sibiu and take a walk on the narrow streets around the historic center be amazed by your own shadow projected by old lamps on the walls of medieval houses and try to distinguish voices in the wind.
Romanian tour-operators offer tours that can take you to all this places, but I would suggest NOT buying a "Halloween Tour", as this can indulge quite a strong feeling of "fake", "made for tourists". I would instead go to a company offering custom made tours and ask them for a tour around Transylvania and maybe other parts of Romania, with a bias towards spooky things. I would recommend Outdoor Holidays for the experience they have with Transylvania as well as for the fact that they do offer many custom made tours and can customize existing tours.

Vampire Secrets part 7/9

Here is the part 7 of the documentary about ancient and modern vampires. the connection between vampirism and sexuality is analyzed.
"The daemon lover" story is a theme encountered in many of the histories about vampires. The simple formula is : you have a relationship with one person only to discover that the person is a daemon creature or someone who has come back to life from the death. The morale is that sex outside normal routines can have horrible consequences.

09 October 2010

Vampire Secrets. Part 6 . Vampire the masquerade

The case of Farell, obsessed by the game Vampire the masquerade. The image of the vampire attracts so much that some people start acting like a vampire, like a serial killer. Is the case of Rodd Farrell.

Vampire Secrets. Part 5. Vampire Killing

The tools needed in a vampire killing kit are:
- a wooden steak
- a mallet
- holly water from the local church
- a cross
- garlic

Finally we have the scientific explanation of vampire stories.

Also the documentary explains the interest of many people for vampirism and the games like the role-playing game "Vampire the masquerades"

08 October 2010

Vampire Secrets. Part 4

Fear of vampires in XVII-th century is not due only to Elizabeth Bathory, but also associated with diseases like tuberculosis. Is interesting the comment that, after a vampire attack the villagers dig the grave and found the corpse without rigor mortis and with blood around the mouth. That means that "the Earth did not receive the body and heaven did not receive the soul". I'm stopping for one moment on this comment because I remember in Romanian religious ceremony at funerary the priest asks God that the Earth / the ground (there is the same word in Romanian) shall receive the body of the defunct. Probably exactly from preventing him/her for becoming a vampire.

A study published in 1746 by Augusting Calmet concludes that vampires do exist. At that time vampire hunting was well documented and a real occupation of the people

06 October 2010

Vampire Secrets. Part 3 . Elizabeth Bathory

Part 2 of the documentary about vampires continues with more about the noble Elizabeth Bathory and her torturing, biting and killing young virgins, drinking their blood. Is possible the Bram Stoker was inspired also by Bathory when writing his novel. Her obsession for blood is a then reloaded in Dracula.

The rituals involving blood are in fact common in many cultures and blood is associated with power, but in European tradition drinking blood, especially human is considered a deadly sin.

05 October 2010

Vampire Secrets. Part 2 . About Dracula

"Decoding the past". After the first part, the documentary continues with a presentation of what were considered to be causes of returning from the death and vampirism.
Also references to Elizabeth Bathory, worst female serial killer in history (at the end the XVI-th century she made few hundred victims in Transylvania)

The presentation reserves space for Dracula, who was made famous by Bram Stoker's novel from 1897, originally named "The Undead". After a presentation of how Stoker's novel was written, based on Bram Stoker's researches on Eastern European folklore, the focus shifts on to the real Vlad Dracula, Vlad III, his reasons for being so cruel and the impalement, as a slow and painful death.

04 October 2010

Vampire Secrets

A documentary about vampires, from History Channel, tryin to explain orign of vampire myth and vampire-le behaviour:

Poenari fortress

here is a short movie presenting Poenari Fortress, the place build by Vlad III

I like the sepia tones and the music, as well as the shootings from the top towards the river valley. The clip looks a little bit like a horror movie:

The Real Story of the Real Dracula

Here is the trailer of "In Search Of Dracula", with Christopher Lee:

01 October 2010

Bran Castle

Well, this is a short presentation of Bran Castle, covered also here, here.
While the presentation is quite OK, what they don't say is that the castle doesn't look at all as it used to look in the XV-th century. Also they mention that Vlad III Dracula "used the castle during raids". Is probably only once that he used it in 1415, and even this is not sure. Apart from this, the movie is a very short introduction of what Bran Castle is today, it worth watching.

22 September 2010

Dracula - Voivode and Vampire

At Romania's National Art Museum, in Bucharest, there is an exhibition called Dracula - Voivode and vampire.
The exhibition remains open until Sunday, October, 10th, 2010
The highlight of the exhibition is Dracula's portrait conserved at Ambras Castle in Innsbruck.
But it also features arms, munitions, costumes, documents, engraving, but also scenes from movies about the famous Dracula. Personally I find the title pretty uninspired, too commercial and confusing, but basically both Vlad III Dracula and Bram Stoker's Count Dracula are features here within. So it worth visiting.

13 September 2010

Sting - Moon Over Bourbon Street

Well, this might not be directly related to Dracula, but is impressive. I went to Sting's concert in Stockholm and was really amazed by the orchestration, by the atmosphere he manages to create. Simply amazing.
The video below is not from Stockholm, but still from his Symphonicity Tour, 2010:

01 September 2010

Dracula: The True Story

This is the Full program (36 minutes) of a good documentary about Vlad Dracula. Scenes from the movies, interviews with historians, priests...
As the documentary says, Dracula is a mixture of reality, superstition, fearful fantasies and history.

Here you can find more documentaries about Dracula