The great thing about this time of year is that I’m guaranteed to find lots of Dracula-related material to cover for this site. I got loads of Dracula stuff to use this week and over the next two. Here is a nice piece from Atlas Obscura. I really dig that site, and it not infrequently provides me with fodder for articles here and on our sister sites (werewolves.com, darkness.com and zombies.org). This piece suggests that travelers take a copy of Bram Stoker’s celebrated novel with them to Romania and use it as a travel guide. While doing so will doubtless result in a pleasant journey, seeing some beautiful places, if the visitor is interested in historical veracity, there are a few small corrections that need to be added to the article. I checked with Dracula scholar Hans de Roos, discoverer of the actual location of the fictitious Castle Dracula (that is to say, the exact spot where Stoker set his fictitious castle) to see just what the writer of the Atlas Obscura article got wrong.
Some of the connections betwixt the locales mentioned in the article and Stoker’s novel are tenuous. The Hotel Transylvania (or Transilvania) in Cluj-Napoca, for example, MIGHT have been the inspiration for Stoker’s fictional Hotel Royale. Or it might not. And the present-day Hotel Castel Dracula, located in the Tihuta Pass, claims to sit on the exact spot where Stoker set his fictional burg, but in reality the location of the imagined Castle Dracula was some thirty kilometers southeast of the hotel, at Izvorul Calimanului. All in all, though, the Atlas Obscura chronicler doesn’t stray TOO far from the trail. Stoker’s novel CAN be used as a travel guide—provided the traveler does a little extra research on the side, to make sure he doesn’t miss something.