There are many and varied ways to spend the night of Halloween. Going out to a fancy dress party, perhaps. Curled up on the sofa with a horror film. Schlepping small people round nearby streets asking for sweets from randoms. Or swerving the plastic skulls and cotton-wool cobwebs entirely and ignoring the whole thing, of course.
But how about spending the night in a coffin? In a creepy old castle? In Transylvania?
Following on from last year’s opportunity to bed down in the world’s largest graveyard (you know, the one that’s underground and lined wall to wall with millions of skeletons), listings website Airbnb has announced that Bran Castle in Transylvania is now available for a night’s stay.
The castle, in central Romania, is thought by many to be the inspiration for Dracula’s abode in Bram Stoker’s novel, and on 31 October, two lucky/unlucky guests will travel by horse-drawn carriage through Transylvania as the sun sets, retracing the journey of the novel’s protagonist Jonathan Harker up to the imposing 13th-century palace.
So far, so good – with a significant other, that could even be romantic, right?
The romance pretty much stops dead with the coffins-for-beds thing though. They’re velvet-lined, (so, you know, comfort and all that) and situated in the crypt for extra fun and games. Oh, and house rules firmly state, “No garlic or garlic-scented items allowed, including perfume.”
Before the potentially sleepless night, the guests will be hosted for the evening by Dacre Stoker, the great grand-nephew of the author, who will recount vampire legends and explain the historical connection between the story of Vlad the Impaler and the literary legend of Dracula.
After checking out the castle’s labyrinthine interior, the visitors will be led (via secret passage no less) to the grand dining room where they’ll be served an intimate candlelit dinner prepared in a traditional way – and as described in the novel. That is to say, a hearty, blood-enriching meal of ‘robber steak’ and paprika hendl chicken.
Though of course, enjoyment of the night’s feast is also subject to house rules, such as, “Do not cross the cutlery. In fact, please refrain from placing anything in a cross formation” (see full house rules below).
“One lucky couple will have the chance to witness the true horrors of Dracula’s castle overnight, alone with no silver or garlic to aid their defense,” said Andrew Verbitsky of Airbnb. “Whether you have a passion for vampires or you are just a huge fan of Halloween, this is an experience not to be missed.”
Those who can’t think of anything better than a chance to hobnob with the Stoker family and bed down in such a famous spot must visit the listing here by 11.59pm 26 October and answer a question. Terms and conditions can be found on airbnb.com.
Bran Castle house rules
- No garlic or garlic-scented items allowed, including perfume
- You are kindly requested to leave your silver jewelry at home
- The same rule applies for all holy symbols
- Do not cross the cutlery. In fact, please refrain from placing anything in a cross formation
- Be aware of the bats in the castle tower
- Be sure to extinguish all burning candles before going to bed
- Please close all curtains before sunrise
- The Count is not a fan of mirror selfies
- Beware! Vampires have been seen after the sun sets