If there's one thing our undying* obsession with "True Blood," the "Twilight" series and all things blood, bats n' fangs has taught us, it's that vampire romance is the worst.
* GET IT?!?
But if there are two things our bloodlust for vampire culture has taught us, it's that vampire romance is the worst and that you can make money off pretty much anything dealing with vampires. And not just from the wallets of 14-year-old girls.
It's that latter lesson that the owners of Transylvania's super-creepy Bran Castle hope will inspire someone to buy the legendary castle (and popular tourist attraction!$!$), which is believed to have inspired Bram Stoker's "Dracula."
The asking price is reportedly in the $80 million-range, though "If someone comes in with a reasonable offer, we will look at who they are, what they are proposing, and will seriously entertain the idea," says Mark Meyer, who works for the New York law firm in charge of the sale.
Bran Castle was completed in 1388 and in the centuries since, has served primarily as a royal residence, fortress and customs point. However, its most famous role, as the isolated hilltop home from which Count Dracula morphed into a bat and sucked the blood of his victims, is largely fictional -- and not just because, you know, Dracula never existed.
Vlad the Impaler, the 15th-century Romanian ruler on whom Dracula is largely based, never actually lived in Bran Castle. However, while riding through Transylvania and stirring up trouble, Vlad Tepes did likely pass through the strategically important area over which the castle looks.
The castle's closest association with Vlad (and by extension, the Dracula legend) was in 1462, when he was captured and imprisoned in Bran Castle's dungeon for two months. That, plus the looming castle's near-identical match to the one vividly described by Stoker, has been enough for the place to become known as Dracula's Castle. And who wouldn't want a piece of that?
As a tourist attraction, Bran Castle annually attracts 560,000 people, who withstand an assault of tacky merchandise (see photos No. 22 and 23) to check out its rooms, halls and towers. Though not its bathrooms -- the castle's plumbing was ripped out when the Communists took control of it in 1958. As if visiting the place wasn't already terrifying enough.
Follow Jonathan Anker on Twitter @JonFromHLN
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