The castle most associated with the story of Count Dracula sits above the trees in the autumnal sunshine.
This time of year is peak season for the historic site, known as Bran Castle.
Alexandru Priscu, Bran Castle’s marketing manager, says the daily visitor record was broken on Saturday (28 October), when 9,000 people visited the medieval fortress.
The highest previous number was under 7,000.
Mixing historical facts and myths, however, is not always an easy task.
“It’s not easy to play with these two worlds, the real history of the castle, and the figure of (Romania’s) Queen Marie, the most beloved royal personality in the country,” says Priscu.
“And then you have Count Dracula, this bloodthirsty character from Bram Stoker’s novel, so you have to be very, very careful when you mix them.”
The castle, where Vlad the Impaler, the prince who inspired the Dracula novel, is believed to have stayed, became a much-loved residence of Queen Marie of Romania who, before she died in 1938, had it restored to be used as a royal residence.
“Whatever happens after sunset, belongs to the Count, whatever happens during the day, belongs to the real history,” explains Priscu.
The castle boasts torture rooms that include dozens of medieval torture instruments.
“We decided to come here because it’s Dracula’s castle, we read a lot about it (on) the internet, and we’re doing a road trip in Transylvania,” says tourist Alisa.
“We like (it) a lot here because we saw a lot of people dressed in Halloween clothes, and inside the castle, there is a Halloween exhibition. So, it’s very nice, we take a lot of pictures because there is a part where you can put (on) dresses and all kinds of costumes,” she adds.
“We had seen some pictures prior to coming, but after being here it was fantastic for my family and kids and we had a wonderful time,” says tourist Josh Harris.
“The best part was there was one staircase that was like really creaky, so I think that was fun because it felt kind of spooky.”
Priscu says it has become a local tradition to spend Halloween at the castle, the whole area is fully booked.
“It’s almost impossible to find accommodation,” he says.
“Access to the party – fortunately for us, and unfortunately for the guests – becomes more and more difficult.”