Mythical monsters, Transylvania vampires, undead villains, and werewolf legends are an important part of the Romanian folklore. Dracula is indeed the most well known Transylvanian vampire, a fictional character created by Bram Stoker. Have you met him?
Leave aside the Hollywood like idea of the commercial bloodsucker. Moreover, come and see the real story of Transylvania vampires. It goes deep into history. Let’s find out!
Transylvania Vampires and local beliefs
If you have been following Kiara’s adventures, chances are that you already know what is Transylvania famous for. However, there are several local legends and beliefs about vampires and Romanian mythical monsters.
Long before Transylvania Dracula`s myth was created vampires were already haunting Romanian communities. The Romanian name for these creatures is strigoi or moroi. Analyzing the etymology of the most common used one, strigoi, we can get an idea about his meaning and origins. Firstly, the term strega means witch in Italian. Secondly, the Romanian word for cry is strigat, relating the term strigoi with the crying that can be heard when the creatures wander around. And is this really a coincidence?
Transylvania vampires are usually divided in two groups: dead or alive. The legends tell that alive vampires have two souls. One of them can leave the body in search of blood and victims. However, don`t move the body! The soul will not be able to find his way back. And we don`t want them haunting around Transylvanian castles, do we?
You can spot dead vampires at full moon. They rise from their coffins in search of fresh blood. Also, notable is the local history according to which they meet with werewolves and fight them. The winner is the leader of the path for the next year. Sounds fair and bloody. Like many legends from Transylvania Romania.
Identifying Transylvania Vampires
According to popular folklore, there are several signs that prove the presence of a vampire in rural Romanian communities. For example, if a lady vampire is around, strigoaica in Romanian, there will be drought. On the other hand, sunshowers prove that a strigoaica is getting married. Poor groom…
Other Romanian superstitions involve cattles dying from unknown reasons. In addition, peasants get suddenly ill. Likewise, it’s easy to see why vampires are not ideal neighbors. And they are not welcome…
Identifying Transylvania vampires is a different challenge for rural communities. For instance, the general belief is that only those born on a Saturday can recognize them. Don’t ask why… They have to guard the graveyard and spot who`s rising on full moon. Such a fun activity! Another way of discovering dead vampires involves a young man and a white horse. He will ride the horse and jump over graves. And if the horse stops, must be a vampire in that grave. That`s when the slaying part begins.
Slaying vampires in Romania
Staking the corpse`s heart is the most common solution. Stakes are made out of oak, ash or silver. However, if staking is not enough, decapitation might follow. Stuffing garlic in the corpse’s mouth is another must do. At least it will cause bad breath…
Rituals exist also for preventing deceased transforming into bloodsuckers. Strigoii can be killed at home, before the funeral. This is just to make sure they will stay buried. Moreover, to stop the deceased raising for a walk, nails are hammered into the soles of their feet. In certain regions, the corpse will lay on a bed of thorns. In addition, throw a handful of gravel in the coffin. This keeps them entertained. It will take the vampire an eternity to count them. And that`s how you keep them busy.
They forgot about the gravel when Dracula was buried. Therefore, he keeps rising every year on Dracula Night and Halloween. You might meet him around Transylvania Castle. If so, raise a toast with a cup of holy water!
Transylvania Vampires, werewolves and other mythical creatures
Besides the bloody vampires’ stories, there are also several Romanian wolf legends. Because the country has one of the largest wolf population in Europe, this majestic animal is present in Romanian daily life. The Carpathian Mountains are a must go for any wolf watching enthusiast. You might not see them fighting with vampires, but it`s worth a try.
Darkness, full moon and the landscape around Transylvania Dracula Castle create a spooky atmosphere. Nonetheless, is a perfect one for these night creatures to explore. Their abilities of therianthropy get stronger under the full moon and their blood thirst increases. For instance, if you are brave enough to wander deep into the forest, you might get the chance to meet them. Just don’t offer them garlic, it doesn’t impress them.
If these monsters give you shivers, hold on! There are more mythical Romanian creatures that you can meet. And believe it or not, not all of them are evil. (Ok, most of them, but not all.) Therefore, don’t run! Beautiful fairies with magic powers could throw a spell on you. But only if you will disturb the Romanian iele. And you might fall in love…
If spooky legends float your boat, don`t wait anymore! Take a look at our article on how to get to Transylvania. And if you still don`t know when is the best time to visit Transylvania, we are here to help! Jump on your white horse, avoid graveyards and watch out. The Transylvania vampires might be behind you…