Does Romania Have Vampires? Strigoi, Dracula & Vampire Legends

do romania have vampires

Vampires have long been a point of fascination in popular culture, often with Romania at the center of the lore. From Bram Stoker’s infamous novel, Dracula, to the mythical creatures known as Strigoi, Romania has become synonymous with the world of vampires and folklore.

But is there any truth to these legends? Do Romania have vampires? In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the myths and legends surrounding vampires in Romania and explore the enduring fascination with these creatures of the night.

Key Takeaways:

  • Romania is often associated with vampire legends, thanks to Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula and the mythical creatures known as Strigoi.
  • Vlad the Impaler, a historical figure from Romania’s past, inspired the creation of Dracula in Stoker’s novel.
  • The Strigoi are vampire-like creatures from Romanian folklore, known for their powers and origins.

Do Romania Have Vampires? Dracula: Romania’s Most Famous Vampire

Romania’s connection to vampires and Dracula lore is largely due to the legend of Count Dracula, the country’s most famous vampire. Bram Stoker’s horror novel, “Dracula,” published in 1897, is largely responsible for popularizing the character and establishing his association with Transylvania and Romania.

However, the origins of the Dracula legend can be traced back to a real historical figure, Vlad III, also known as Vlad the Impaler, a Romanian prince and ruler of Wallachia in the 15th century. Vlad ruled Wallachia, a region of modern-day Romania, in the 15th century.

Vlad Dracul, born in 1431, was known for his brutal tactics as a cruel leader, including impaling his enemies on stakes. Although he never actually drank blood or had any supernatural powers, his reputation for unusual cruelty and violence led to him being associated with the vampire legend.

Bram Stoker, who never even visited Transylvania or Romania, drew inspiration from Vlad’s reputation and the folklore and mythology surrounding vampires in eastern European countries. He also incorporated elements of Transylvanian culture and history into his vampire novel.

Today, the region of Transylvania in Romania, remains a popular destination for tourists interested in the Dracula legend and vampire story. Bran Castle, often referred to as “Dracula’s Castle,” located high above a valley in Transylvania, attracts many visitors every year.

Strigoi: The Vampiric Creatures of Romanian Folklore

In Romanian mythology and legend, Strigoi are supernatural creatures that are often associated with vampires. These mythological beings are said to have the ability to transform into various animals, such as wolves, dogs, cats, or even bats. They are believed to be the souls of the dead who have returned to earth to seek revenge or to satisfy their unfulfilled desires.

According to Romanian legends, Strigoi can be created in several ways. Some believe that anyone who is born with an extra nipple is destined to become a Strigoi after death. Others claim that if a person dies before they are baptized or if they are excommunicated by the church, they will become a Strigoi.

Strigoi are often depicted as bloodthirsty creatures with fangs that feed on the blood of their victims. They are also said to have supernatural powers, such as the ability to shape-shift, to become invisible, or to control the weather. In Romanian folklore and legend, people were afraid of the Strigoi and tried to protect themselves from these vampires in various ways.

One way to prevent a dead person from becoming an undead vampire or Strigoi was to stab them in the heart with a stake made of consecrated wood. Another way was to bury the dead vampires with a sickle across their chest or to put a piece of garlic in their mouth so they could not rise again. People also believed that they could protect themselves from these male and female vampires by wearing a necklace made of garlic or by painting a cross on their door.

Despite the fear that Strigoi instilled in villagers, they were also seen as protectors of the community according to Romanian legends. It was believed that if a Strigoi vampire was appeased and treated with respect, they would use their supernatural powers to help the living. Some villagers even believed that becoming a Strigoi was a sign of power and elevated status.

The stories of Strigoi continue to be a prominent part of Romanian vampire legends and mythology, adding to the country’s fascination with the supernatural and the macabre.

Vampires in Romanian Mythology and Culture

Vampires have long been a part of Romanian mythology and culture, particularly in Wallachia, the historical region in Romania associated with Dracula. The legends and folklore surrounding these vampire creatures have been passed down through generations, often evolving and changing over time according to Romanian legends.

The town of Sighisoara, the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, is also associated with vampire folklore. The ancient citadel fortress in Sighisoara is home to the spooky-looking Clock Tower, with a museum of medieval weapons and torture instruments. Legends have it that Vlad Tepes was born in the house next to it, and that he used to hide in the basement of the house across the street, known as the “Vampire’s House”. The house now serves as a restaurant and tavern, with a vampire-themed decor to entertain guests.

The influence of Gothic literature is also evident in Romanian vampire legends, with the likes of Bram Stoker’s Dracula further popularizing the myth in the western world. However, the stories and legends surrounding vampires in Romania span far beyond the famous novel.

Vampire in Romanian mythologyDescription
MoroiiVampiric spirits of the dead who return to drink the blood of living creatures.
PricoliciShape-shifting wolf-like creatures that roam the forest at night and return to their human form during the day.
StrigoiUndead beings that can rise from the grave and possess supernatural powers.

Vampire folklore and legends continue to fascinate people around the world, drawing tourists to Romania to explore the history and culture behind these stories. While the truth behind these myths may be elusive, the enduring interest in Romanian vampires speaks to their cultural significance and enduring appeal.

The Truth Behind Vampire Legends and Romania’s Fascination

Despite being rooted in myth and legend, the fascination with vampires has endured for centuries in Romania. However, there are several misconceptions about the origins and meaning of these mythical creatures.

One of the most persistent myths is that Dracula was a real person. In reality, Dracula was inspired by the historical figure Vlad the Impaler, who ruled over Walachia in the 15th century. Bram Stoker drew upon Vlad’s reputation for cruelty and his connection to Transylvania to create the character of Dracula.

Another common misconception is that Romania is the only country associated with vampire folklore. While Romania has certainly contributed to the vampire narrative, vampire legends can be found across Europe and even beyond. However, Romania’s unique blend of Gothic landscapes and rich folklore has certainly helped to make it a central location in vampire mythology.

Interestingly, the concept of vampires as we know them today is relatively recent. Prior to the 18th century, vampire folklore tended to focus on the undead as malevolent spirits rather than blood-sucking creatures. It was only through the influence of Western Gothic literature that the vampire as we know it today was created.

Finally, it’s worth noting that many of the rituals associated with preventing or dealing with vampires – such as garlic, crosses, and stakes through the heart – were not actually part of traditional Romanian folklore. Rather, these motifs were introduced through literature and film.

Despite these misconceptions, the enduring fascination with vampires remains strong in Romania and beyond. From the haunting landscapes of Transylvania to the ancient folklore of the Strigoi, Romania’s connection to vampire mythology is both rich and deep.

Living people identify as vampires today

While vampires are fictional creatures, a subculture of individuals who identify as vampires exists today. These self-identified vampires develop communities and participate in rituals inspired by mythology and popular culture depictions. From dressing in gothic fashion to claiming to ingest blood, some embrace the image of the vampire in their lifestyle.

However, it is important to note that these modern vampire subcultures are not rooted in actual Romanian culture or history. The rituals and beliefs of individuals who label themselves as vampires today are based on fictional stories and legends, not facts. These communities take inspiration from folklore, literature, and films about vampires.

For those who participate in vampire subcultures, the appeal often lies in the vampire’s immortality, power, and mysticism. The mythology of the vampire can represent rebellion, freedom, and eternal life to those who feel restrained by societal norms. The allure of the vampire fantasy draws certain people to embrace the lifestyle.

While some individuals find meaning in vampire subculture, it is not considered realistic or representative of Romanian people and history. For the vast majority of Romanians, vampires are imaginary beings, not actual figures. Real-life vampires are viewed as pure fantasy rather than cultural reality in Romania.


As we have explored in this article, Romania has a deep connection to vampire folklore and legends. The fascination with vampires has been reinforced by the famous Dracula story, which is set in Transylvania and inspired by the historical figure of Vlad the Impaler. However, it is not only Dracula that captivates our imaginations, but also the Strigoi, the vampire-like creatures of Romanian folklore.

While many people assume that vampire legends are purely fictional, there is often some truth behind the myths. For example, Vlad the Impaler was known for his brutal tactics and is said to have impaled his enemies on stakes, which may have contributed to the vampire narrative. Bram Stoker’s novel also drew upon various sources, including accounts of the real-life Vlad and various Gothic literary traditions.

Despite the debunking of some vampire myths, Romania’s cultural connection to these mythical creatures endures. The country’s rich folklore, stunning landscapes, and history contribute to its enduring popularity as a destination for vampire fans and folklore enthusiasts alike.

In summary

Romania’s association with vampires and the Dracula legend has been reinforced through literature, film, and popular culture. The Strigoi, vampire-like creatures of Romanian folklore, also add to the country’s fascination with vampires. While the truth behind the myths may be more complex than we realize, Romania’s cultural affinity for vampires remains strong.

Was Nicolae Ceausescu’s Rule Influenced by Vampire Legends in Romania?

Was Nicolae Ceausescu’s rule influenced by vampire legends in Romania? The dictator nicolae ceausescu romania was known for his iron-fisted rule and oppressive policies. While there are no concrete facts linking him to vampire legends, it is intriguing to analyze the eerie parallels between his authoritarian regime and the tales of bloodsucking creatures.


Q: Are vampires real in Romania?

A: No, vampires are not real in Romania or anywhere else. Vampires are fictional creatures that exist in folklore, literature, and popular culture.

Q: Is Dracula a real person?

A: Dracula, as portrayed in Bram Stoker’s novel, is a fictional character. However, he is loosely based on Vlad the Impaler, a historical figure from Romania.

Q: What are Strigoi?

A: Strigoi are mythical creatures from Romanian folklore. They are often depicted as vampiric beings who have the ability to shapeshift and feed on the blood of the living.

Q: What is the association between Romania and vampires?

A: Romania is associated with vampires due to its connection to Dracula and the vampire legends that originated from the region. The popularity of Bram Stoker’s novel and the historical figure of Vlad the Impaler have contributed to this association.

Q: Are there vampire rituals in Romania?

A: While vampire rituals may exist in certain cultural practices or beliefs, there are no widely recognized vampire rituals in Romania. The rituals often depicted in movies or books are fictional.

Q: Can you become a vampire in Romania?

A: No, you cannot become a vampire in Romania or anywhere else. Becoming a vampire is a fictional concept and not a reality.

Q: What is the role of Transylvania in vampire legends?

A: Transylvania, a region in Romania, is often associated with vampire legends due to its picturesque landscapes and medieval history. The setting of Bram Stoker’s Dracula in Transylvania has further contributed to this association.

Q: Is there a real Dracula castle in Romania?

A: The Bran Castle, sometimes referred to as “Dracula’s Castle,” is a real castle located in Romania. However, it is not directly linked to the historical Dracula or the vampire legends.