Corvin Castle: Dracula, Ghosts and Legends in Romania

Corvin Castle: Dracula, Ghosts and Legends in Romania

Corvin Castle

Corvin Castle, also called Hunyadi Castle, is one of Europe’s true fairytale locations. Residing upon a hill in Hunedoara, Romania the 15th-century castle is only accessible by a long drawbridge. Its stunning exterior and well-preserved interior make it one of the most visited tourist attractions in the country. However, its dark past lends much weight to its ghostly legends.

Outside of Corvin Castle, Romania
The exterior of the fairytale-like, though haunted, Corvin Castle in Romania.

Dracula at Corvin Castle

Corvin Castle is a strategically designed stronghold, yet its beauty far surpasses its practicality. It has served many purposes in its life, one of those being a prison and torture chamber. It is claimed that Vlad Tepes, better known as Vlad the Impaler or the real-life inspiration for Dracula, was even held prisoner at Corvin Castle. Vlad was supposedly held for 7 years in the early 1400s in a dungeon below the Hall of Knights.

Cell that held Vlad Tepes prisoner at Corvin Castle.
Peering into the underground cell that supposedly held Vlad Tepes prisoner for 7 years.

Legend has it that Vlad slowly turned mad within the depths of his small, dark cell. It is told that he was traumatized by the sounds of fellow prisoners being tortured, executed and thrown into the bear-pit, as he eagerly awaited his own fate for 7 years. Some even claim he ate and drank the blood of filthy rats in order to survive. Though these claims are likely exaggerated. Many remain under the thought that Corvin Castle is the place that sent Vlad mad and where he developed his lust for death and blood. Some have even gone as far to claim that the ghost of our real-life Dracula haunts this area of Corvin Castle.

Prisoner at Corvin Castle.
Display demonstrating poor conditions for prisoners and torture at Corvin Castle

Ghost Monk of Corvin Castle

Another legend from this stunning castle concerns the Capistrano Tower. Here, it is rumored that a monk was found to be spying on noblemen in the Council Room, directly below the tower. The monk was punished for this crime and paid with his life. It is rumored that he was sealed up in a recess within a wall of the Capistrano Tower, where he slowly died. Though the legitimacy of this story is unknown, many have claimed to sight the ghostly apparition of a monk in this tower.

Corvin Castle, filming location of The Nun.
Exploring the beautiful and haunted Corvin Castle.

The Legend of the Turkish Prisoners

There is more well-known folklore that surrounds Corvin Castle. Perhaps the most famed legend to come out of the castle is a tale of three Turkish Prisoners. It is told that these men were captured and held at the castle and received a deal from the king. They were told if they could dig a well that would strike water, they could go free. This was a seemingly impossible task as the men would have to dig through solid stone. Nonetheless, they persevered. Digging for around 15 years and reaching depths of almost 30 meters.

Well attached to legend at Corvin Castle.
Looking down into the deep well that the Turkish Prisoners dug.

Unfortunately, the prisoners did manage to find water, yet their captors did not keep their word. Instead of being set free the men were murdered, but not before inscribing a message to their murderers in stone, which remains etched on the castle to this day. Their message reads: “you may have water, but you have no soul.” Many claim that the prisoner’s ghosts may continue to haunt the castle since their lives were unfairly taken from them.

Diet Hall at Corvin Castle.
Inside Corvin Castle’s Diet Hall.

Visiting Haunted Corvin Castle, Romania

Corvin Castle is one of the most stunning castles I have found during my travels. I highly recommend visiting if making the journey to Romania. It rests in the city of Hunedoara, which is connected to other cities by bus routes. Access is easiest by car. Whilst the castle is likely the biggest attraction in town, it is not an overly busy one. Entrance is cheap and self-guided.

Courtyard of Corvin Castle.
Standing in the middle of this haunted Transylvanian castle’s courtyard.

If you enjoyed this article and are looking for other haunted places in Romania to visit, I recommend checking out the Witches Pond just outside Bucharest.

Dark rooms of the castle.
Exploring the dark history of Corvin Castle.

Thanks for reading!


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About Amy

Amy is a world traveller and explorer of creepy locations. She has visited some of the most famously haunted places around the world in search of evidence of the paranormal. Follow Amy's Journey:

Comments (14)

  • roger

    Posted by roger on November 3, 2019

    very cool


      Posted by Amy on November 3, 2019

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • Christine

    Posted by Christine on November 23, 2019

    Very cool tour,. you did a really great job and so very informative.


      Posted by Amy on November 23, 2019

      Thank you so much, Christine! I truly appreciate that!

  • Aleasa

    Posted by Aleasa on November 24, 2019

    Wow Amy!!! Your pictures are beautiful and rich in color and detail. I felt like I could just jump into the pictures and explore myself and perhaps catch a glimpse of a ghost or two. I loved the information that you provided in your article. This makes me want to visit Corvin Castle!


      Posted by Amy on November 24, 2019

      Hi Aleasa! Thank you so much for reading and for leaving this lovely comment. It really made my day to see. It is so cool to know you appreciate my writing and photography. Have a great day! Ps, I hope you get to visit Corvin Castle for yourself one day, it is an amazing place.

  • Jocelyn

    Posted by Jocelyn on March 3, 2020

    I needed info for a research paper and I got what I needed and more! Thanks


      Posted by Amy on March 6, 2020

      Glad I could help! Thanks for reading.

  • tuanzjamion

    Posted by tuanzjamion on November 5, 2020

    thanks for those eerie memories of yesteryear.


      Posted by Amy on November 7, 2020

      You’re very welcome, thanks for reading.

  • Dr. Subbarao

    Posted by Dr. Subbarao on October 16, 2021

    Very lucidly written. It’s breath taking to read it. Thanks for the pictures with a lot of depth. A great job.
    Dr. Subbarao, Delhi, India


      Posted by Amy on October 21, 2021

      Thanks so much for reading and leaving me a comment!

  • Michael

    Posted by Michael on August 9, 2023

    Wow! I wish you had published this before I went to Romania!! I saw many interesting things but not Corvin! Did you get to Sighashora where Vlad Tepes was born? I like your style as so many people only travel in jeans but that’s a really cute dress!


      Posted by Amy on August 30, 2023

      Thanks for reading. We did visit Sighashora, and numerous other locations. As I write this, I’m currently in Romania and will be sharing a bunch of videos from many of these locations soon. Check out our YouTube channel.

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