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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thanks for reading!