Of course they are. Didn't you know?
Let me tell you their origin, or more specifically, Dracula's origin: a tiny region, called Transylvania, positioned in a European country named Romania.
Wait a second. Aren't the vampires coming from Hollywood? Basically, America?
No, I'm afraid not.
As I am from Romania and now I'm living in the United Kingdom, I wasn't surprised to find out people had no idea where Dracula is from. Once, one of my friends looked for Dracula's castle on the internet and he told me how confused he was when Romania appeared as the first result.
Vlad, the Impaler
But how has this vampire thing started anyway?
There is a historical story about a Romanian leader, called Vlad the Impaler. He was frightening and the people were so scared of him, that even the criminals stopped stealing and his land became a safe place.
Why were they scared of him?
Because he used to behead the 'bad guys' and put their heads on stakes.
Also, people speculated he was drinking blood, something similar to Bloody Mary, the queen who used to take bath with the virgin girls' blood.
Besides this legend, there are more mythical beings talked about in the Romanian folklore.
Like strigoi. The dead men walking, literally. It is said that the Strigoi is the troubled spirit of the dead rising from their graves. They can be easily confused with the vampires, but they are not the same — at least in the Romanian culture.
But is this the only thing that Romania is known for?
"Romania is a beautiful country. Too bad it's inhabited."
The Romanian economy is not very good, I admit that. But each country has its own problems and flaws.
That doesn't mean it wouldn't be perfect to visit it.
Romania has a wide range of landscapes: you can go to the sea (Black Sea), you can see mountains, you can see fields; Romania has them all!
Also, Romania is famous for its beautiful road: Transfăgărășan. It climbs to an altitude of 2,042 meters! It is a dangerous challenge for bikers, drivers, cyclists and more. Many people came to Romania only to see it and they weren't disappointed.
I have to say this: the thing I miss the most is the food. Here, in the UK, everything is prepackaged and my stomach started to feel sick — homesick. I miss especially the "sarmale" — minced pork wrapped in pickled cabbage leaves. They are usually served with polenta, as in the picture above.
Romanians are very proud of this dish. You can find it almost every restaurant in the country.
Romanians are known for their generous hospitality. One thing is for sure: you'll never leave with your stomach empty! They will be eager to make you taste a well-known drink called "țuică" which is really strong! Be careful with it, I've learned my lesson when I woke up with a very beautiful hangover after five shots!
Romanians are, in general, friendly: they will be happy to see that foreigners are interested in their country. Also, English is taught in school so you will be understood, at least by the younger generations. Because there was a communist regime in the past, the old people were taught only Romanian and Russian. You might have some difficulties with these ones, but they will be sure to explain to you whatever they sell even through gestures!
Real or Not?
So are the Romanians vampires?
Are we some bloodthirsty creatures? Am I trying to bring you in Romania only for your blood?
Fortunately for you, the answer is no.
But do you want to be sure whether vampires exist or not?
Come to Romania and find out!