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Dracula is coming back from the dead … as a tourism attraction.

For decades, Romanian tourism chiefs have asked holidaymakers to avert their gaze from the Gothic castles and ruins linked to the notorious vampire. But this is mainly due to hesitancy over promoting negative associations with the country, and Vlad the Impaler of the House of Draculesti, rather than fearing holidaymakers would be hypnotised. Romania hopes its decision to re-think and market Transylvania as a top tourist destination will hypnotise horror fans flying out from south-east England airports in a positive way. Bram Stoker penned his famous novel more than a century ago, but only now does the Romanian Federation of Tourism and Service Employers (FPTS) feel that the public are ready to embrace Dracula tourism.

Romania is home to the most important historical places linked to Vlad, such as the 14th century town of Sighisoara where visitors can see the house in which he was born. Other Dracula sites include: Bucharest's Old Princely Court (Palatul Curtea Veche), Snagov Monastery, where Vlad’s body is allegedly buried; the Poenari Fortress ruins (thought by many to be the authentic Dracula's Castle); Arefu village, where Dracula legends are still told, Brasov city, where Vlad led raids against the Saxons merchants, and Bran Castle, otherwise known as “Dracula's Castle”.

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