By Count Dracula
Staff Vampire Writer
You think you can come to the Carpathian Mountains and escape Castle Dracula? Welcome back. Don’t run away like that again.
If the Princess of Darkness was trying to lure you into spending your time here with her, offering up all that appealing danger, I can do much better.
That’s right, X, the “Mystery Writer to the JLP” who wrote that last travel piece about the gems and jewel caves, is really the Princess. And guess what? You’ll never get any of those gems and jewels so don’t even try. And by the way, the Princess is a vampire, too, and she enjoys the Vampire Feast in Carpathian Circle like the rest of us who live here do. And FYI: She can’t have garlic in her food either.
Now, take a seat. Take in the paintings on these castle walls of my ancestors. I remember when I first moved into this place. Bought it for nothing. It was all nice. Now look how amazing it is with all the aging and rotting and cobwebs.
Have a blood shooter. And then we’ll go see the Brides. They’re probably just hanging around. We can hang, too.
As it gets later, we’ll go over to the Vampire Catacombs. We can watch the moon set out front, and then we’ll head inside to relax a bit. It’s nice there. Sometimes, I go there and relax all morning. But we can walk around if you’d like.
Some of the passageways have really neat decorations, graves with paintings, statues and ornaments used to identify and immortalize the dead. Believe me, these buried souls are immortal. You’ll see at moonrise.
Take in the beauty. And be prepared to learn something while you’re in the catacombs. It’s always good to take away something new from your visit.
Maybe when the moon comes up, we’ll go over to the Frankenstein Ruins. You’ll want to bring a friend. That place is always more fun when you’re with someone else to share the experience with and to talk about what we’re seeing. The more friends you bring, the merrier we’ll all be.
We can go down into the basement where, some years back, Frankenstein Falls crashed down on the Frankenstein Monster and the Wolf-Man in full battle after the angry townspeople blew up the dam to add some more excitement to the fight. It’s all frozen down there now, but you can see where the Monster and the Wolf-Man were dug out for lab experiments. That lab up in the castle, by the way, is still functioning.
Look at the destruction Dr. Frankenstein is responsible for. A lot of his messes will be apparent in the lab. Really take a broad look at things, see the big picture, and then the small picture. Try to find out what the maker was thinking when he tried to take over the world. What was the maker trying to tell us?
For dinner, we’ll head over to the Haunted Hotel. We’ll have some blood shooters and just hang around a bit. The Brides will join us. Maybe we’ll go into Room No. 9. Lots of terror there. We can go in and hang around a bit, have some blood shooters.
Then we’ll go to the top tower in the hotel -- the Red Room. Every place needs a Red Room. The somber reds and blacks of the room are troubling. It’s great! Even with seven candles lit, the place is merely dim. The fire in the fireplace flickers, keeps the shadows and penumbra perpetually shifting and stirring. Those shadows are always taking steps toward those in the room, no matter where you sit. We’ll stay the day there.
Then we’ll head back to Castle Dracula. Don’t even think about trying to escape again. I’ve locked up all the trap doors this time. Just hang around a while, have some blood shooters . . . forever. Hey, you’d want company, too, if you’d been given the gift of everlasting life for as long as I’ve had it. And now . . . it's time to share that gift with you.
This is one in a series of TRAVEL STORIES from the 13 districts of Transyl-vein-ia. These stories run weekdays between August and September. Jack-o’-Lantern Press’s regular news and entertainment coverage will continue in October.