Indo-Canadian siblings to spend night in Dracula’s castle

Ottawa, Nov 1 (IANS) Indo-Canadian siblings, Tami and Robin Varma are set to spend a night at the infamous Bran Castle in Transylvania, Romania where Vlad the Impaler, the brutal prince who likely inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel is believed to have stayed.

This is the first time in 70 years for anyone to spend the night in the 14th century castle.

The pair, who are originally from Nova Scotia but now live in Ottawa, beat out tens of thousands of people from around the world for the chance to spend Halloween night in the castle as part of an Airbnb contest.

“This has been kind of a bit of a whirlwind for us,” Tami Varma told CBC News.

“We don’t really know what we’re in for. We’re just kind of going with the flow at this point and hoping we make it out alive.”

Their journey begins with a horse-drawn carriage ride through the Transylvanian countryside to the misty mountain-top manor.

“Dacre Stoker, Bram Stoker’s great grandnephew, will answer your knock on the castle’s imposing wooden doors. He will be your host for the night, and resident expert on Transylvanian lore,” according to Airbnb’s website.

There are some ground rules: no garlic, no silver and crosses are strictly forbidden in the castle. All curtains must be closed before sunrise and there’s a reminder to guests that “the count is not a fan of mirror selfies”.

Tami and Robin will get the chance to explore all the creepy nooks and crannies in the labyrinthian lamp-lit corridors of the 14th-century castle before settling in for the night in “luxurious velvet-trimmed coffins in the seclusion of the count’s crypt.”

“I don’t know if we’re going to end up sleeping but we’re going to try,” said Tami Varma.

But the pair is quite familiar with the legend. Their grandfather, Devendra Varma, was a professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax and one of the world’s foremost authorities on gothic literature.

She said her grandfather visited Bran Castle and used to tell his grandchildren about the spooky things he experienced there – including the creepy presence of ghosts he felt and haunting footsteps.