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Letter from Castle Dracula

The newsbullettin of The Transylvanian Society of Dracula

November 2007

BELA LUGOSI, ever surprising

After a fine documentary entitled “The unique, the genuine Tarzan” dedicated to Johnny Weissmuller (of Romanian origin), producer Florin Iepan (Romania) shot another documentary – “Bela Lugosi, the fallen vampire”.

Lugosi was born in 1882, in Lugoj, Transylvania (at the time, in the grip of the Austro-Hungarian empire). His true name was Bela Blasko, and there is controversy over his ethnic roots (because Blasko = Blask = Vlah = Romanian), as he clinged to his Hungarian origin dearly, something we respect as a personal choice.

Producer Florin Iepan speaks of Lugosi through the voice of those who knew him (Boris Karloff, Gary Rhodes, Istvan Szabo) – shot on location in the U.S., Romania, Hungary and Austria.

“We discovered that Bela Lugosi was a leader of the communist movement in Hungary in 1918, and that this was one of the reasons he took refuge in America”, said Florin Iepan. The FBI kept a vigilant eye on him. His fame was established in 1931, when his “Dracula” brought record earning in the U.S. and around the world. Lugosi died of a heart-attack in 1956, in Beverly Hills, at 73.
(after an article in “Adevarul”, Oct.16, 2007)


The doors have a mystique of their own, they are said to enable, or prevent access to other realms, spaces, to conceal, to hide mysteries, to prevent communication or elicit it, etc.  A massive door featuring prince Vlad the Impaler Dracula and the logo of the Transylvanian Society of Dracula, commands attention, and that is what fascinated our distinguished member, Steve Havens, when he visited George and Maria Tomescu’s house, in the village of Aref – the only village in Romania recalling Vlad after 535 years.

Those who called on the Tomescu’s may remember their son, Cristian, now 33, a gifted carpenter and car mechanic. Cristian carved a magnificent, royal-looking door with a bass relief of prince Vlad and the dragon-D, which prompts admiration and compliments. Steve Havens hesitated no more: he ordered a replica of this door, adorned with coat-of-arms and Vlad’s portrait and emblems and shields, on three levels. Said someone: “Should the owner wish to auction it on the internet, he will make a fortune”. The door is not yet there, to grace Steve’s house. But it will.


There may be more than Dominique of Habsburg lined up for the restitution of Castle Bran, - says the Ministry of Culture in Romania. Dominique threatened  to press penalties of Euro 120 million for the delay, but the Romanian Government is not impressed. The restitution process has been halted till more research will establish if the New York architect, Duke Dominique has relatives to share Castle Bran with.


Weird or not, the new Miss Transylvania is a U.N. police officer in Kosovo: Lady Janet McDonald – U.S. Herself and her husband have bravely passed the chivalry tests and have become knights in The Order of Transylvanian Knights. Lady McDonald will hold the title till October 30-th, 2008, when a new contest (reserved for our lady-tourists) will elect Miss Transylvania 2009. Isn’t life worth living?

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The next issue of this “Letter” will be dedicated to the TSD conference of May 23-25, 2008 – “The Vampire and the Devil” –.

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