Transylvania conjures up many images. Vampires. Castles. Mountains. Blood. But the myths surrounding the famous Bran Castle never scared Cosmin Pascu and his family. In the late 1940s, as Universal Studios terrified the world with its Dracula franchise, Pascu's grandparents bought a plot of a land in Tarnaveni, 87 miles from Bran Castle, to build a family home.
Years passed in the house without incident, proving tourist fears that Bram Stoker's creature was real to be little more than silly superstition. From 1980-1989, the property was rented to the state and used by the Romanian Hunting Association, but the country's Transylvanian hunts were dismissed as simply innocent and routine.
The house returned to the Pascu family in 1990, but they demolished the building eight years later. Why? Not to remove traces of vampires, according to Cosmin. The destruction of the home was carried out by his father-in-law, a respected businessman of the town. "He did it to create the space for a new one," he tells me, "to build a better house, much stronger and longer-lasting. A secure stake in an area with tourist and agricultural potential."
The new property , built from scratch over three years, was finished by his father-in-law's construction company in 2001. With a total floor space of 900 square metres, it is a imposing structure, with an oak spiral staircase that spans three well-lit floors. In fact, he reveals, it is the biggest family house in the city.
Marble balconies and terraces top off the property's impressive array of office and sports rooms, including a sauna, bar, four bathrooms and four bedrooms. Down a short access corridor in the basement, the spacious garage and kitchen lead to two separate cellars, providing plenty of storage space as well as room for two cars.
It is a house Pascu is proud of – and rightly so, his father-in-law having carved his tiny initials HAD in one of the stair's wooden pillars. The property located near Sibiu, voted the European Capital of Culture in 2007, and close to the charming medieval city of Sighisoara. The landscape is even prettier at night, he assures me.
Why would he want to sell such a grand piece of real estate and part with all this? After his family's long history in the area, has the vampire folklore finally got to him?
"My wife and our little baby have moved to another city and our parents want to come closer to us," he says with a big smile. That is when it sinks in. The Romanian Hunting Association. The nocturnal sightseeing. The large cellars away from sunlight. The pointy teeth.
Maybe Transylvania's legends are a little closer to reality than they appear.
A stake in Transylvania's real history can be yours for €700,000.
To find out more about this luxury four-bedroom house, sink your teeth into this listing: