Popular opinion suggests that Irish author Bram Stoker took the legend of Vlad Tepes (The Impaler) as the basis for his famous book, and also decided to use Bran Castle in Transylvania as the home of the paranormal count.
However, recent research suggests that Stoker may well have used Slains Castle in Scotland as inspiration for the lair of the vampire – so where is the Dracula castle located?
Let’s take a closer look…
The Scottish Option
History tells us that Bram Stoker originally came across Slains Castle while on an 1888 research tour with an acting troupe. He was involved in helping them get a production of Macbeth off the ground at the time.
The author was so taken with the building, he actually mentioned it a few times over the period in his personal diary. Records show that he actually returned to the area of the castle about five years later and stayed in the nearby area for a summer holiday.
Locals to the area also believe that there is evidence that he eventually stayed in the castle for a short stay.
Slains Castle was built in the late 1500’s by the 9th Earl of Erroll, Francis Hay. It remained in the hands of the Hay’s until 1913, until they decided to sell it to a Sir John Ellerman. He got to work on the building at once and eventually began to lease it out as a business.
Eventually the tax charges on the building became way too much, so the owner decided to remove it’s roof – making sure it was exempt of taxation.
The castle was then unfortunately left to the elements. With no roof it eventually fell into ruin, leaving it’s dark brick skeleton overlooking a body of water known as the North Sea, near Cruden Bay.
Many believe that this skeletal look is behind the description Stoker created for the famous vampire’s lair.
In the novel the ship carrying the famous Count ends up landing at Whitby, but literary experts believe that the first daft of the book suggests that the ship came ashore at Slains.
The Dracula Castle Location
So when was this famous book written – surely that date would answer a few of these questions?
Unfortunately the timing of the writing of the novel is a mystery. Some experts believe that it was created over a couple of summer holidays spent near Cruden Bay. Others believe that the book was actually penned years before Stoker had set eyes on the Scottish castle.
It’s worth pointing out that Stoker mentions the area of Slains in his books such as The Watter’s Mou, Crooken Sands, and The Mystery of the Sea.
So what happened to this rather creepy and derelict castle?
Well, in 2004 the holding company that owned the location decided to attempt to fix up the building and rent out units within it. This was a complete disaster, and never got carried through. The castle still remains a sinister skeleton on top of high cliff overlooking a body of water.
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the subject we have covered here, please leave them in the comment section below.