These days, there is more than one kind of vampire to believe in. There is the classic Count Dracula figure with a black cape and long fangs, the legendary chupacabra creature of Latin America, and the more recent teen heartthrobs of Twilight and True Blood. But no matter their form or physique, these creatures of the night share commonalities, not least of which is their penchant for sucking blood.
They have fascinated people the world over for centuries, from the real Vlad Dracula (called Vlad the Impaler), a prince who was vicious and successful in fighting off Ottoman invaders in the 1400s, to the literary version in Bram Stoker’s classic 1897 novel. But in recent years, of course, the (fictional?) fanged, bloodsucking character has made a comeback, albeit with a different look. Twilight and True Blood have reintroduced vampires in a more humanlike (though still undead) way. They suck blood and read minds, but don’t sleep in coffins any longer.
Since versions of vampires have originated throughout history the world over, there are plenty of destinations for vampire-hunters. From literary tours of gothic castles in Romania to underground walking expeditions of seemingly “normal” cities, travelers with a love of the undead have no lack of opportunity to discover the truth about vampires up close and personal. You can trek to the real Dracula’s Poenari Castle in Romania, make your way to the more tourist-heavy Bran Castle in Transylvania, see a new and darker side of cities like New Orleans and San Francisco, and immerse yourself in the world of Twilight with a visit to Forks, Wash.
Go with a keen eye and perhaps a clove of garlic for safety.