Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Haunted Honeymoon: Oct. 30

I'll be taking a two-week break from The Collinsport Historical Society as I head to Romania (and other parts of the world) on my honeymoon. I don't know what kind of Internet access I'll have while I'm away. More to the point, I don't think Mrs. Barnabas Collins is going to be nuts about the idea of my spending a lot of time updating this site during the next few weeks, so I thought I'd line up a few items of interest while I'm away.

At the moment, we're headed to Romania, specifically for a tour of the Bran Castle, known to the rest of us as "Dracula's Castle." Even though it's connection to the novel is entirely bogus (and it's connection to the real-life Vlad Tepes is ambiguous, at best) it's a place I've wanted to visit for most of my life. If all goes well, we'll actually be there on Halloween!

I'm also a big fan of Bram Stoker's novel, DRACULA, which has been an obsession of mine since I first got a copy of the book into my grubby paws at age 8. I've read it numerous times over the years, and recommend you track down a copy of Leonard Wolf's "annotated" version if you've got an interest in the book. If you've never read it before, or even if you've read it a dozen times, Wolf's notes are incredible.

In DRACULA, Stoker was meticulous in a way that would have made Stanley Kubrick shudder. His sense of time and space were so accurate that most people assumed he was a well-traveled authority on Eastern Europe, when in fact he was just a competent researcher. Below are samples from DRACULA reflecting what the characters were doing on this day more than a century ago. Like myself and the new missus, they were also headed to Romania at this point in the novel ... though for darker purposes.

Dr. Seward's Diary
30 October, 7 A.M. - We are near Galatz now, and I may not have time to write later. Sunrise this morning was anxiously looked for by us all. Knowing of the increasing difficulty of procuring the hypnotic trance, Van Helsing began his passes earlier than usual. They produced no effect, however, until the regular time, when she yielded with a still greater difficulty, only a minute before the sun rose. The Professor lost no time in his questioning.

Her answer came with equal quickness, "All is dark. I hear water swirling by, level with my ears, and the creaking of wood on wood. Cattle low far off. There is another sound, a queer one like…" She stopped and grew white, and whiter still. 

30 October.--Mr. Morris took me to the hotel where our rooms had been ordered by telegraph, he being the one who could best be spared, since he does not speak any foreign language. The forces were distributed much as they had been at Varna, except that Lord Godalming went to the Vice Consul, as his rank might serve as an immediate guarantee of some sort to the official, we being in extreme hurry. Jonathan and the two doctors went to the shipping agent to learn particulars of the arrival of the Czarina Catherine.
30 October. - At nine o'clock Dr. Van Helsing, Dr. Seward, and I called on Messrs. Mackenzie & Steinkoff, the agents of the London firm of Hapgood. They had received a wire from London, in answer to Lord Godalming's telegraphed request, asking them to show us any civility in their power. They were more than kind and courteous, and took us at once on board the Czarina Catherine, which lay at anchor out in the river harbor. There we saw the Captain, Donelson by name, who told us of his voyage. He said that in all his life he had never had so favourable a run. 

1 comment:

dollsandmagic said...

Best Wishes to You & Your Bride! One of my Best Witches did the Romanian gig, so I got lots of Great souvenirs, (almost like I was there). Dracula is probably my first Fav book... So... It seems the peasants' market is near the castle & not to be missed.

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