Dracula's Castle for sale: Your next family home?

Dracula's Castle - also known as Bran Castle in Transylvania, is for sale. Moving is hard enough with kids, without your new home having hundreds of years of spooky legends attached to it.

Eugeniu Salabasev/Photo
In this file photo, Bran Castle in Transylvania, which was the temporary home to Vlad the Impaler, the Romanian 16th­ century prince who inspired Bram Stoker's fictional Dracula, is seen Friday, May 26, 2000.

Moving can be pretty scary for kids, but now that the owners of Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania have empowered their minions to seek offers on the property, parents all over the world over can say, “It could be worse. We could be moving to Bran Castle.”

Actually, my sons would have their possessions packed and at the door in a flash if we told them we were moving into Dracula’s old digs, or even his current residence, depending on your belief in the myth.

My youngest son Quin, 10, discovered some old Dracula films via YouTube, and then tried to convince me to let him watch Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” when it ran on TV last week.

I declined, even when he tried to wheedle me with, “But Mina [Dracula’s crush] looks just like Pastor Sarah from church. How bad can it be?” 

In the case of the totally adult Stoker treatment, it could be very bad indeed. No sale.

So, now Quin’s on a Dracula spree.

This morning, when he performed his routine of racing me to the computer for first dibs at the news headlines, he opened a story for me to see. I groaned to see it was the news on “castle for sale.” 

“We can’t afford it,” I told Quin as he breathed down my neck like a hopeful little vampire while I read the news.

“We can get a loan,” he countered.

I even tried to play the “You’re afraid of the dark” card.

“You always say we should face our fears,” Quin responded.

His final salvo was, “Besides, everyone we know is always moving and we always aren’t!”

Because we live in Norfolk, Va., which has a large military population, families in our neighborhood are constantly moving away when duty calls.

Consequently, we are always saying good-bye to friends and then meeting the next wave of move-shocked kids and parents.

Quin was venting his frustration over the fact that my friend Amanda learned last Friday – with zero warning – that her husband is being transferred to Ramstein, Germany in the very near future for a three-year tour with the Navy.

Her kids and mine have grown up together and Quin likes her daughter Abby very much as a friend. While Amanda and the kids put a brave face on it, I realized that means a new home, school, and perhaps new monsters under the bed to dispel. There are lots of fears to face with a moving to a foreign country.

That’s why this story is for her and all the movers and shakers – kids quaking over invisible beasties in new houses.

J.K. Rowling’s character Harry Potter taught us that fears are always easier to face with a laugh. Any scary Boggart will shrink from being made a figure of fun and called ‘Riddikulus!’  

For Amanda and all the military families, let’s laugh at the thought that no military housing could be as bad as Bran Castle.

In Dracula’s castle:

The dust bunnies have teeth.

Just oiling all the door hinges would take a month.

You have to bathe in a bat tub.

On the baseball team at school, everyone’s the batboy.

It could turn out to be a time-share with a vampire.

They only serve scream-of-tomato soup for dinner.

Your son could fall in love with the ghoul next door.

The heating bills take a serious bite out of the budget.

On the plus side, no traveling salesperson, or thief would darken your already dark and creepy door.

Also, I hear the villagers no longer carry a torch for the previous owner, so imagine how warmly they will greet you.

When you move again all the locals will say, “Fangs for the memories.”

See? You can find the good in any move.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.