Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

A land which has variously formed part of Hungary and Rumania, and was for a time an independent principality. Its very name, meaning "across the forests" (see Into the Woods) is evocative of strange and distant lands. It was to Transylvania that the Pied Piper was reputed to have taken the children from Hamelin. The Báthory family, which ruled Transylvania in the 16th century, included the notorious Elisabeth de Báthory (1560-1614), who is recorded as having bathed in the blood of over 600 virgins in order to sustain her youthful beauty (see Immortality; Virginity). Her story, filmed as Countess Dracula (1970) (see Dracula Movies), added to the Legends of Witchcraft, Werewolves and Vampires prevalent in that area, making it the ideal place for the castle of Count Dracula in Dracula (1897) by Bram Stoker. It has formed the locale for many Vampire stories and Vampire Movies since. [MA]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.