-- There’s no garlic, silver or crosses allowed at one eerie Halloween haunt that hasn’t hosted an overnight guest in around 70 years. And don’t even think about “mirror selfies.”
Two Canadian siblings are spending Halloween tonight sleeping in coffins in the famous Romanian castle that inspired the “Dracula” novel after winning an essay-writing contest sponsored by the rental company Airbnb.
“They said, ‘Go wild, do what you want to do, sit in all the furniture, go through all the books, look at all the artwork,’” Tami Varma, who owns an event-planning company, told ABC News, as she and her brother Robin dined with gold cutlery amid golden candelabras -- since silver is said to ward off vampires.
But it’s not the first time the siblings have spent time surrounded by vampires -- or their earthly apparitions. The Varmas’ grandfather was a renowned professor of Gothic literature whose home was packed with statues of Count Dracula and books on vampire lore.
“It just reminds us of home a little bit,” Varma said. “We were nicknamed the 'Varma Vampires' as teenagers.”
Their grandfather passed away in 1994, and Varma said she hoped the trip would honor him -- and commemorate an eerie stop he made at the castle 40 years before in which he dared not stay past sundown.
After arriving today in a horse-drawn carriage surrounded by reporters, receiving a tour of the castle from the great-grandnephew of the author of “Dracula,” and dining on the same dinner “Dracula” protagonist Jonathan Harker ate in the novel -- as a string quartet serenaded them -- the Varmas were finally set to receive the keys to the house around midnight. They planned to roam the halls and explore as soon as they were alone.
As for the red-velvet-lined coffins in which they planned to spend the night?
“They’re unbelievably comfortable,” Varma said. “I don’t know how much sleeping we’re going to be doing.”