Inside the business of Transylvania and the real-life Dracula's castle in Romania

Dracula, as he is popularly known, is loosely based on the legend of Vlad Dracula -- better known as Vlad the Impaler, a notorious ruler in Romania in the 1400s.
7:00 | 06/21/18

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Transcript for Inside the business of Transylvania and the real-life Dracula's castle in Romania
transylvania. In the frost-covered mountains of Romania. The impaled heart of vampire country. To find the region's most famous resident. The myth, the legend -- I am dracula. Reporter: Count dracula. Immortalized in film and culture throughout the last century, from the iconic 1931 "Dracula" starring Bela lugosi and that unforgettable voice. Listen to them. Children of the night. Children of the night, listen to their music. Reporter: So mine isn't very good. There are perhaps only a handful of characters throughout history known as well as the creepy count. Appearing in over 200 films. Dracula is the most portrayed character in cinema. There have been more draculas than any other character. Reporter: Inspiring generations of would-be vampires. Give my regards to frost. When you get into the "Blade" character, Wesley snipes, Robert Pattinson and the "Twilight" vampires, they all are measured against that original idea of dracula. You'll know that I am called the count -- Reporter: He's been a caricature for everything from "Sesame street" to kids' breakfast cereals. The chocolatey marshmallow in my count chocula cereal -- Outside of Santa Claus you'd be hard pressed to see one that's been as commercially and regularly exploited as dracula. Reporter: Which is why we've come here to this castle high on a cliff in the middle of the carpathian mountains. Let's go up. Four floors and 57 rooms. You are now inside the most popular and famous tourist attraction in Romania. Bram castle, better known in the world as dracula castle. Count dracula, loosely based on the legend of vlad dracula, vlad the impaler, the notorious ruler of this @region in the 1400s. Known for his violent and torturous methods. He was a real per, a real historical character. This castle was a castle built and used by local kings as a military castle, including dracula's family. Vlad dracula was a horrible, horrible human being. Being a vampire would be an improvement over what he was. Reporter: It was 400 years later when Irish author Bram stoker penned the iconic 1897 novel "Dracula" that the legend of dracula the vampire was born. The meaning of the name dracula is the "The devil's son." Reporter: This being dracula's castle, it comes with the bloodcurling creepiness you might expect. But still, tourists flock to this place. Last year we had 1 million tourists. Reporter: In some ways, dracula is transylvania's main export. I think you'd have to go on a level of a "Star wars" to look at how big dracula would be as a total brand. It's probably worth in the billions. Reporter: Some companies offered dracula-themed tours for around $1,400 a person. At the base of the castle is the town of bran, population 5,100. It's become known as dracula city. Everywhere you look, there's dracula. Dracula mugs. Dracula wine. They say it's merlot. I'm saying it's blood. Reporter: Dracula shirts. Bbf, best vampire friend. Areas like that are like disneyland for dracula. Get out now while you still can! Reporter: This dracula-themed haunted house in the middle of town, a tribute to all things that go bump in the night. Aah, whoa, you got me! I love a good haunted house. Reporter: Jana solinsky is the owner of this tourist attraction. He's lived in transylvania over 10 years. When you came here, how much of this dracula village was here? Nothing here. Reporter: You might call him the godfather of dracula city. In addition to his haunted house, he owns a fully immersive five-day movie plex. The largest restaurant in town. You've resurrected dracula. In some ways. I was the first one promoting dracula here, yes. Has he ever thanked you? Not yet. I don't think I'd like to know. I wouldn't mind it. I would be protected in some way with the garlic. Put some garlic. Reporter: Which reminds me. We need garlic. I'm going to survive the night here, I'll need some of my own. Garlic. Let's get a lot. Garlic. That's just one way to defeat dracula. Another, a wooden stake. I wonder if this would kill dracula? This will work. That's a pencil. I'm calling that a stake. You've saved my life. Reporter: As evening falls over transvain yeah we head to our quarters for the night. Now we're going from dracula's castle up the mountain to what you night call dracula's townhouse. It shows how widespread the dracula business is. The house of dracula. I've got my garlic. I've got my stake. I'm going to survive this night. At this dracula-themed hotel, we enjoy some dinner. Dinner the torture chamber. Ha ha ha! Why do I feel I'm being led to my doom? Oh, I haven't seen a rack on the menu tonight. This is very nice. They put some garlic on a table for you. Then a quick check outside my room for vampires. But alas, this working father of four needs his rest. 11:00 P.M., bedtime. I'm ready. I got my garlic over here. I got my wooden stake just in case. I got the holy bible. The lord is my shepherd. Come get me, dracula! For "Nightline," I'm Terry Moran in transylvania, Romania.

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