STATUS: Open as a tourist destination
Hunedoara Castle (also known as “Corvin Castle”, “Corvins’ Castle”, and “Hunyad Castle”) began construction under the orders of John Hunyadi, who was working on the castle with the goal of transforming the former keep built by Charles I of Hungary. Originally, the castle was given to John’s father, Voyk, by King Sigismund of Hungary as severance in 1409.
The castle was built in Gothic style with Renaissance architectural elements, featuring tall, strong defence towers, an interior yard, and a drawbridge. Some of the towers (Capistrano Tower, the Deserted Tower, and the Drummers’ Tower) were used as prisons.
The Buzdugan Tower was simply used as a defence tower. In 1456, John Hunyadi died, and the work on the castle greatly slowed. However, in 1458, construction resumed, and the Hunedoara Castle began to get recognized as being one of the biggest and most impressive buildings in Western Europe.
Not much happened during the 16th century in the way of improvements, but many new additions to the castle were put in during the 17th century. Two new towers, the White Tower and the Artillery Tower, were added for military purposes. The castle was also the home of the infamous Vlad Dracula III, who was nicknamed “the Impaler”.
Within the walls of Hunedoara Castle, he would torture and impale prisoners that were housed in his dungeon. He murdered his twin children in their sleep and killed his wife by driving a spike through her skull after discovering she was having an affair. He’s believed to haunt the castle alongside his victims.
In 1995, plans to renovate the castle were brought to a screeching halt after the workers were scared by Dracula’s medallion, which was said to have been used to call upon Satan. However, restoration continued, and the castle is much fancier than it once was, as it needed repairs from a fire and decades of neglect.
In October, 2001, a family was dared by Worlds Scariest Places to spend a night in Hunedoara Castle. While in the castle, they recorded any paranormal activity that occurred. When one of the family members found the medallion, activity seemed to pick up.
In Popular Culture
- A family was dared to stay the night at the castle in World’s Scariest Places.