A favorite question of interviewers is, “If you could talk to anyone in history, who would you chose?” It’s a safe bet that the choice of Vlad Tepes doesn’t come up too often – who wants to chat with someone whose nickname is ‘the Impaler’ and who many believe was the inspiration for the name if not the legend of Dracula. A ghost hunter from Tampa defied the odds on September 25th, 2021, when she claimed to speak to Vlad Tepes/Vlad the Impaler/Dracula himself as part of the international fifth annual World’s Largest Ghost Hunt. Did she ask his favorite color or which actor portrays him best?
During the “World’s Largest Ghost Hunt” on the official National Ghost Hunting Day, over 100 paranormal investigation teams were at haunted locations around the world participating in paranormal investigations to celebrate “the novice, curious and expert execution of ghost hunting methods” and to promote historic preservation, unity of its investigative contributors, para-psychology research, and public education about these haunted historic sites. Live streams were broadcast from eight well-known haunted sites, including Leap Castle in Ireland, the Ohio Reformatory in Ohio, the Conjuring House in Rhode Island and Bran’s Castle in the Transylvania area of Romania. That last location is where paranormal investigator Peggy Maguire was stationed to hunt for the ghosts alleged to haunt it – including Vlad the Impaler. Historians debate whether Vlad Tepes ever lived there, was imprisoned or even visited there.
Like many of the paranormal investigators participating in The World’s Largest Ghost Hunt 2021, Peggy Maguire has plenty of experience. After having a scary encounter in her teens, Maguire spent 40 years investigating ghosts in a wide variety of locations. She specializes in EVP (electronic voice phenomena) and she showed up at Bran Castle with a spirit box for EVP and dowsing rods for silent ghosts. According to her interview with the Tampa Bay Times, Maquire and her three other teammates heard voices coming from the spirit box in a foreign language assumed to be Romanian as they walked around Bran Castle, which dates back to 1212. While most historians doubt Vlad Tepes ever lived there, the believers think he was imprisoned there by the Hungarians around 1462. Sure enough, that’s where Maguire felt a connection to Dracula.
“Holding a dowsing rod in each hand, Maguire asked a series of yes-or-no questions. Spread the dousing rods outward for yes and move them inward for no, she told the ghosts. Is Tepes there, she asked. Tepes’ spirit allegedly answered yes. Maguire asked Tepes to spin the rods if he was once imprisoned there. The rods spun fast. She asked Tepes to answer yes or no to whether he used the castle as a military outpost. The rods moved inward.”
When the Tampa Bay Times asked Maguire if she was indeed communication with Vlad Tepes, she answered, “I think it’s a good possibility. Yes.” Does that mean she was? Hardly. Does this confirm Vlad Tepes was imprisoned in Bran Castle? No – most historians think he was held in a fortress in Budapest. If it wasn’t Vlad, who moved the dousing rods? Another ghost? Why would it lie to Maguire? The video of Maguire’s experience at Bran Castle is available for a fee so you can decide for yourself.
Whether you believe Peggy Maguire communicated with the spirit of Vlad the Impaler or not, the World’s Largest Ghost Hunt and National Ghost Hunting Day are interesting events that illustrate the scope of ghost hunting around the world. If the coronavirus allows it, they will be held again next year on the last Saturday of September. Bran Castle will undoubtedly be on the list again. Maybe someone else can get him to talk a little more. Would replacing the dousing rods with impaling rods help?
By Paul Seaburn