Strigoi, the Real Vampires of Transylvania

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About the film:

Armed with only a camera and her belief that she will go unharmed, a Romanian filmmaker returns to her roots in Transylvania in search of strigoi – real vampires. Ingrid Serban grew up in Transylvania where stories and near encounters with vampires colored her childhood.

Vampires have fascinated human beings for thousands of years, from the first documented reference of the ekimu in ancient Babylon to the recent “Twilight” Hollywood blockbusters and HBO’s wildly popular “True Blood” series. For the people of Transylvania vampires are not mere entertainment, they are a reality of everyday life.
Searching for real vampires by following in the footsteps of Dracula himself, this detective-documentary will record eyewitness accounts of people who believe they’ve seen vampires and discover how they lived to tell the tale.

Photo My Search for Dracula“My Search for Dracula” will capture the essence of the land, of the people and of the vampire myth that has occupied our psyches for millennia. The music score will be recorded in Romania with local musicians whose songs have been passed down from generation to generation. This documentary will be a testament to those things that do not fall apart with time, some of which are vampires.


Watch the video updates from Transylvania:

You can be a part of the journey by joining the MAILING LIST or by making a tax-deductible donation to the San Francisco Film Society to back this fiscally sponsored documentary.

(Visit the SFFS site for donation information

Directed by Ingrid Serban
Produced by Forest Sun & Ingrid Serban
Sound Design by Scott Steiner 

17 thoughts on “Strigoi, the Real Vampires of Transylvania

  1. After reading about a man arrested for digging up a relative and cooking his heart because the deceased relative cursed the family I have had a very hard time finding any more pertinent information regarding the Romanian mythology that is still part of their lives. The white horse? Amazing. Looking forward to the film. God Bless. Tim Mitchell


    1. Hi Tim,
      One could say that strigoi are becoming somewhat extinct. There’s no place in modern society for the evil you can easily see, someone I interviewed told me. When I asked them why that is, their response was that evil is now hidden in the hearts of many people, more difficult to see and easier to become deceived by it. I don’t think I know about the white horse.


  2. Hello Ingrid, Just watched your updates on Youtube and would love to see your documentary/movie! My family came to the US from Sicily, via New Orleans, around 1880-1900. When I was a child I heard my grandmother and her sister talking about vampires and werewolves back in the old country. I don’t remember specifics since I was too small but I remember her saying some werewolves and vampires came over on the boats from Europe back in those times. I was just a small boy and was quite afraid after hearing them tell these stories. When your grandmother and great aunt start talking about such things you tend to believe it! I learned a lot from her about the customs of the Sicilians, which look very similar to the Romanian customs. On the ‘Day of the Dead’ she would bake cookies called Ossi De Morti,or “Bones of the Dead”, and bring some to the cemetery, along with candles and flowers. The cookies were as hard as bones and would break your teeth if you tried to bite into them. Most of these traditions are now lost here in America.
    Wishing you good luck and God’s blessings in all you do!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Charles,
      I loved reading your story about your great-aunt and grandmother. Thank you so much for sharing it with me.
      It’s been a wild ride making this film and it isn’t over yet. But it’s coming together, step by step.
      Today was a special day, St. Andrews. I tried really hard to be able to be in Romania for it and I’m delighted that I was able to.
      Interesting how the old world customs are similar and how they get lost as the generations move to other lands and learn new cultures.
      My goal is to keep that which resonates with me and makes life just a little bit magical.
      Those cookies! Were they tossed on the graves?
      Thank you for your wishes and I look forward to sharing the finished film with you.


      1. September is upon us and you know what that means. The beginning of the long nights! Getting ready to string my garlic and sing gypsy songs!


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