[ Paul Guzzo ]
Teams around the world investigated 125 sites on the same day.
Eight teams live-streamed a portion of their work, including Maguire in Transylvania and those investigating the Rhode Island house that inspired the Conjuring movie and Gettysburg’s Tillie Pierce House Inn, allegedly haunted by Civil War ghosts.
Maguire believes her assignment was the most exciting.
“There are hundreds of years of history there,” she said.
Known as Bran Castle, the 15,000-square-foot stone structure now serves as a museum to Queen Marie of Romania.
According to the museum’s website, the castle was completed in 1388, served as a military and commercial outpost through the 1800s, and was Queen Marie’s part-time residence from 1920 through her death in 1938.
Bram Stoker, the author who published Dracula in 1897, “never visited Romania,” says the website. He used descriptions of Bran Castle to create Dracula’s castle.
The Dracula character was based on Tepes, who in the 1400s was the ruler of Wallachia.
Tepes had two nicknames: One was Vlad the Impaler, due to his violent means. The other was Vlad Dracula.
Dracul means dragon in Romanian, and Tepes’ father was known as Vlad Dracul. Dracula means the son of the dragon.
Some historians believe Tepes used Bran Castle as an outpost after capturing it. Others say enemies imprisoned him there for months.
Maguire, a ghost hunter for nearly 40 years who now leads the Spirit Bridge Project paranormal team, said she was awarded the assignment because she participated in two previous World’s Largest Ghost Hunt events.
The four-person team made up of investigators from throughout Florida had three members — including Maguire — who claim to have the ability to sense and feel ghosts.
Their investigative equipment included a spirit box and dowsing rods. Spirit boxes are radio-like devices that create white noise through which ghosts can supposedly broadcast their voices. A dowsing rod is a metal stick attached to a metal handle. The rod spins when manipulated by a person, blown by wind or, as paranormal investigators believe, moved by a ghost’s energy.
While live-streaming two hours of their six-hour investigation, the team claimed to feel the ghosts’ sadness and grief and asked questions about how they experience time and how the living can make better contact with the spirit world.
Voices emanated from the spirit box. The words were in Romanian. Maguire said they are seeking translations.
But the big live-streaming moment took place in the torture room, filled with devices like a rack and iron maiden dating to the 1400s.