An Alleged Billionaire Halloween Party at Dracula's Castle Sent Romania Into a Frenzy

Paparazzi spotted Peter Thiel (who has denied being a vampire) in the area, and Greenpeace set up a climate protest for the rumored party.
An Alleged Billionaire Halloween Party at Dracula's Castle Sent Romania Into a Frenzy

Over the weekend, Romanian news outlets were abuzz with speculation that the world's most powerful billionaires and celebrities were holding a Halloween party at Bran Castle in Transylvania, a location commonly referred to as "Dracula's Castle." A long list of celebrity and public figure guests were rumored to be attending, including Elon Musk, Angelina Jolie, infamously blood-curious billionaire Peter Thiel—who has officially denied being a vampire—and Google co-founder Segrey Brin. 


The rumors generated enough buzz locally that Greenpeace held a protest at the castle and projected messages including "SOS Carpathian Forest!"  and "Tweet That, Elon!" onto its side. In the /r/solarpunk subreddit, one user posted a picture of themselves as a lone protester nearby, holding a sign reading “They drink champagne from the blood of the planet.”

While we know celebrities were in Romania given the paparazzi evidence, there doesn't seem to be much backing up most of the specific claims about who attended, however. There are videos of helicopters arriving, darkly tinted luxury cars and vans pulling up, and groups of lanky pale-skinned people huddled around them. Hallmarks of the rich and powerful, sure, but relatively little in the way of identification. 

Thiel and his husband and co-investor, Matt Danzeisen, are the only ones actually photographed by tabloids in Romania. MediaFlux published pictures of the pair entering Mercedes vehicles allegedly at Henri Coandă International Airport. The outlet later posted photos reportedly showing the two entering a helicopter headed for Bran, although only Danzeisen can clearly be seen. Another outlet posted grainy paparazzi photos that it said depicted Entourage star Adrien Grenier boarding a similar helicopter. 


Swedish actress Julia Sandstrom also appears to have DJ’d the event, with Romanian news sites catching her post two Instagram Stories from a helicopter flying to the castle, each captioned, “Land of the vampires.. [vampire emoji] Stoked to play in Transylvania this Halloween.” Another story is still up featuring a close up of the castle, with the caption "Probably the coolest location I've DJ'd.”

Over the years, Thiel has found it hard to dodge accusations that he’s fascinated with blood. In 2016, Inc. reported that Thiel had said he was interested in parabiosis—replacing old blood with younger blood via transfusion—as a potential personal health treatment, and that the founder of a parabiosis startup said that a member of Thiel's team had reached out with interest. Later, the founder denied those comments and attempted to discredit the original reporting, but emails obtained by Gizmodo showed that he did say that Thiel's team had reached out. The reactionary billionaire has tried to deny the blood fascination himself, joking that “On the record, I am not a vampire” and dismissing the reporting as “vampire accusations.”


Nonetheless, while Thiel and others were spotted in the area, Musk was nowhere to be seen. Sure enough, local media walked back reports that Musk hosted the party, or even attended it. Libertatea, another Romanian outlet, claimed that two Ministry of Interior sources said Musk and Jolie weren't in the country. The mayor of Bran—Ioan-Cosmin Feroiu—told tabloids that he didn’t see Musk but was there nonetheless.

Elon Jets, the account dedicated to tracking Elon Musk’s private jet, logs no flights to Romania but instead shows a flight from California to Teterboro, New Jersey—a popular destination for private charter flights into Manhattan. This lines up with Musk’s arrival at Twitter’s headquarters and the establishing of a reported "war room" to oversee coming layoffs. 

“Only 2% of the Romanian Carpathian forests are protected. The rest is exploited and destroyed right now. That’s the real horror story. Elon or Angelina partying in ‘Dracula’s Castle’ or not, the press was there and we used the opportunity to send a vital message,” Greenpeace said in an emailed statement. “Our target is the general public, not a billionaire or the other, which are a big part of the problem.”

Bran Castle said that it could not comment on a private event.

“I had the honor of being invited to the private party where there were about 200 people in costumes and masks. I can’t tell you for sure if Elon Musk was there or not,” Feroiu told Romanian tabloids. “I personally didn’t see him, but it doesn’t mean that he couldn’t be under a certain mask. But I haven’t met him.”

Update: This article was updated with comment from Bran Castle and Greenpeace Romania.