When most people think of Jules Verne, they usually aren't thinking of his single Gothic Horror novel published in 1893. The Castle in Transylvania starts off as the archetypical Haunted Castle story: the villagers of Werst, a town west of the Carpathian Mountains, notice that various strange things are occurring in the long abandoned castle of Baron Rodolphe de Gortz and believe that it is now inhabited by the devil. Count Franz de Telek, a visitor to the area, is intrigued by these superstitions and decides to go investigate the castle himself. Things start to get strange when the Count runs into La Stilla, an Italian Singer, who he believes is being kept prisoner inside the castle. But La Stilla has been dead for years...
The Castle in Transylvania displays these tropes:
- Aristocrats Are Evil:
- The Baron is this trope personified.
- Averted with the Count who serves as the book's protagonist.
- Haunted Castle: Subverted
- Hologram: Most of the "haunting" was done by projecting moving, 3-D images with a machine to make it appear like something supernatural was going on.
- Homage: To the works of E. T. A. Hoffmann.
- Hostile Weather: Sort of, during the Count's first visit to the castle, the clouds above the area take the shape of various demons and monsters to frighten away the protagonists.
- Kill Em All: Every single major character is dead by the end of the novel.
- The Lost Lenore: La Stilla, as stated above.
- "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: The castle wasn't actually haunted, the Baron used holographic projections and voice recordings to scare away the locals, so he'd have a place to escape the law.