Mysterious tunnels and caves have been discovered in northern Turkey

Archaeologists have discovered tunnels, a military shelter, storage room, and dungeons that are believed to have held the 15th century bloodthirsty slayer, Vlad the Impaler, whose grisly exploits are widely believed to have provided the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula.

A restoration of Tokat Castle in northern Turkey began in 2009 and for the past 10 weeks archaeologists have been investigating an underground network. Previous excavations uncovered a 100 metre tunnel thought to have been used by young female royals to reach the Roman baths, but now they have found something a bit darker.

“The castle is completely surrounded by secret tunnels. It is very mysterious,” archaeologist İbrahim Çetin told the Hurriyet Daily News, “Dracula stayed here. It is hard to estimate in which room Dracula was kept, but he was around here.”

The bloodthirsty ruler and his brother were captured by the Ottoman Turks in the 15th century, and are now thought to have been held in these newly discovered cells throughout their 12 years of imprisonment.

Vlad the Impaler

The town of Tokat in the Pontus was conquered by the Sljuk Turks at the end of the 12th century when it became part of the Ottoman Empire. The area is now filled with historical landmarks including the Seljuk Bridge, the Hatuniye Medrese, a 14th century stone court yard, and now the Dracula Dungeons.