Short summary - The Carpathian Castle
Jules Gabriel Verne
The count's wife, an opera singer, dies. Traveling around the country, the count stumbles upon the castle of the villain responsible for the death of his beloved, and destroys it.
In the mountains of Retezata, which are located in the Transylvanian Carpathians, the shepherd Frick watches over the castle of Baron von Gortz. Through a spyglass bought from a salesman, the shepherd notices a column of smoke above the castle tower. He informs the inhabitants of the village of Verst about this - the local judge Biro Kolts, his daughter Miriota, the forester Nick Dek and the doctor Patak.
Gathered at the hotel "King Matthias", they discuss what is happening in the castle. Nick Dec, along with Dr. Patak, decide to visit his owner. There is a voice in the room from nowhere, and Nick calls it all hell. The next day, he and Patak set out on their journey.
During the long ascent, they have to spend the night in the forest, where they see a mysterious glow. Nick tries not to be under the impression and tries to get into the castle the next morning, despite the raised bridge. At the same time, he gets hit and falls.
The villagers, most notably Miriota, who wants to marry Nick, are worried about the travelers who haven't returned by the next evening. Three villagers go towards the castle and bring Deka and Pataka to the village. A little later, two tourists appear there - Count Franz von Telek and his servant, soldier Rotzko. The count is shocked by the stories about the castle, and also by the fact that it belongs to Baron Gotz.
Von Telek had met the baron five years earlier, at the premiere of an opera in Naples. Both of them were in love with the opera diva Kapelka and courted her. The count made her an offer, which the girl accepted out of fear of the baron. During her farewell concert, the opera diva died on stage. Von Gotz confessed that he was responsible for the death of the girl, and disappeared, and the count returned to his castle.
Having promised the residents of Verst that he would report to the police in the nearest big city, Telek and Rottsko leave the village. Since the count recently heard Droplet's voice in the hotel, he chooses the road that leads past the castle. Coming close to him, friends see an opera diva on the bastion. Telek decides that von Gotz has returned to the castle and keeps his beloved locked up. He has only one thought: to save her.
The count goes to the castle, having previously sent Rotzko for help. Approaching the gate, Telek finds it unlocked. They enter, the gate slams shut behind him, and the count becomes a prisoner in the castle.
Von Telek winds through the labyrinths of transitions for a long time and, in the end, gets into a room where food and a bed are already prepared for him. Here he is locked up, but he soon manages to get out. In the castle chapel, he overhears a conversation between Baron Gotz and his escort, the inventor Orafnik. Both intend to flee and blow up the castle in order to escape the police, who have been informed by Rotzko.
The baron and the inventor have been living in the castle unnoticed for several years. Orfanik laid a telephone connection between the castle and the Versta hotel so that one could hear what they were talking about. This explains the origin of the unfamiliar voice. In addition, Orfanik made sure that "ghosts" appeared in the castle with the help of chemical and physical effects and scared away the locals.
After the Count overhears this story, he runs through the castle and meets the Baron, who mimics Droplet's voice and projects her image. But Telek is sure that the girl really died on stage. The Baron runs but runs into Rotzko, who fires at Gotz and hits the projector. The Baron loses his mind and blows up the castle.
Von Gotz dies, Count von Telek survives - he is found by Rotzko and Nick Dec. Soon the fugitive Orfanik is caught by the police and interrogated. The Count is in a coma and Rotzko takes von Telek to his own castle. The inventor finds the remaining photographs of Droplet's performances and shows them to the Count, who begins to recover.
Nick Dec and Miriota are getting married. Many local residents have been afraid of approaching the ruins of the castle for many years, believing that devilry is still happening there.