So everyone will have heard of Dracula right? Whether it is from the many many films out there or from reading books. I am incredibly lucky to live in such a history rich area of the United Kingdom – North Yorkshire; this is not just where Captain James Cook grew up (his family home is actually down the street from me, or should I say was as it was moved brick by brick to Melbourne in Australia) but where Dracula is said to have shipwrecked on the cliffs in Whitby in Bram Stoker’s book Dracula. I have spent many days in Whitby as it is barely half an hour drive from me (we live in the moors so things relatively close still take some driving too) and also happens to be where I fell in love with 00Steve (on the miniature model of Captain Cook’s Endeavour – who knew we would end up living in the same village he did?) There are plenty of ghost stories in Whitby but I prefer the story of Dracula!
Now if you aren’t familiar with the novel Dracula is basically transports boxes of earth to which were used as grave sites for him to rest and garner strength in many homes he had bought for himself. He fell in love or was just being a stalker of a young lady holidaying in Whitby called Lucy and ultimately turned her into a vampire. The ship had set sail from Russia and it’s destination was London, however it was losing crew as Dracula fed on them for sustenance during the voyage, I always presumed that that is why the ship ran aground as there wasn’t anyone but the Captain to man the ship.
Bram Stoker actually stayed in Whitby and could see the East Cliffs which is where the ship is said to have been wrecked, it is based on a ship that actually did wreck there in the early 1800s. Same goes with the black dog leaping from the ship is also based on another legend in Whitby. The view he would have had from the hotel on the West Cliffs has the iconic Whitby Abbey and St Mary’s Churchyard which both have their own ghost stories. Not to mention the horror that is going up the 199 steps to them on the cliff, trying doing that in as my father in law says “silly season” when the weather is hot!
One of Whitby’s big tourist attractions is the Goth weekenders which happen in May and over Halloween, the promenade has it’s own Dracula experience which once left me screaming as I hadn’t spotted a guy before he grabbed my leg! The Goth weekends although packed are amazing with so many littering the streets dressed up for the occasion in costumes or steampunk attire – one year someone was selling custom made coffins!
So if you haven’t watched the film or read the book you should then when you visit or revisit Whitby you see it in a whole different light!