Whitby Abbey was the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s gothic novel Dracula, and, lit up in this way, the stark, dark history of the site becomes ever clearer. Costumed characters will emerge from the shadows to tell the tales of Whitby’s past, including a Victorian undertaker to enlighten us on death the Victorian way, and The Resurrection Man whose story of Burke and Hare, whose mantra ‘the fresher the body, the higher the price’ will send shivers down your spine …. while a live performance of Dracula will bring the whole evening full circle.
Perched on the headland, it is easy to see how the Abbey’s dramatic ruins inspired Bram Stoker. Dracula was in many ways the product of Stoker’s stay in Whitby, suggested to him by his close friend Henry Irving following exhaustion from work. For a week and a half before his family joined him, Stoker roamed Whitby, talking to locals and gazing at the whalebone arch and beautiful ruins that would later feature in Dracula. The hazy morning mist creeping towards Stoker as he sat and wrote every morning overlooking the bay stayed with him, and this is evident throughout the novel. In surveying the landscape from the position of the Abbey, countless settings of scenes from Dracula can be seen, such as St Mary’s Church where Dracula’s first victim is bitten, or the 199 steps Dracula ran up after landing in Whitby. Local legends and folklore fuelled his imagination and, combined with the eerie yet beautiful atmosphere of Whitby, helped him create one of the most famous gothic novels in the world.
Experience Stoker’s Whitby Abbey at this amazing event, brought alive with ghost stories, undertakers and grave robbers all contributing to the atmosphere that inspired a seminal gothic legend that survives to the modern day. There’s something for all the family, culminating in a thrilling live action performance of Dracula.
Site manager Delphine Jasmin-Belisle says “Whitby’s gothic history has long been acknowledged as the spark that triggered the creation of the most famous vampire of all time. For the past five years we have celebrated this history by lighting up the Abbey, and this year it’s bigger and better than ever; the perfect opportunity to experience Halloween. ”
Prices: Member (Adult)- £2.70, Member (Child)- £1.90, Member (Concession)- £2.50, Member (Family)- £6.30, Adult- £9.50, Child, 5-15 years- £5.90, Concession- £8.50, Family- £25.00
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