They did it! 1,369 vampires break record at stunning North Yorkshire landmark

·2-min read
The World Record attempt saw young and old dress up for the occasion                           Pictures: Alan Milner
The World Record attempt saw young and old dress up for the occasion Pictures: Alan Milner

A TOTAL of 1,369 vampires got their teeth in to a new World Record at one of North Yorkshire's best-loved landmarks.

The English Heritage record attempt at Whitby Abbey on Thursday night (May 26) was all part of a celebration of the 125th anniversary of the publication of Dracula, a novel much inspired by the dramatic ruins of the 11th century gothic abbey.

The sunny evening saw the world’s largest ever congregation of vampires descend on the ancient structure breaking the Guinness World Record™ for the largest gathering of people dressed as vampires.

The previous record had been in place for over a decade, and was set on September 30 2011 when 1,039 people dressed as vampires attended an event organised by theme park Kings Dominion in Virginia, USA.

Mark Williamson, English Heritage’s site manager for Whitby Abbey, said: “We are so excited to have broken the world record for the largest gathering of vampires.

"Everything we do at English Heritage aims to bring history to life and make it fun, so what better way to mark this element of Whitby Abbey’s fascinating past?

"Since its first publication, 125 years ago, Dracula has had a phenomenal cultural impact and we get visitors from all around the world as a result. Just like Bram Stoker, they all fall in love with its incredible atmosphere, thousand-year history and stunning sea views.”

The novel Dracula, first published on May 26 1897, was inspired by Bram Stoker’s visit to the harbour town of Whitby in 1890.

The ruins of the town’s 11th century gothic abbey, perched high on a windswept headland, and its church surrounded by swooping bats provided the perfect atmospheric locations.

The names of several of the count’s victims were taken from headstones found in the church, whilst Stoker found the name ‘Dracula’ perusing a book in Whitby’s public library, which mentioned a 15th century prince called Vlad Tepes who impaled his enemies on wooden stakes and was known as Dracula – the ‘son of the dragon’ or ‘Devil’.

Whitby Abbey’s record breaking vampire gathering was the first in a series of events planned by English Heritage in 2022 to celebrate the 125th anniversary.

The next event in the calendar is Dracula Story starting tomorrow (Saturday, May 28) and running to June 5.

It promises to be a Dracula-tastic knees-up for children in the grounds of Whitby Abbey to celebrate all things Dracula and Bram Stoker, with hands-on activities and fresh-air family fun.

Click here for more information.

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