Whitby, we enter the vampire paradise of Europe

In the northwest of England there is a beautiful remote town bathed by the icy waters of the North Sea and where the wind blows so strongly that it is impossible to classify. One of those places that you would never go near but that hides the beauty of the singular inside. But behind the barrier of its beauty hides one of the strangest places when April and October arrive… well thousands of vampires from all over the world gather here, called for the ‘Whitby Goth Weekend’.

Arriving at this picturesque town is doing it at the beginning of the most famous vampire novel in the world. And it is that wherever you look you will find allusions to Dracula, whose story begins with a great storm that causes a schooner to run aground in the port of this town.

The crew of this ship, as the novel narrates, all end up dead except for a disturbing black dog that jumps from the ship when the locals come to help the possible survivors. This, however, turns out to be Count Dracula who does not hesitate to sow terror throughout the town.

Some lines written by Bram Stoker that have helped them to create a wide tourist route that runs through all the places that the author mentioned in his famous bookwhich recently celebrated its 125th anniversary.

Vampires in Whitby

Vampire Capital of the World

What Bram Stoker did not know is that more than 100 years after the publication of his novel, this inhospitable little town would become the world headquarters of vampires with an epicenter: the Abbey of Santa Maria, now in ruins.

St Mary's Abbey, Whitby

This space, which is reached after the arduous task of climbing 199 steps, is the place that every year brings together thousands of people dressed as vampires with black capes and sharp canines. So many, that it is the place where the battle was fought Guinness record in May 2022 for the largest concentration of people dressed as vampires on the entire planet.

The 1,369 people who attended the event did so, as it could not be otherwise, in the Gothic ruins of this famous Abbey that is located in front of the imposing cliffs of the North Sea and which, according to Bram Stoker’s novel, was the refuge of Count Dracula himself. The author narrated that every night he prowled among the tombs of the old cemetery located behind the abbey. A place that, today, is still as intact as the author described it in his famous novel.

Tombs of the old cemetery located behind the Abbey of Santa María

It should be added that this quote had a very strict dress code, in the purest style of the MET gala, in which one had to dress in black shoes, pants or a black dress, a black cape and long fangs. The photos speak for themselves: a true fantasy.

Vampire Gathering at Whitby Gothic Weekend

The concentration was held within the framework of the ‘Whitby Gothic Weekend’, a concentration that takes place twice a year (in April and October) and that brings together thousands of goths from all over the globe in this town and who is reflected in the shops of the town: in them you can find all kinds of ‘merchandising’ in which to find from crucifixes to skulls. Some objects that, as its own inhabitants say, are “highly demanded by lovers of the Gothic”.

Whitby Gothic Weekend attendees

The vampire festival also features the ‘Bizarre Bazaar Alternative Market’, a kind of market that has more than 100 stalls where you can find all kinds of collector’s items. A space that has turned the festival founded by Jo Hampshire in 1994 into one of the main gothic events in the world.

Whitby, ‘British’ aesthetic beyond vampires

Every traveler who visits Whitby says it: it is one of those towns that you would never think of visiting but that drinks from the fame caused by word of mouth. And it is that despite being a place with strong winds and bathed by icy waters it is one of those perfect places to feel the charm of places where you can isolate yourself truly of the world.

Whitby street facades

Its narrow and steep streets are what create and shape the center of this town, very lively and brimming with life, especially in July and August when the weather gives them a breather with good temperatures.

In fact, what is most surprising about the town is its famous ‘British’ aesthetic, which oozes from all its corners. Or what is the same: a beautiful fishing port flanked by houses with orange roofs and long windows.

How to get to Whitby

The quickest way to get to Whitby is to fly into Teeside International Airport. From there we can go by car through about 65 kilometers that take 1 hour. Also by train, for which we will have to go first to the town of Darlington or Middlesbrough, from where we will have 2 and 3 hours by train respectively.

Whitby, we enter the vampire paradise of Europe