Vampire World Record in Whitby

Vampire world record

vampire world reord

Over 1000 Vampires

A horde of over a thousand vampires descending upon a quaint English seaside town would usually strike fear in the hearts of many or signal the opening of a horror movie. Fortunately, it was a far more jovial affair when 1369 Dracula enthusiasts gathered at Whitby Abbey in North Yorkshire, England, on May 26th, 2022. The occasion? Well, these creatures of the night dared to venture into the (some-what) sun of North Yorkshire in order to break the world record for the largest gathering of people dressed as vampires.

In total, 1369 people participated in this gruesome gathering; surpassing the previous world record of 1039 vampires that was set at Doswell, Virginia, in 2011. This bonanza of bloodsuckers was organised to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Bram Stoker’s pioneering novel Dracula which was published in 1897.

But why Whitby Abbey?

Well, many of us are familiar of the iconic tale of Dracula; an undead Count from Transylvania who survives by drinking the blood of the living. Over the years, Dracula’s immortality has been further solidified in a wealth of films, TV shows and even action figures. After all, many actors continue to inject new life into the compelling Count Dracula; from the first ever onscreen Dracula Bela Lugosi, to Christopher Lee, Gary Oldman and even Leslie Nielsen in Dracula: Dead And Loving It!

However, although we all possess our own unique memories and associations of the captivating Count, it is a lesser known fact that the plot for Dracula was actually inspired by Bram Stoker’s trip to Whitby, a historic seaside town in North Yorkshire, England.

Bram Stoker – Author

vampire world record
After all, Irish author Abraham ‘Bram’ Stoker visited Whitby at the end of July 1890. Stoker stayed at Mrs Veazey’s guesthouse at 6 Royal Crescent, Whitby. During this time, Bram Stoker was working as the business manager of renowned stage actor Henry Irving and had just completed an intense theatrical tour of Scotland.

In fact, it was Henry Irving who suggested that Bram Stoker visit Whitby because he had previously run a circus there. Prior to this stay, Stoker had written two novels which were set in his homeland of Ireland. Ever eager to broaden his horizons, Stoker decided to focus his efforts on new pastures. Consequently, Bram Stoker began to envisage the central character of Count Wampyr who would reside in Styria, Austria.

A Week in Whitby

With this fresh new idea in mind, Bram Stoker decided to spend a week exploring Whitby before his wife and infant son were due to meet him there. During this week, Stoker would walk from the Royal Crescent into town whilst guesthouse owner Mrs Veazey would clean his room. As fate would have it, these walks introduced Stoker to many iconic landmarks that would feature in his vampiric masterpiece.

Inspired by Haunting Gothic Abbey Ruins

Stoker is said to have been inspired by Whitby’s haunting Gothic abbey ruins, windswept headlands and its historic church that was surrounded by ‘swooping bats’. Whitby also has a time-honoured association with the semi-precious stone ‘jet’ which was used in Victorian mourning jewellery at the time. All of these thrilling Gothic motifs served as a rich source of inspiration for Bram Stoker and many aspects of these local landmarks would manifest in the completed Dracula novel.

As such, it is only fitting that a vampiric world record attempt would take place at a site which held so much meaning for Bram Stoker and Dracula fans alike. The world record event was organised by the English Heritage; a charity that manages over 400 historic monuments, buildings and places across the United Kingdom.

How do you break a vampire world record?

In order to successfully break the world record, the 1369 vampires had to stand together in the same place for five minutes. Moreover, there was a strict dress code for the event. It turns out that even vampires aren’t exempt from ‘no shoes, no shirt, no service’ rule! Jack Brookbank, the official adjudicator for Guinness World Records, discussed the living dead dress code with reporters:

“We are quite strict about the official costume that is allowed.It must include black shoes, black trousers or dress, waistcoat, shirt, black cape or collared overcoat and fangs on the top set of teeth”.

However, there was no need to worry. Every brazen bloodsucker in attendance was adorned in their finest vampiric vestments. In fact, the manager of Whitby Abbey, Mark Williamson, revealed ahead of the world record attempt that several participants had travelled from the USA to participate in this momentous occasion. Consequently, these Transylvanian trendsetters broke the previous 2011 world record and it was confirmed by Guinness World Records adjudicators shortly after 21:00 BST.

Vampire Celebrations

The 1369 vampires in attendance were thrilled to break the previous world record and the event was an overwhelming success for all. Local band Westerna provided music for the celebration and theatre group Time Will Tell delivered a fantastic performance of excerpts from Dracula. Day walkers marvelled at this impressive undead gathering; taking photos, exploring Whitby Abbey and enjoying the festivities. All from a safe distance of course. Whilst wearing turtlenecks and eating garlic bread.

After all, even without a world record up for grabs, Whitby welcomes hundreds of Dracula fans every year. Ardent enthusiasts of Dracula flock to Whitby to visit the iconic abbey as well as the house where Bram Stoker stayed and researched much of the content for the book. Many of these vampiric enthusiasts even search for the grave of the fictional fanged fiend himself. As a matter of fact, the staff at Whitby’s St Mary’s Church have resorted to posting a note on their door advising tourists;

“Please do not ask staff where Dracula’s grave is as there isn’t one. Thank you”.

Whether you love Dracula, world record attempts, or simply all things vampiric, there’s no denying how fun it is to put on some fangs, crack out the fake blood and swish a cape around! So, if you want to take part in the next vampiric world record attempt, or simply strike a pose as the captivating Count at your next party, then checkout our step-by-step Dracula Costume guide. It’s sure to pass muster with any Guinness World Records adjudicator or living dead enthusiast!

Written by Emma

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