Books

World Dracula Day celebrates Dracula’s 125th birthday

Bram Stoker’s classic novel Dracula has turned 125, and World Dracula Day is throwing a party to celebrate.

First published in 1897, Bram Stoker’s classic gothic horror Dracula has gone on to become one of the most read and loved books and who celebrates Dracula’s birthday best? Well, World Dracula Day does, and in fine eerie style. 

World Dracula Day was created on the 26th of May 2012, a date that coincides with the publication date of the beloved book, by a group of fans known as The Whitby Dracula Society 1897.

dracula bram stoker
Credit: Columbia Pictures

Dracula in part is believed to have been inspired by the Gothic architecture of the local town’s Whitby Abbey. The town of Whitby has quite the claim to fame, as it was Bram Stoker’s visit to the harbour town in 1890 that is believed to have provided him with the inspiration, some locations, and a name for his famous vampire.

The novel itself follows Dracula’s attempt to move from Transylvania to England by ship. When Dracula arrives in England, it is on the shore of a small fishing village named Whitby. 

History shows, through a signed ledger of the hotel that Stoker stayed at Mrs Veazey’s guesthouse at 6 Royal Crescent, Whitby. At the end of July 1890, Stoker had just completed a theatrical tour of Scotland as the business manager of actor Henry Irving.

Stoker, having written two novels with characters and settings drawn from his native Ireland, was working on a new story, set in Styria in Austria, with a new character called Count Wampyr. Stoker spent a week, at the hotel before being joined by his wife and son, and enjoyed many solo walks through the town, exploring the windswept lands full of old castles, caves, and of course…. bats. 

Town of Whitby
Whitby Town Credit: English Heritage

There is plenty you can do to celebrate World Dracula Day in your own way, that doesn’t necessitate a trip to the little town of Whitby, at the very least, you can binge-watch your fav Dracula/Vampire films this weekend, and suck down a bloody mary or two.