Relative of Dracula author to visit town on expedition to celebrate 125th birthday

A relative of Dracula author Bram Stoker, inset, will travel to Whitby as part of an expedition following Dracula’s trail

A RELATIVE of best-selling author Dracula will visit a seaside town in North Yorkshire as part of an expedition around the horror novel.

Celebrating 125 years since the publication of internationally bestselling author Dracula, Dacre Stoker, a blood relative of novelist Bram Stoker, will lead an expedition on the trail of Dracula in Scotland.

During an online press conference on February 16, Dacre, Bram Stoker’s great-grandnephew, will reveal lesser-known facts about the creation of one of the most popular novels ever written.

The novel’s anniversary is scheduled for May 21-28 and will be hosted by Dacre.

His expedition will begin in Whitby, where the author of Dracula Stoker has set up three chapters of the novel. Whitby Abbey is described as the fictional character’s arrival point in England in the story.

“My goal is to help visitors come and enjoy this beautiful area as Bram did in his day, between 1893 and 1910,” Dacre said.

The route will then continue to explore all Scottish connections to Dracula – including Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders, the capital city of Edinburgh and finally Cruden Bay, where Bram Stoker wrote large parts of the story.

The Kilmarnock Arms Hotel in Cruden Bay will be the venue for the 125th anniversary dinner, with local author Mike Shepherd as guest speaker. A commemorative plaque donated by the Stoker family detailing locations in the immediate area will be unveiled on the exterior wall of the Kilmarnock Arms Hotel during the special event.

“Scotland is where many chapters of the novel Dracula were written. It was during his long walks along the beach at Cruden Bay and up to Whinnyfold that all previous inspirations, notes and research de Bram came together. This space offered him peace and quiet, away from the interruptions and stress of his office at Lycée Theater in London,” Dacre added.

Meanwhile, Jenni Steele, Head of Film and Creative Industries for VisitScotland, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for people to experience Scotland’s connections to this beloved novel.

“Dracula has such a sense of intrigue and mystery – and it’s easy to see why Bram Stoker drew inspiration from certain landscapes and magical places in Scotland on his travels – not to mention the fascinating connections he has maintained with many other Scottish writers and personalities.”

Another Scottish connection to the Dracula novel is Scottish writer Emily Gerard’s influence on Bram Stoker’s plot placement in Transylvania. The Jedburgh-born author wrote a book on Transylvania superstitions, which played an important role in Bram’s research when writing his classic novel all those years ago.

Lola R. McClure