Keep your wits about you: Looking for Dracula in Whitby
I stole the title from the Whatsapp message Sheldon sent me when he found out where I’d been.
‘I hope you kept your wits about you in Whitby.’
QuickDraw Shelly they call him – always ready with a pun.
In fact, you do need to keep your wits about you when you visit this coastal town in Yorkshire – or at least a sharp eye on the weather and a strong hold on your footing – otherwise you may just get blown off the cliff top…or pushed off by a naughty ghost.
I have been staying in Teeside this past week for work – and I had always wanted to go to Whitby, ever since I read the children’s classic Room 13 by Robert Swindells as a pre-teen. It tells the story of a young girl on a class trip, who becomes possessed by Dracula. Pretty creepy. I was confused. I thought Dracula lived in Transylvania? Maybe you did too.
There was a certain amount of Messing About.
In practice, it’s pretty difficult to find anything in said churchyard because of the interesting effects coastal weathering has had on the centuries old residents of this cliff top resting place.
Whitby is an old whaling town, and a lot of graves here remember sailors. I was struck by the amount of headstones that read ‘in memory of’ rather than ‘here lies…’ The list of people remembered here who were lost at sea must be sizeable.
All photos by Christina Owen Copyright June 2015