Calls for vampires at Whitby Abbey for world record attempt, 125 years after Dracula was published

Bram Stoker was inspired by Whitby Abbey when writing Dracula. To celebrate the 125th Anniversary English Heritage want to break the World Record attempt for largest gathering of Vampires Credit: ITV News

People are being encouraged to dress like a vampire, as Whitby Abbey attempts to break the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people dressed in the gothic costumes.

It is to mark the 125th anniversary of Bram Stoker's classic 'Dracula' being published, which was inspired by Whitby Abbey.

To celebrate, English Heritage, who run the 13th Century Abbey, are running a year of special events, including the world record attempt - which aims to beat the current record held by Doswell in Virginia, USA, where 1,039 vampires gathered in 2011.

Vampire dress is defined as black trousers, skirt or dress, black shoes, waistcoat, shirt, black cape or collared overcoat and fangs on the top set of teeth.

The official Guinness World Record attempt will take place on Thursday 26 May at Whitby Abbey between 6:45pm and 7:15pm.

Those taking part will also be treated to re-enactments of Dracula by the Time Will Tell Theatre, music from a Goth band, in addition to being able to toast marshmallows and enjoy fish and chips.

Mark Williamson, site Manager of Whitby Abbey said: “This is such an exciting year for us. We have so much to see and do, starting with our world breaking attempt in May and ending with our much-loved Illuminated Abbey over the October half-term and lots in between."

He continued: "The challenge of breaking this record is an exciting one and we look forward to welcoming would-be vampires to Whitby Abbey on 26 May for a fun evening of entertainment and hopefully a successful new record too."

People wanting to get involved in the World record attempt need to register online on Whitby Abbey's page on the English Heritage site.

The ruins of Whitby Abbey, where the hermit monk was announced Abbott of Whitby according to legend. Credit: Timothy Gregory

Other events to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Dracula being published include:

  • Gothic Falconry, 30 April - 2 May: Watch falconry flying demonstrations and hear storytelling as the Abbey explores the Victorian Gothic Revival period. 

  • Dracula Story, 28 May- 5 June: Celebrate all things Bram Stoker with hands on kids activities during the may half term.

  • Summer Explorer Quest, 23 July - 4 September:  Enjoy a family adventure through the grounds of Whitby Abbey with a historical twist.

  • Dracula, 20 July - 21 August: Watch the story performed live in the 13th century ruins that inspired Bram Stoker.

  • Vikings, 27 August – Sunday 28 August: Learn more about vikings and explore what their encampments would have been like when they invaded the North East coast. Children even have the opportunity to learn some battle skills.

  • Illuminated Abbey, 21 October – 31 October: Watch Whitby Abbey be lit up with dramatic illuminations. The story of Dracula will be brought to life within the Abbey with a twist on the usual light show.

  • Halloween Quest, 22 October – Sunday 30 October: Enjoy half term fun as children can get involved in a creepy trail around the Abbey.