To celebrate the 125th anniversary of Dracula’s publication, English Heritage broke the record for the largest gathering of people dressed as vampires at Whitby Abbey, Yorkshire on 26th May 2022.
English Heritage is a charity that manages over 400 historic monuments, buildings and places. These include prehistoric sites, medieval castles, Roman forts and country houses.
The charity states that it uses these properties to "bring the story of England to life for over 10 million people each year".
Whitby Abbey is the ruins of a seventh century monastery and the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which makes it a popular tourist destination for fans of the book.
Dracula is a gothic novel centred around vampire Count Dracula and vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing.
For this record attempt, there was a strict dress code to follow and what constituted as a 'vampire' outfit, as per the guidelines the participants had to be dressed in:
- Black trousers or dress
- Black shoes
- Black cape or collared overcoat
- Fangs on the top set of teeth
After everyone was accounted for, the official countdown was started by adjudicator Jack Brockbank.
Participants needed to stand together in the same place for five minutes to break the record.
The previous record stood at 1,039 set at Doswell in Virgina, USA. set in 2011, which English Hertiage comfortably broke with 1,369 vampires.
"We decided to attempt to break this world record to mark the 125th year since Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula, which was inspired by Whitby Abbey, was first published and to kick off a season of exciting events celebrating this. This event was really good fun and drew in people from everywhere to take part in what was a brilliant evening. We smashed the record seeing 1,369 Dracula’s coming through our doors and firmly placing Whitby as a must see destination to visit." - Mark Williamson, Site Manager at English Heritage
The event also featured music from local band Westenra and a performance of excerpts of Dracula by theatre group Time Will Tell.
After the new record-breaking number was announced, English Heritage were awarded the certificate.
The charity hope to use this successful event as a backdrop to more special events in honour of the book.