Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Dracula, God and the Whitby Singer


Easter beckons and the fourth full moon of 2009 takes me north to Yorkshire, home of the Pudding. Sadly my planned pilgrimage across Northumberland to Holy Island fell through so instead I'm taking a friend around Whitby and its nearby moors in search of Dracula and God.

It's the Count tomorrow night, as we take part in a tour of the town with Harry Collett, local "tour guide, broadcaster, raconteur, writer, author, story walker - and singer". (I hope the stories he regales us with are sung to the tune of "Thriller".)

Then Friday, as the full moon moves away again through its synodic cycle, we're off in search of God. On Good Friday. The plan is to take part in our own pilgrimage around the various churches and denominations of Whitby, Robin Hood Bay and - and this may just be my favourite place name ever - Eskdaleside cum Ugglebarnby.

I'm taking a crucifix, which should come in handy either way.

Whitby, as you may know, is as important to Dracula as fangs, slicked hair and necks. This little Yorkshire town inspired Bram Stoker to write his classic horror story. And it is here that Dracula leaves the stricken Demeter in the form of a terrible black dog and first prowls on British soil.

I'll leave you with this thought from Bram Stoker's 1897 classic, from the words of Jonathan Harker, as he launches an emotional tirade at Professor Van Helsing,
Have you seen that awful den of hellish infamy - with the very moonlight alive with grisly shapes, and every speck of dust that whirls in the wind a devouring monster in embryo? Have you felt the Vampire's lips upon your throat?...Oh, my God, what have we done to have this terror upon us!
Dracula, p296

Whitby Abbey by full moon? Actually no; it's about the Count's "haunt" (see Nyctionary) in Transylvania. But a ruined Abbey by full moon should be pretty special.

No comments: