The Whitby Gothic Weekend has its origins back in 1994 when its founder, Jo Hampshire, met a group of pen pals through New Musical Express, one of the UK’s longest running independent music magazines. This celebration of all things Gothic and Ghoulish has now established itself as one of the largest gatherings of its kind in Europe. It's easy to see how this atmospheric fishing port inspired Bram Stoker's Dracula not least because so many sites from the book remain true to the Victorian author’s depiction. The medieval abbey, the churchyard below it, overflowing with mariners' graves, and the old "red roofed houses", which drape the hillside.
Descend the 199 worn stone steps into a warren of cobbled streets full of old smugglers' dens and low-beamed pubs, which spill down the steep edges of the Moors to the North Atlantic breakers, and you can understand its appeal. The Bram Stoker pilgrims of today now number in their thousands, a subculture which has expanded on its Gothic nature to include - Steampunks, Hell Raisers and even the attire of 12th century Venice and Dr Who's Weeping Angels.