Whitby and Ripon named among scariest literary locations in the UK inspiring Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre

Whitby and Ripon have been named in the top 10 spookiest literary locations in the UK to visit this Halloween.

Jane Eyre turns 175 years old on October 19 while Dracula marked its 125th anniversary this year.

With a rich history spanning centuries, it’s no wonder these Yorkshire locations inspired two of the world’s most famous novels.

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Halloween is approaching so Gorgeous Cottages has compiled a list of its spookiest literary locations in the country.

Whitby Abbey illuminated. (Pic credit: Richard Ponter)Whitby Abbey illuminated. (Pic credit: Richard Ponter)
Whitby Abbey illuminated. (Pic credit: Richard Ponter)

Whitby - Bram Stoker’s Dracula

It is believed that Bram Stoker had spent some time in Whitby prior to writing his famous vampire novel and was inspired by the sweeping headland and gothic abbey.

You can follow the footsteps of Dracula by climbing 199 Steps to Whitby Abbey where there is an interesting museum to explore.

Ripon - Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre

Charlotte Bronte resided at Norton Conyers near Ripon in 1939 and was inspired to write Jane Eyre after hearing the woeful tale of a woman who was confined to an attic during the 1700s.

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This mediaeval manor house and garden are open to the public on set dates throughout the year.

Bodmin, Cornwall - Daphne du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn

Jamaica Inn is a real life place that Daphne du Maurier stayed at in the 1930s and the pub has a rich history of smuggling dating back to the 18th century.

It is said that things regularly go bump in the night at this venue if you would like to go ghost hunting.

Oundle, Northamptonshire - Susan Hill’s The Woman In Black

The 2012 film starring Daniel Radcliffe was based on Susan Hill’s novel which was published on October 10, 1983.

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It was set in the Edwardian era and the book which was inspired by Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw is predominantly set in Oundle which doubles as the sleepy village, Crythin Gifford.

Dartmoor, Devon - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles

Conan Doyle was inspired to write the book by the then-editor of Vanity Fair who spun yarns of his spooky home in Dartmoor.

Locations were scouted and the ever wet and swampy Fox Tor Mire was chosen - a bleak and fog-covered area that would become Grimpen Mire in the unsettling narrative.

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Edinburgh, Scotland - James Hogg’s Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner

This horror classic was published in 1824; a dark, gothic tale about the mental decline of Robert Wringham which results in him murdering his brother.

The final act takes place in the gloomy wilderness of Salisbury Crags which leads down to Arthur’s Seat in Scotland’s capital city.

Aldeburgh, Suffolk - M.R. James’s A Warning to the Curious

This tale was written by M.R. James is about a malevolent supernatural entity unearthed by an archaeologist and is set in the fictional village of Seaburgh, based on Aldeburgh.

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The White Lion Hotel is open to the public to visit which is The Bear in the story and see the beach, church and cemetery in Aldeburgh which all are featured in the book.

Twickenham, London - Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto

Walpole, the son of Britain’s first Prime Minister, was thought to have been inspired to write the book following a terrifying nightmare at his Gothic home, Strawberry Hill House.

Not only did the book inspire a whole genre of gothic tales but the house and gardens are open to the public.

London, Greater London - Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll

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The story follows a kind and good-natured doctor, Henry Jekyll, who takes a potion which transforms him into Edward Hyde.

The book is set in London and you can take a guided tour of the streets around Covent Garden and Soho that were described in the novel.

Bath, Somerset - Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Possibly one of the most famous tales of the monster created by Frankenstein; while the book wasn’t actually set in Bath, this Somerset city where Shelley started writing the frightening fiction novel at the young age of 19.

The house where Shelley lived was demolished in the 1980s but a plaque at the Pump Room marks the spot where it once stood.

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