The start of Whitby's connection to Dracula? BBC video from 1977 examines the link to the town

A video released by the BBC - which was first broadcast in 1977 - shows when Whitby began to get popular with tourists interested in Dracula.

Whitby Abbey
Whitby Abbey

Bram Stoker's visit to the Yorkshire coastal town in 1890 is said to have provided him with the atmospheric location for his famous Gothic novel - as well as a name for his vampire.

The English Heritage website on Whitby Abbey says: "The favoured Gothic literature of the period was set in foreign lands full of eerie castles, convents and caves.

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"Whitby’s windswept headland, the dramatic abbey ruins, a church surrounded by swooping bats, and a long association with jet – a semi-precious stone used in mourning jewellery – gave a homegrown taste of such thrilling horrors."

The video, which was first aired on the Nationwide show on May 19, 1977, looked at how the town had begun to encourage tourists to the area to explore its links to Dracula.

It also shows a group from the British Dracula Society heading to the town, one of whom says the Dracula image "begins in Yorkshire".

The video has been released by the BBC as part of its local news partnerships program.