Whitby Abbey to be illuminated with bats to mark 125 years of Dracula

A Yorkshire landmark is being illuminated with a projection of bats to mark the 125th anniversary of Bram Stoker's novel Dracula.

English Heritage is lighting up Whitby Abbey, associated with the gothic horror, as it hosts Halloween events across the country. The abbey is also home to bats, a protected species which English Heritage works to preserve at its sites. Irish author Stoker also saw the mammals, associated with vampires and witches, on his visits to the area in North Yorkshire.

The novelist writes about the abbey as the location where the count is believed to have come ashore and it is referenced in the journal of female protagonist Mina Harker. In the 1897 book, a large dog runs up the 199 steps to the abbey after the ship carrying Dracula's coffin runs aground. English Heritage is also holding Halloween trails with comic book series Beano, woodland walks and ghost tours during Halloween.

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The locations running events include Stonehenge, Dover Castle and Framlingham Castle. The illuminated abbey and performance event at Whitby Abbey will run every evening until October 31. An event at Whitby Abbey in May broke the world record for the largest gathering of people dressed as vampires. A total of 1,369 people attended the event dressed as the ghoulish character, breaking the record of 1,039 set in Doswell, Virginia, in 2011.

It comes as Whitby Goth Weekend is set to take place this coming weekend (Nov 29/30). The popular weekend sees thousands of people head to the Yorkshire coastal town.