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The Whitby Sance

Joshua Johnson

Contents Introduction Page 2 Whitby tales Page3 Bram Stoker Page8 Associates Page 11 Vampire history Page 14 Night program Page 17 Ghost tour Page 18 Extras: programs/sideshow gaff Page 22 Existing effects Page 23 Further reading Page 25

Introduction These notes were started back when I was living in Scarborough, a stones throw away from Whitby. I was beginning to develop my own routines based on local stories and was trying to move away from relying on other peoples material. I was reading increasingly bizarre routines based on Jack the Ripper, London and abroad in America. And these were great. But I wanted something personal to me. At the same time my mum was running a book group and the book chosen to start the new season was Dracula. She invited me along as she knew I loved the book and had a reasonable knowledge of vampire literature and of Stoker. The book group went well. The group had all enjoyed what I had to say and I was invited to give a talk on Bram Stoker at another book group. Following this I did a talk at the Uni as well. It got me thinking that Whitby, vampires and Bram Stoker offered me an excellent theme for a night of bizarre entertainment. I had been reading different books on themed seances; the Jack the Ripper sance, Houdini, Buddy Holly, etc. This seemed like something I could reasonably do that wasn't too distant from my present location. This coupled with the popularity for anything vaguely connected to vampires it seemed like a winner. I started making a few notes of local ghost stories of Whitby. These notes kept growing, the notes hear are a fraction of what I originally set down. But as I kept going I realised I didn't have the experience to present a sance. I didn't have the experience or the skills. I still doubt that I will for a good many years. I have now done two informally, one amongst purely friends and then one with friends of friends. They both went well and were enjoyable evenings, but I knew that I wouldn't do another for a good many years. I am carrying on building my skills through psychic parties and performing reading. I've also moved further away from Whitby making the plans even less likely. However I still have all these notes which I'd rather not see go to waste. This year marks 100 years since Stoker's death, so there are great opportunities for people to exploit this anniversary. Dan Baines vampire fairy has also made me want to do something with these notes, even if it is just to give them away. Possibly someone else can get some use out of my rambling notes. These notes give background on Whitby, Stoker and vampires, along with some of my thoughts on how an evening could be presented held in Whitby. Two of the sections that I am more comfortable with being published openly have been submitted for the Mystic Menagerie. The rest I give freely to you here.

Whitby tales Whitby was the scene of many of the most memorable sections in Stoker's Dracula. On top of the connection to Dracula it has many other tales of a bizarre nature. Unsurprisingly with the suitably Gothic nature of the town with the abbey dominating the skyline. The ruins of the abbey date almost entirely from the 1220's when Benedictine monks from Evesham re-founded the abbey. The abbey was rebuilt in the early Gothic style. Time, storms, war have slowly eroded the abbey. The last major damage came from German shelling destroying the West font in 1914. However the abbey dates back to AD 657 when it was founded by King Oswy of Northumbria. The monastery housed both men and women. The monastery held a distinguished position in the area housing the relics of Northumbrian kings and Saints. It was here the cowherd Caedmon became a divinely inspired poet. Caedmon was an Anglo Saxon attached to the abbey looking after the animals. He was ignorant of music until one night in a dream he learnt to compose. He went onto become a poet and zealous monk; one of twelve Anglo Saxon poets we have identified in medieval sources. Caedmon served under the first Abbess, the Royal Princess Hild. Abbess Hild was in fact Abbess at several monasteries and was recognised for her wisdom. Such was her wisdom even kings sought out her advice. In the writings of the Venerable Bede she was described as a woman of great energy, a skilled teacher and administrator. She showed a concern for the common people. In Bede's description "All who knew her called her mother because of her outstanding devotion and grace". Local legends tell of greater powers. When the coast was plagued by snakes legend tells that Hild turned them to stone. This was the explanation for the ammonite fossils along the coast. The ammonite genus Hildoceras takes its name from Hild. Local artisans would carve snakes heads into these ammonites to sell as proof of these miracles. Other tales tell of Hild guiding the snakes towards the cliff edge where she decapitated them with a whip. Hild spent the last years of her life suffering from fever, at the moment of her death a nun reported seeing her soul carried to heaven by Angels. Hild became St Hilda for her work converting the Anglo Saxon pagans to the new faith. Her ghost appears in the abbeys windows on dark nights, bathed in a golden glow like an angel. Even in death she still looks over the flock she guided in life. Hild has been connected to a ghostly hearse-like coach driven by headless driver. The coach races along the cliff edge before plunging into the sea. The abbey was also the setting for a tragic love story. Constance de Beverley was a young dutiful nun serving God at the abbey. Constance fell in love with a brave and noble knight. The nuns at

this time were not advocates of forgiveness. Constance was bricked up alive in the abbeys dungeon. Her ghost remains, a pitiful remnant, begging for release from her imprisonment. Walter Scott used the story as the basis for the epic poem Marmion. In Scott's version Lord Marmion was a favourite of Henry VIII. He desires a woman, Clara de Clare, an engaged woman. Lord Marmion and his mistress, the nun, Constance de Beverley hatch a plan to implicate Clara's fiance Sir Ralph De Wilton in treason. De Wilton loses a duel he took to defend his honour against the claims of treason. He is obliged to go into exile. Clara retires to the protection of a convent for protect from Marmion. Constance hoped with Clara out of the way she would regain favour as Marmion's mistress. However Marmion abandons her. Constance is put on trial for braking her oath as a nun. She is sentenced to be bricked up alive. Seeking revenge on Marmion she confesses to the Abbess her part in De Wilton's downfall. De Wilton travels in disguise to Edinburgh where he is exonerated of his treason. He is reinstated as a knight. De Wilton follows Marmion to the battle of Flodden seeking revenge. However Marmion is killed in battle robbing De Wilton of his revenge. De Wilton does regain his honour through battle and his able to marry Clara. One of the more modern hauntings concerns a dark outline of a woman seen shaking her head and wringing her hands as if greatly upset. When people have approached to comfort the lady they have been surprised to find her dressed in 18th or 19th century clothing. The lady never vanishes directly in front of people, but once they turn their heads, even for a split instant, they find her gone. One of the scenes in Dracula details Dracula's landing in England at Whitby when the ship The Demeter runs aground during a storm. But, strangest of all, the very instant the shore was touched, an immense dog sprang up on deck from below ... and running forward, jumped from the bow on to the sand. Making straight for the steep cliff, where the churchyard hangs over the laneway to the East Pier ... it disappeared in the darkness. It is possible that the great dog was inspired by local legends about spectral hounds. The area has many tales of ghosts on the moors, some demonic evil presences, others helpful guiding people home. One tale on the cliffs not far from Whitby tells of a house converted into a nursing home. A new member of staff was introduced to her sleeping quarters. Two previous staff had already left claiming the room was haunted. They said they felt suffocated as they slept as if a dog was laying across their chests. The ghost story may have had some historical backing. A century before a girl was murdered and her black collie lay across her body the next day refusing to eat or drink. The suggestion was that the ghost of the dog returned to lay on its owner each night. The new staff member awoke on two successive nights reporting the same

feeling of suffocation. The member of staff insisted on a proper investigation. An unknown passage was discovered leading to a cave at the bottom of the cliff. As the water rose at the base of the cliff that air in the room had been slightly compressed leading to the discomfort of the sleepers. A proper system of ventilation was installed and the ghost dog never returned. Another Whitby tale concerns Maggie, the witch of Whitby. Maggie lived alone in a dank cellar, cut into the rock at the bottom of the church steps. Maggie never entered the church and had a fearsome reputation, one which she encouraged. Maggie would sit gazing out of her hole. Her fiery eyes hidden under her black shawl. When children saw her coming out onto the street they would flee. She was said to know the future. She observed the vigils of St Mark every year. A night where the souls of those who will die in the next year gather together. This gave her an insight into who wasn't long for this world. Visits from Maggie were dreaded as they heralded doom. People became fearful that her visits were signalling their deaths. As a result people were especially generous when she came to call hoping to gain favour and avoid their fates. She would request a cup of tea then show frown when presented with tea. Folk would then offer a drop of something extra. A drop of brandy would be added and Maggie became slightly more equitable. The sailors believed she held power over the weather. They would purchase pieces of string and rope with knots tied in. When at sea the sailors untied the knots and they were supposed to bring calm weather. Maggie never named a price, leaving it to the sailors to decide how much they should pay. No matter how generous they were she always showed displeasure. When the knots failed to bring good weather the sailors thought back to her sour face and figured they hadn't paid enough. Farmers would pay her to bring rain or sunshine for their crops. Some sceptical locals sneered at such efforts, believing she just kept track of natural signs that the weather was about to

change anyway. Many saw her as a common swindler. Few would say anything to her haggled face though. People kept hag stones in their windows and door ways to prevent visits from the old lady. Maggie knew her credibility as a witch would be undermined if she entered these houses and avoided them. Her greatest prophecy was that when she died a great storm would rage and many sailors would never see their homes again. On the day of her death it seemed her prophecy was false and she had been a mere con-artist; a charlatan. The day was a bright Spring morning easing peoples fears. However over the day dark clouds gathered. The sea became settled and calm. The seagulls were silent. An ominous silence came over the town. That evening a storm struck, the worst any could remember. Tile were ripped from roof. The waves crashed against the cliffs deafening the inhabitants of the town. The next morning many unusual sea creatures were found washed ashore, the likes of which had never been seen before. Many a Whitby sailor didn't return home that day. Maggie's final prophecy had come to pass.

Bram Stoker Abraham Stoker was born 8th November 1847 in Dublin Ireland. The third of what would eventually be seven children of Charlotte and Abraham Stoker. Bram as he became known had a far from normal childhood. He was bed-ridden until the age of seven. During this period of illness he spent much of the time in bed or else carried from room to room as he was unable to walk properly. His mother Charlotte regailed him with Irish folklore. Many of these were ghastly stories. She also talked about real life events such as the 1832 cholera outbreak in Sligo. This epidemic killed more than than any other of the time in Ireland. People were left dead in the streets, as there were few left well enough to move them. Bram was told all the details including coffin makers knocking on doors during the night enquiring for any fresh dead and tales of victims being mistakenly buried alive. These grim stories certainly impacted on his later writings. Much to the surprise of his doctors Bram overcame his illness and grew into a sturdy young man. He studied at the University of Dublin where he became a football star and athlete. His studies covered history, literature, mathematics and physics. It is perhaps this mix of studies that give Dracula such a good modern edge combined with the folklore of the past. He became president of the Philosophical society and an auditor of the college historical society (Trinity college). He graduated with honours in 1870. He followed in his fathers footsteps and became a civil servant. This was not a role that satisfied him. As a side line to the dull chores of his office job he began to write short stories for publication in a number of magazines. More significantly he got an unpaid position for the Dublin Evening Mail as the theatre critic. This provided him many opportunities to see productions that otherwise would have been closed to him. It also brought him into contact with the co-owner of the Mail; Sheridan Le Fanu. Le Fanu would become connected to the development of vampire literature through his story Carmilla. Carmilla would form Henry Irving another influence on Stoker when he wrote Dracula. The position of theatre critic however was not seen as a respectable one. Theatre at this stage was still generally thought of as immoral, a step above the brothel. Bram's articles were however noticed for the quality of his

reviews. In December 1876 he gave a favourable review of Henry Irving's production of Hamlet. Irving invited Stoker to eat with him at his hotel and the two became close friends. Irving left Bram a photo of himself inscribed, God bless you, God bless you. Henry Irving. Dublin, December 3, 1876. In 1878 Bram married Florence Balcombe; a celebrated beauty at the time. The same year Irving persuaded Bram to move down to London to manage his theatre the Lyceum and act as his personal manager. In 1879 Florence gave birth to their own child, a boy, they named Noel. Once settled into his new position Bram began to write again. In 1890 he released his novel the snake's pass. It was Stokers only novel set in Ireland and owes much to his native folklore. Stoker was kept busy though working for Irving. It did however bring him into contact with many of the most eminent men of the day including Arthur Conan Doyle, George Bernard Shaw, Wilkie Collins and Walt Whitman. He also got to travel extensively through his work with Irving including two trips to the white house. In 1890 he began work on his most famous work Dracula. The physical descriptions of the count match up with descriptions of the tall dominating Florence Balcombe Irving. Stoker had hopes of adapting the novel to the stage. However Irving hated the book. In order to establish copyright of the book it had to be read aloud. Irving attended the hearing. When Bram asked him afterwards what he thought he was offered only one word, dreadful. In October 1905 Henry Irving died while on tour. The death came very suddenly and shocked Stoker so much he suffered a stroke, that he never truly recovered from. His eyesight deteriorated making it difficult to write. His legs were weakened much as they had been in his childhood. During his lifetime Henry Irving had done much to further the career of acting. He had taken it from a frowned upon career to a much more respectable career. He had achieved something that would have been unthinkable 50 years before. He was the first actor to gain a knighthood. The following year Stoker published his reminisces of Irving in two volumes1. Stoker's final years were spent in illness and suffering. After a succession of strokes he died on the 20th April 1912. He was cremated and his ash placed in an urn at
1 http://www.bramstoker.org/nonfic/irving.html

Golders Green crematorium. The obituaries barely mention his writings. He died known to the world as Henry Irving's personal manager and his theatre manager2. his chief literary memorial will be his reminiscences of Irving The Times Monday 22nd April 1912 It is only now looking back on all his work have inspire that he has gained a place in the literary greats.

2 http://bramstokerestate.com/BramStoker,_Himself.html


Associates These friends and associates provide opportunities to extend your performance or bring in other people. Through these you have links to the occult, politicians, and painters, spiritualism, and The Golden Dawn. Some such as Henry Irving has already been discussed, but others deserve further elaboration. Pamela Colman Smith Born February 16th 1878 in Pimlico London. Her parents named her Corinne Pamela Colman Smith, but she became known to her friends as Pixie. Her childhood was pent travelling between London, Jamaica and some time on the East Coast of America. Her mothers side of the family were artistic and had an interest in mysticism. Her father collected art. This environment surely fostered her artistic ability and interest in the occult. At the age of ten her mother died. Her father was often away on business. Smith was friends with Ellen Terry; an actress at the Lyceum Theatre. Stoker himself is said to have hired her as an artist for the theatre himself. Smith travelled with the group until 1893. In 1893 she moved back to Brooklyn where she lived with her father and enrolled at the Pratt institute to study art. She carried on working in theatrical design and illustrated books. She wrote several herself including one on the Jamaican folk stories of her childhood (1902). In 1903 she joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. At the time she joined the order the order was going through times of strife. Many members were rebelling against one of the founders SL MacGregor Mathers. Mathers was allegedly in a magical war with the great beast Aleister Crowley. Stoker has been rumoured to have been a member of the Golden Dawn. No concrete evidence exists to support the claim, but he certainly did associate with a number of members. Through the order she met Arthur Edward Waite. Waite commissioned her to make a tarot set. The set was first released as the Rider-Waite deck in 1909. These 78 images have become one of the most enduring of all tarot designs. However Smith never

received much recognition during her life. When she died in 1951 all her works and property were sold to pay off debts. There wasn't even the money for a tombstone. Sheridan Le Fanu Sheidan Le Fanu was part owner of the Dublin Evening post while Stoker was still a student. Stoker worked for him as the theatrical reviewer. Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu (28 August 1814 7 February 1873) was another significant Gothic writer in the development of the vampire. Le Fanu has been best remembered for his horror fiction. In a glass darkly is one of his best remembered collections. This collection of short stories were presented as cases of one Dr Martin Hesselius. Amongst these cases Carmilla told the story of a young woman who fell pray to the attention of the female vampire Carmilla. It was first published in 1872 (25 years before Dracula). Stoker was undoubtedly influenced by Le Fanu's writings. Many features of Carmilla can be seen in Dracula. Arthur Conan Doyle During his years at the Lyceum Stoker became involved in London's high society. Amongst those he met was Arthur Conan Doyle of Sherlock Holmes fame. The two were distantly related. Stoker attended the wedding of Doyle to his second wife Jean Elizabeth Leckie. When Dracula was released Doyle congratulated Stoker, I think it is the very best story of diablerie which I have read for many years. Doyle was heavily involved in promoting spiritualism and kept his belief despite so many of the people he promoted being exposed. From the Cottingley fairies through to the Davenports spirit cabinets he promoted them in some way. Stoker was interested in mesmerism and no doubt the two shared conversations on the subject. However Stoker was more wary of fraud. James Abbott McNeil Whistler James Whistler the painter was among Stokers circle. Another acquaintance through high society. Stoker has a fondness for Americans. The correspondences between the two show Stoker helping Whistler to arrange an exhibit.

Presidents On his travels with Irving he met two US presidents: William Mckinley and Theodore Roosevelt. He enjoyed travelling the US and based a number of stories there and featured Americans in strong roles in his stories. Oscar Wilde Stoker and Wilde knew each other from their youth. Both were members of Dublin's philosophical society. Oscar Wilde was a suitor to Stoker's wife Florence prior to their marriage. Wilde was upset by her decision to marry Stoker, but they later became friends. Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray (1890) touches on a few similar themes to Dracula. Oscar Wilde's father William also had an impact on Stoker's writing. William was an amateur archaeologist and through the 1860's and 70s Stoker was a regular visitor to the Wilde house. William Wilde would tell tales of Irish folklore and his time in Egypt as an archaeologist; sleeping in the tombs mysterious whispers in the night would awaken him. These tales must have influenced Stoker's mummy story The jewel of the seven stars.


Vampire history Here I offer a brief history of literary vampires. To go into the folklore or movies or television history would cover more ground than I care to. Vampire literature as we now now it grows out the witch hunt style craze for hunting down vampires during the early 1700s. Most are short, but they set out many of the characteristics of vampire stories that continue to the present day. They are often of an erotic nature, the victim is generally female, young and innocent. The vampire is generally against Christianity and as time progresses societies norms. Amongst the first of these is the poem der vampir by Heinrich August Ossenfelder3. Later in the century the ballad Lenore (17744). In this Lenore waits for her fiance after the battle of Prague. She becomes impatient and eventually curses God. Lenore's mother tries to placate fearing her daughter will go to hell for displeasing God. That night Lenore is whisked away by a man who looks like her fiance, but later turns out to be death. While not referred to as a vampire it had an influence on many of the stories that followed. Thalaba the destroyer (1719) marks one of the first vampires in English literature. However the vampire not a major part of the story. It isn't till the 19th century that the vampire really comes into its own in English literature. Byron's poem The Giaour has a mention of the vampire and Byron himself would form the basis for Lord Ruthven in Dr John Polidori's The Vampyre (1819)5. Byron had arranged a trip across Europe accompanied by his Physician, John Polidori, Percy and Mary Shelley. John quarrelled with the others throughout the journey feeling inferior to his bright, witty companions. He took a particular dislike to Percy. It was during this trip, on one stormy night, a now famous competition was proposed by Byron. They would each write a ghost story, It was this night that led to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Byron penned a brief note for a story, but never finished it. Percy lost interest almost mediately. John wrote a story Mary described as, a terrible idea about a skull-headed lady. The animosity between John and the others grew over the trip until John eventually challenged Percy to a duel. Byron took this as a signal to dispense with his physicians services and John was dismissed. Angry, John took the basis of Byron's unfinished ghost story and wrote The vampyre. It was first published in the New Monthly Magazine and was credited to Lord Byron. The following month a letter from Polidori assured the readers it was his own. The story told of a young gentlemen making the acquaintance of another aristocratic gentlemen who brings him into his confidence. The aristocrat of course later turns out to be the monster. While only a short piece it set the stall out for the vampire literature that followed. The sexual undertones, foreign settings and aristocratic vampire are all present.
3 http://www.simplysupernatural-vampire.com/1748-vampire-poem.html 4 1790 translation http://www.simplysupernatural-vampire.com/vampire-poem-lenora.html 5 http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/6087


Another significant contribution in the development of vampires came through the mammoth penny dreadful Varney the vampire (1845-47)6. The story was published in small sections in small, cheap pamphlets known as penny dreadfuls. It took 109 instalments to complete that tale. It is not particularly well written, but it took a place in the publics view of vampires. It capitalised on ever popular themes sex and violence. The public lapped it up enjoying the ladies man Francis Varney. The description of Varney would later be echoed in Dracula: fiery eyes, taloned claws and sharp teeth. The next major work came from Stoker's former employer Sheridan Le Fanu. Carmilla (1872)7. Carmilla tells the story of a young lady who comes to the attention of a female vampire. It was certainly a big influence on Stoker and you can see many elements borrowed for Dracula. Later adapted into a Hammer horror film, the vampire lovers. Many other vampire stories emerged over this period, the vampire of Croglin Hall, The curse of the Vourdalak, for the blood is the life 8, the skeleton count and many more. They all follow similar formats. In Dracula (1897) they all came together. It altered vampirism to being a type of disease and this struck a chord with the public. Part of what set Dracula apart though were the characters and the story telling. Stoker expertly weaves the different elements together, presented as diary entries, letters, ships logs, newspaper clippings and so on. The book was well reviewed at the time, but is was far from a best seller. The novel really achieved status above an adventure story when the movies began. The popularity of vampires would continue into the 20 th century with vampire movies capturing the public imagination. However literature would still see some excellent contributions to vampire mythology. Richard Matheson's I am legend (1954). I am legend told the tale of Robert Neville, a survivor of a pandemic with symptons close to vampirism. It has a surprise ending and marks a major development in vampire literature. It explored further themes than the previous stories of sex and violence, using vampires to examine social themes. It was made into a movie as the omega man, then acted as an inspiration for night of the living dead and more recently the Will Smith movie I am legend. Anne Rice would relaunch vampires again with Interview with the vampire (1976). Anne Rice's vampires were a turning point as they showed more depth than many before. They show emotions and desires beyond a common monster. They live amongst humans and the different characters show different responses to humanity.
6 http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/14833 7 http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/10007 8 http://www.litgothic.com/Texts/blood_is_the_life.html


She combined the traditional vampire elements with modern culture to capture peoples imagination again. If nothing else she marked the beginning of vampires forming multi-volume series that carries onto twilight and true blood and all the rest. The popularity for vampires hasn't faded. A quick look through almost any book shop will show a large section given up to dark fantasy. With novels like the historian, stories like let the right one in, the twilight series, true blood it seems vampires will continue in the public consciousness. Constantly reinventing themselves to the times we live in.


Night program This is my suggested program for an evening of bizarre entertainment held in Whitby. It is just a suggestion of how an evening could go. It is not tested or trialled, just a format I think could work. In my head the evening could involve several performers doing the different parts. Introduction with talk on Stoker, Dracula and Whitby. Stoker/Vampire themed effects Readings (Rider Waite-Pamela Colman connection/phrenology) Glass pushing Sance Introduction At the start of the evening I would begin with someone giving a quick talk on Whitby, Stoker and Dracula. This provides opportunities to plant ideas for later during effects and especially for the sance. Not necessarily in depth, just brief outlines to get the night rolling. Stoker effects/Vampire effects To get people talking and loosened up a bit a few effects could be performed. The Dracula book test or an Kurotsuke type effect with you playing a vampire hunter identifying the vampire. These effects could be tongue in cheek or serious depending on the sort of night you want. I've included a list of available effects on vampire/Stoker themes towards the end of these notes. My personal favourite are the book test and Raven's bones of the vampire. Readings Before the main part of the night gets going I would offer readings. Tarot readings would be the most appropriate as Bram Stoker hired a young Pamela Colman Smith. Later she did the artwork for probably the most used modern tarot deck; the Rider Waite deck. Stoker was also a believer in phrenology. I quite like the idea of doing mock phrenology readings making character readings on the participant. If nothing else it'd be a bit of fun playing with the callipers. Glass pushing/Sance Glass pushing would act as a build up to the sance. Then the sance would round out the evening in style. Hopefully some of the ideas planted earlier in the introduction and effects will of helped set the mood. I am not going into detail on how to run a

sance, far better and more experienced people have written on the subject and they will be listed in further reading at the end. Extras Ghost tour Whitby provides an ideal location for a ghost tour. It could launch your evening in a great way. A tour of the town offers an excellent way to set the scene for such an evening of bizarre entertainment. You can plant seeds in their minds for later and allows the guests to get to know each other prior to the main show. By the time you start your show you will hopefully have a nice atmosphere in the group. I will warn you though it will involve a lot of steps and energy. A health warning is advised. I'm not providing a route for a tour, just some possible locations of interest to provide points for you to use should you wish to try and set up a tour. Bram Stoker took a holiday in Whitby in the Summer of 1890 and it was during this time he wrote much of Dracula. Many of the locations in the book can be tracked down in the town. Stoker stayed at Number 6 Royal Crescent during his holiday in Whitby. A blue plaque can be found to the right of the door of number 6 marking the stay and location. A number of addresses on the Crescent appear in the story. During Stoker's stay three ladies from Hertford were staying in another apartment in the building: Isabel and Marjorie Smith and a Miss Stokes. It has been suggested that these girls, with a mother acting as chaperon, became the models for Lucy and Mina in Dracula9. It is through Lucy and Mina Whitby makes its first appearance in chapter 6. Mina Murray, Lucy Westenra and Lucy's mother are staying in Whitby as a holiday meeting place for Lucy and Mina. Number 4 East Crescent has been identified as one possible location for the Westerna's holiday location. However East Crescent doesn't match up with descriptions of Lucy's night time wanderings, so it seems more likely the house was intended as being on Royal Crescent. Another location on the Crescent is number 7 Royal Crescent, which is given as the address of Samuel F. Billington; a solicitor employed by Dracula to transport the boxes of earth needed for the vampires to sleep in. The girls spend time up in the graveyard. The bench on the cliff is described by Mina: This is to my mind the nicest spot in Whitby, for it lies right over the town and has a
9 The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves and Other Monsters-Rosemary Ellen Guiley


full view of the harbour and all up the bay to where the headland called Kettleness stretches out into the sea. There are walks with seats beside them through the churchyard and people go and sit there looking at the beautiful view and enjoying the breeze. I shall come and sit here very often myself, Indeed I am writing now with my book on my knee It is on this bench where they meet the old and eccentric sailor Mr Swales. Swales tells the tale of the grave behind the bench being a suicide victim. Stoker selected the name Swales from a gravestone which can still be found in the churchyard. The gravestone of Thomas and Ann Swales reads: Our heavy Loades and weary days are past, we hope our souls in heaven may dwell at last. In Dracula Swales prophecies his own death on the day of the great storm.death be all we can depend upon. But I'm content, for it's comin' to me my deary, and comin' quick. Swales is found dead the day after the storm and Dracula's arrival with his neck broken. Lucy's night time sleep walking would take her back up to the graveyard. Mina spots the shadowy figure of Dracula during one of the walks. The graveyard also provides the name of one other character in Dracula; John Steward, whose grave can be found near Ann Swales. One of the most dramatic scenes in Dracula based in Whitby is Dracula's arrival. The deserted boat the Demeter crashes into the shore and a great black dog leaps off. The captain is dead lashed to the wheel. The ship contains the boxes of earth the vampire needs to sleep in. The Demeter may have been inspired by one of two local stories. During Stoker's stay in Whitby a northbound ship smashed into a fishing coble (a type of boat similar to a Viking longboat). The crew of the coble tried to alert the larger ship to their danger, but strangely no one was on board or on watch. The ship destroyed the coble and sailed on oblivious to the damage it had done. Several of the Coble's crew were saved, but sadly two of the fishermen died. Another inspiration was undoubtedly the Russian ship, the Dimitry which ran into the harbour during a strong gale on the 24th October 1885. It narrowly avoided the rocks around the coast and harbour entrance10. Stoker also researched a number of other shipwrecks during his stay. Dracula aside the town is home to many ghost and folklore stories, some have already been detailed in the previous article on Whitby tales. The Abbess Hild haunts the abbey. Her white figure can be seen peering from windows of the ruins up on the cliffs. Ghostly carriages race along the cliff face. Down the steps from the church we
10 Birth of a legend-Count Dracula, Bram Stoker and Whitby, Paul M. Chapman


have Mad Maggie's cellar. Rather than cover the same ground covered in Whitby tales I will look at a few other ghost stories that may make for good stops on a tour of the town. At the end of the harbour there are two stone light houses. These are not the traditional white lighthouses found along the coast, but were there for navigational aids into the harbour. The first on the West pier was built in 1831, the second on the East pier built in 1854. Until recently the West pier lighthouse was open to the public, but closed in February 2012. A one armed figure is said to haunt the steps of this lighthouse, the man having lost his arm in an accident on the cliffs gathering gulls eggs. The East Pier lighthouse however has never been open to the public. Around the base of the lighthouse locals used to congregate hoping to catch sight of the fishermen as they returned home. Two such fishermen were John and Peter. Two brothers, only separated by 2 years. They were thought to be the best fisherman in town. However they both fell for the same young girl; Sylvia Swales. Sylvia's father was a man of common practical sense. He figured one of these men would make a good husband for his daughter so he set a challenge. The brother who brought in the biggest catch would have her hand in marriage. This would show they would make the best provider. They worked throughout the year bringing in large catches, but neither gained an advantage over the other. Sylvia's father decided to bring the challenge to a finish. On Christmas Eve they set off for their last attempt. The boats set off before dawn to great cheers from the locals. As sunset approached the boats were spotted heavily laden with fish. Entering Whitby harbour can be a dangerous task at the best of times, so the two brothers were carefully manoeuvring in. The locals on the sea walls however grew excited and cheered the brothers into a race. The brothers eager to please began to pick up speed. John the younger brother edged ahead. At this point Sylvia showed her preference for the brothers shouting come on Peter. Her voice carried over the water. John on hearing it threw up his arms off the tiller in disappointment and threw himself into the sea. Peter on seeing his brothers plight turned his boat around, but in doing so his boat overturned throwing both brothers into the water together. The brothers were washed away and drowned. Their bodies floating to shore some days later. Sylvia never married. She blamed herself for the brothers deaths. As she grew older she was found more frequently by the lighthouse, staring out to sea, perhaps reliving the tragic events. The tale became well told, till it came to a point people no longer believed it and Sylvia found herself cruelly mocked by the children of the town. She died considered a very strange old spinster. However there are some who claim if you stand by the lighthouse when the wind blows strong you can still sometimes hear a woman's ghostly call of Peter.

There is a tale of a girl with golden hair named Bella in some versions of the story11 and Mary in others12. The stories vary in the details, but the vain girl always meets the same fate. She was a well known beauty around the town and took great pride in her golden hair. She gave it one hundred brushes in the morning and again in the evening. She sprayed it with a special hair oil which gave it the scent of berries. She took great pride in her hair and it was this pride that would be her undoing. One Summers day the girl was sent with her fathers dinner to the bakery. This was a customary way to cook food to save on fuel. Without microwaves to reheat it was a common practise. The baker was too busy to sort it himself, so instructed her to put it in the oven herself. As she lent to place the food in the oven a single strand of her hair caught alight. In an instant her whole head was on fire. The oils she rubbed in her hair proved highly flammable. She ran in a panic out into the streets where the wind spread the fire to her clothes. The baker raced out from the shop and beat the flames out, but it was too late she was horrifically burnt. The baker took her to the hospital on Grape Lane. The girl died several hours later burnt, and lamenting her lost hair. Her ghost appears as a flickering flame, with the crackle of flames and leaving a smell of cooking behind. Her ghost now haunts the Endeavour pub opposite Grape Lane on Church Street. There are many more spots in Whitby connected to hauntings and strange tales. For more information I recommend the cheap booklet 13 ghost stories of Whitby. For more information on Stoker in Whitby I recommend Birth of a legend-Count Dracula, Bram Stoker and Whitby by Paul M. Chapman. For information on running a ghost tour Stephen Ward offers his insights in Freddie Valentine's occult magic 3. I hope you've enjoyed a few of these stories.

11 http://myths.e2bn.org/mythsandlegends/userstory575-the-burning-girl.html 12 13 Ghost stories from Whitby-Michaal Wray


Sideshows/programs A table displaying vampire artefacts could make nice talking point for intervals and add extra credibility to your position as an expert on the subject (depending on your presentation and quality of your artefacts). A current search on ebay will bring up many items suitable for a sideshow exhibit on the theme of Vampires. Vampire hunting kits are available containing stakes, holy water bottles, crosses, bibles, silver bullets, pistols and all manner of tools for destroying the monster. The quality of these items vary massively though, but should provide inspiration for collecting some artefacts of your own. For some finer examples I would recommend searching through Christian Chelman's excellent Surnateum archives (http://www.surnateum.org/). Other possible vampire artefacts include vampire hearts, bones, teeth and blood. For a recent example of an excellent gaff and story check out Dan Baines vampire http://www.whitbyvampire.com/ My own display contained an old crucifix, a soldiers bible from 1917, a copy of Dracula (the Dracula book test) and Lauren Hughes (Raven)-bones of the vampire and a pendulum made of a crucifix and a penny from 1897 (Dracula's publication date). I would also like to get a supply of Hildoceras ammonites for display and to sell as souvenirs (see previous chapter Whitby tales). A program or a pitch book is another way of adding some additional income to the show. A program detailing a bit of Whitby background, Dracula and Stoker would be easy enough to put together. An alternative would be to have several local ghost books available for sale or copies of Dracula or other works by Stoker. Most people attending. You'd hope will, already own Dracula, so maybe stick to other Stoker works or else nice editions of Dracula. I wouldn't advise spending a fortune on these items though or you won't see any return.


Marketed effects/books I have included a list of marketed and published effects on the theme of Dracula and Vampires. I do not endorse or even own all of them I am just including the list to show other ways you could expand the theme. Dracula book test for iphones http://www.lybrary.com/dracula-ebook-test-iphones-p-48538.html Black Hart's Draculea http://www.blackhart.co.uk/page58.html Tony Chris- Nosferatu card http://www.card-shark.de/ Raven's bone of the vampire http://www.merlinswakefield.com/ Mr E Enterprises has several Dracula and vampire effects, not to my taste, but included for completeness. http://www.mreenterprises.co.uk/index.php Steve Murray has a vampire effect in seven shades http://www.leapinglizardsmagic.com/sevenshades.htm Miracle factory produce a twilight book test http://miraclefactory.net/zenstore/ Dr Todd's evening of enchantment contains a Dracula book test combined with a vampire hunting kit http://www.todd-landman.com/ Director's cut-Dracula is one of the most famous horror monsters and peoples image of the vampire have been shaped through cinema. http://www.alakazam.co.uk/product-Directors-Cut-2-by-Simon-Shaw.html Michael Diamond's book of shadows has an effect the Highgate Vampire http://www.dragonskull.co.uk/shadows2.htm Dracula bites the dust-kids magic trick based around chattering teeth http://www.dennymagic.com/products/seasonal-magic/seasonalhalloween/dracula-bites-the-dust-by-mike-bent-cd/


Outlaw effects Luna could be brought in with the link of Dr Seward and Renfield in the asylum. http://www.outlaw-effects.com/store/ Mystic menagerie 3-A postcard from Bram Stoker, a Dracula book test Mystic menagerie 4-River princess


Further reading Whitby A list of books detailing ghost stories, witches and folklore of Whitby and the surrounding area. These four books are solely about Whitby. 13 ghost stories from Whitby-Michael Wray The Whitby Ghost book-Paul McDermott Haunted Whitby-Alan Brook Birth of a Legend-Paul M. Chapman (details Stoker's time in Whitby) These others have small references to Whitby Haunted Yorkshire-W R Mitcchell The ghost handbook-John and Anne Spencer Witches of North Yorkshire-Michael Wray Yorkshire stories of the supernatural-Andy Owens Haunted Places of Yorkshire-Andy Owens Vampire stories Children of the night-compiled by John Stuart Davies. This collection features John Polidori's the vampyre, extracts of Varney the vampire, Carmilla and many other good vampire stories. I am legend-Richard Matheson Anne Rice-Vampire chronicles. I personally enjoyed the first three then found the tailed off a bit after that, but the first few are excellent. Elizabeth Kostova-The historian. One of the better stories continuing the Dracula legend. Certainly a lot better than Stoker's great grand nephew's effort Dracula: The un-dead which should be avoided. You'll never get those hours reading it back. Bram Stoker Birth of a Legend-Paul M. Chapman From the shadow of life-Paul Murray Bram Stoker and the man who was Dracula-Babara Belford And one yet to released that looks suitably stupid for a bizarre routine: The Dracula Secrets: Jack the Ripper and the Darkest Sources of Bram Stoker


Seances/Bizarre magic Paul Voodini's-paranormal entertainer Freddie Valentine's Occult magic series (3 in particular for the ghost walk) Freddie Valentine-The ouija board (for the glass pushing segment of the evening) Corrinda's 13 steps to mentalism Tarot plain and simple