World Dracula Day: 6 Places to Visit

World Dracula Day: 6 Places to Visit, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Bram Stoker, Dracula, Whitby, Transylvania, Romania. vampires
Photo by Nichitean Dumitrita Veronica on Pexels.com

Close on the heels of World Goth Day comes World Dracula Day. It might be sunny springtime where you live, but this is the week to ignore the singing birds and blooming flowers, and channel your dark side (for those of you who don’t already do that year round anyway). What better way to immerse yourself in all things Dracula than by visiting the places associated with the Count?

(Note: I won’t be including any sites that focus exclusively on Vlad Dracul/Vlad the Impaler. While he has his own blood-soaked history, his connection to Stoker’s Dracula, in my opinion at least, doesn’t go much further than the name.)

Bran Castle, Transylvania

World Dracula Day: 6 Places to Visit, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Bram Stoker, Dracula, Whitby, Transylvania, Romania. vampires, Bran castle

The only castle in Transylvania that fits Stoker’s description, Bran Castle is widely considered to be “Dracula’s castle.” If the beautiful building and rich history aren’t enough for you, the castle regularly offers special exhibitions. Until November 2022, there’s an exhibition on the Making of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. For general vampire entertainment there’s a “History of Dreads in Transylvania,” which includes the strigoi, among other myths and legends. If the onsite restaurant is open when you go, you can try the “Count’s Dessert” (chocolate cake with raspberry sauce, fresh fruit, and rose petal powder).

“Golden Crown” Hotel, Transylvania

World Dracula Day: 6 Places to Visit, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Bram Stoker, Dracula, Whitby, Transylvania, Romania. vampires, Golden Crown, Coroana de Aur, Bistrita

After Stoker published Dracula, tourists started showing up in Transylvania. From the start they were looking to stay in the same hotel that Jonathan Harker spent a night in (The Golden Crown). The hotel didn’t exist, but some enterprising soul realized it would be a great idea to build it. The Coroana de Aur (“Golden Crown” in Romanian) hotel in Bistrita doesn’t have much in common with the inn Harker stayed at, but there is a Jonathan Harker Salon at the restaurant. You can also order authentic Mămăligă (polenta) like Harker ate. No word on whether they also offer stuffed aubergines.

The Dracula Experience, Whitby

World Dracula Day: 6 Places to Visit, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Bram Stoker, Dracula, Whitby, Transylvania, Romania. vampires, The Dracula Experience

Live actors and special effects tell the story of Dracula and how the town of Whitby relates to it. The “Experience” has been described as a story set in a haunted house, which is appropriate since the building it’s in is apparently centuries old and haunted. To explore the building’s ghost sightings and other paranormal activity, a Paranormal Night takes place the first Saturday of every month (no special effects here).

St. Mary’s Churchyard and Whitby Abbey, Whitby

World Dracula Day: 6 Places to Visit, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Bram Stoker, Dracula, Whitby, Transylvania, Romania. vampires, St. Mary's, St. Mary's churchyard, Whitby Abbey, 199 steps

The graveyard at St. Mary’s Church is the setting and inspiration for a number of scenes in Dracula. Try to see how many of the character’s names you can find on the gravestones (Stoker borrowed a few of them). On the way to the church, you can climb the 199 steps that a black dog (Dracula in another form) was seen running up in the book.

Whitby Abbey by Mat Fascione is licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0

And while you’re there make sure to make the 100 metre (340 feet) trek from St. Mary’s to Whitby Abbey, another source of Stoker’s inspiration. Explore the ruins before checking out the on-site museum and shop. The Abbey hosts all kinds of Dracula-themed events (this year they’re trying to break the world record for the Largest Gathering of People Dressed Like Vampires), so check the schedule before you go.

Bram Stoker’s Grave, London

World Dracula Day: 6 Places to Visit, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Bram Stoker, Dracula, Whitby, Transylvania, Romania. vampires, Bram Stoker's grave

If you’re in London, you can go pay your respects at the final resting place of the man who brought the world Dracula. You do need to book ahead because the building is kept locked. If you can’t make it there in person, you can leave a virtual flower in his honour.

These are just a few of the Dracula-related places to visit, and I expect more will open as tourism eventually returns to normal. Do you have a favourite Dracula-themed place or event? Share in the comments…

Don’t forget to give other vampires some love too– download my books today!

Aspasia S. Bissas books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, book, books, free book, free books, freebies, freebie, free ebook, free ebooks, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, dark romance, historical fiction, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, dark reads, indie author, indie fiction, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

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If you prefer paperback, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

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Calling All Vampires…

Calling All Vampires, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Dracula, Guinness World Records, vampire gathering, Whitby, England, Bram Stoker, English Heritage
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

In honour of the 125th anniversary of the publication of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, English Heritage is hoping to break the world record for “Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Vampires.” The current record involves 1039 people, and EH hopes to get 1897 participants of all ages (1897 being the year Dracula was published).

The event will take place at Whitby Abbey in northeastern England. Stoker spent time in Whitby, finding inspiration there for parts of Dracula.

Would-be vampires must adhere to a dress code: “full traditional vampire fancy dress costume,” which includes black pants or a dress, waistcoat and white shirt, a black cape or collared overcoat (lining doesn’t need to be black), black shoes, and fangs over your top teeth.

Calling All Vampires, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Dracula, Guinness World Records, vampire gathering, Whitby, England, Bram Stoker, English Heritage

There will also be performances of excerpts of Dracula and live music.

Details

Date: 26 May 2022 (World Dracula Day)

Time: 6 pm to 9 pm (record attempt will take place from 6:45 pm to 7:15 pm)

Cost: Tickets are free to anyone in costume, but they do need to be reserved in advance

Find out more and book your tickets here.

Will you be part of the world’s largest vampire gathering? Share in the comments…

In the meantime, get into the vampire mood by downloading my books:

Aspasia S. Bissas books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, book, books, free book, free books, freebies, freebie, free ebook, free ebooks, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, dark romance, historical fiction, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, dark reads, indie author, indie fiction, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer paperback, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

🧿

World Dracula Day: 5 of the Count’s Best Crossovers

World Dracula Day: The Count's Best Crossovers blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas
Photo via the BBC.

Tuesday is World Dracula Day, when we celebrate the anniversary of the first publication of Bram Stoker’s vampire classic Dracula. Over the 123 years he’s been with us, The Count has encountered all sorts of other characters, some more memorable than others. Here are some of my favourite Dracula crossovers…

Dracula vs. King Arthur

World Dracula Day: The Count's Best Crossovers, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas

After making a deal with Lucifer to become a vampire, Lucifer then decides to send Dracula back to Arthurian times to take over the world. Hi-jinks ensue over the course of this comic book’s four-issue run. It’s maybe not the best-executed crossover (Lucifer wants to send Dracula back in time to before vampires existed so the Count can start turning humans and spreading evil– so why send him back to the time of legendary heroes? Why not to, I don’t know, any other time in history that wasn’t legendary?), but the concept of Dracula vs. King Arthur is a good one, and Camelot fighting Dracula is a fun idea (Merlin as sinister anti-hero doesn’t hurt, either).

Dracula vs. Frankenstein

World Dracula Day: The Count's Best Crossovers blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas

As two of the most popular monsters, it’s no surprise that Dracula has faced off against Frankenstein*. In fact, the two have met many times over the years in movies like Dracula vs. Frankenstein and Les expériences érotiques de Frankenstein (ooh la la); pulp novels like Frankenstein Meets Dracula; and comic books, including The Frankenstein-Dracula War and A Story of Dracula, the Wolfman and Frankenstein, which came with a corresponding LP so you could listen to the story as you looked through the book. Whether you root for the undead or the reanimated, these stories have you covered.

*Yes, Frankenstein is the doctor, not the monster. It’s been 202 years of people calling the monster Frankenstein– can we just accept it?

Dracula vs. Zorro

World Dracula Day: The Count's Best Crossovers, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas

Zorro and Dracula meet on a ship heading to Europe and become instant enemies. Although it’s hate at first sight, the fight doesn’t get serious until they meet up in the catacombs of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris (as one does). As a fan of both Zorro and the Count I’m not sure who to root for in this mashup, although I am slightly disappointed that (spoiler) Dracula doesn’t turn Zorro. Now that would be an interesting story…

Dracula vs. Sherlock Holmes

World Dracula Day: The Count's Best Crossovers, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas

I don’t know why I was surprised that Dracula has met up with Sherlock Holmes, but he has– and numerous times, too. I haven’t seen or read any of the existing versions (yet), but there’s one Dracula/Sherlock crossover I would love to see, and that’s one put together by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, creators of the BBC’s Sherlock and Dracula (2020). It’s true I didn’t really enjoy their Dracula miniseries earlier this year, and the last season of Sherlock left a lot to be desired, but if the two of them were inspired and brought their A game, they could make a crossover for the ages with their versions of these characters. Dare we hope?

Dracula vs. Batman

World Dracula Day: The Count's Best Crossovers, blog post via Aspasia S. Bissas

It’s definitely worth seeking out the animated The Batman vs. Dracula if you’re a fan of either character. Based on The Batman TV series, the story brings Dracula to Gotham, while also featuring some of the typical characters you’d expect, like Penguin and Joker. The movie touches on the influence of Dracula on Batman, which I appreciate. The animation is fantastic, especially for Dracula and the other vampires. I actually reviewed this movie years ago on my other blog, if you feel like taking a look (I have since come to appreciate Dracula more as a character). I don’t think there are any plans for a sequel, but I would love to see more Dracula-Batman stories.

There are other great Dracula crossovers, but I’m going to save those for another post. In the meantime, which is your favourite (including those not mentioned here)? Who would you like to see Dracula go up against? Share in the comments…

Happy Dracula Day!

Aspasía S. Bissas

Aspasia S. Bissas's books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw
Want to read about vampires that aren’t Dracula? Download my books FREE…

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If you prefer a good paperback to an ebook, order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

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