Vampire weekend! Dark and sinister characters in Whitby for Goth fest

Vampire weekend! Dark and sinister characters descend on Whitby for annual Goth fest in seaside town that features in Bram Stoker’s iconic Dracula

  • The Whitby Goth Festival takes place in April and October each year and brings in thousands of visitors 
  • Goths come in costumes from all sorts of dress styles including Steampunk, Cybergoth and Romanticism
  • Whitby famously inspired Bram Stoker when he visited the town in 1890 and it featured in his novel Dracula

Thousands of strikingly-dressed Goths descended on a sleepy English coastal town over the weekend for its culture festival celebrating goth culture.

Stunning photos show attendees in a wide variety of dark and period dress walking along the cobbled lanes and seafront promenade of Whitby, in North Yorkshire, which inspired Dracula by Bram Stoker.

The event takes place twice a year, including the last weekend of October, and lasts for three days. 

The now iconic event was first hosted by Jo Hampshire, when she invited 40 of her pen pals to The Elsinore Inn, close to the centre of the idyllic town.

This year, visitors sampled live music and visited a Bizarre Bazaar alternative market, where they could shop at 100 different stalls.

Goths were also seen relaxing in their signature getups in the town’s cafes and pubs, where Bram Stoker sourced ideas for his vampire book, Dracula.

The author visited the harbour town in 1890 – and viewed the ruined monasteries and graveyards as the perfect setting to come up with his blood-sucking lead character.

Thousands of people now descend on Whitby every six months to enjoy the historical town in all its gothic glory

Elaborate costumes are a given at the festival – and not everyone wears all black!

Those coming for the festival can also enjoy the beautiful scenery which inspired Bram Stoker as he wrote Dracula

Steampunk meets goth at every Whitby Goth festival – with this mask seemingly inspired by what doctors wore hundreds of years ago

As well as more traditional goth attire, some attendees enjoy pushing fashion boundaries to make eye-catching outfits

Thousands now visit the town each year in one of the largest and most well-known gothic gatherings in the world


Goths of all types, ages and styles flock to Whitby each year after the festival was initially set up in 1994

Thousands of extravagantly dressed people who follow Steampunk, Cybergoth, Romanticism or Victoriana styles visit the town to take part in a celebration of Goth culture and music

The festival is a unique opportunity for committed goths and ordinary residents to mix and socialise in one of England’s most historic towns

The festival sees many young people get in on the fun, with the event attracting more diverse styles each year


Many tourists travel to Whitby around the Goth festival to enjoy the intricately-designed costumes and get a feel for the culture

The weird and wonderful are often seen in Whitby – and no more than during the bi-annual event

Whitby is featured in the novel and is famously visited by Dracula himself as he lures character Lucy into his grasp, resulting in her death.

Dracula is widely seen as one of the greatest books in vampire culture and is a classic of English literature.

This year’s festival saw no shortage of guests inspired by the characters within Bram Stoker’s novel, with elaborate period dress, vampire-inspired costumes and more seen at the event.

Some costumes combined elements of goth culture and steampunk, and although many were all black, some combined elements of deep purples and reds in their designs too. 

Thousands of extravagantly dressed people who follow Steampunk, Cybergoth, Romanticism or Victoriana visit the town to take part in a celebration of Goth culture and music, making it one of the largest gothic festivals in the world.

The event is billed as family and pet friendly, and children and dogs were also pictured enjoying the festivities. 

The festival was founded in 1994 and is now one of the most famous gothic events in the world, with the other weekend being held in April.

The event began on Friday and ended on Sunday evening. 

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