Whitby Abbey vampire gathering smashes world record on Dracula anniversary

The record for the largest gathering of people dressed as vampires now belongs to Whitby, and stands at an impressive 1,369.

By Louise Perrin
Friday, 27th May 2022, 11:04 am
Updated Friday, 27th May 2022, 11:07 am
Vampire record attempt at Whitby Abbey Pic: James Hardisty
Vampire record attempt at Whitby Abbey Pic: James Hardisty

As the sun set over Whitby Abbey, in the dying embers of the evening, a hushed crowd gathered to listen to Jack Brockbank, a very stern looking gentleman from the Guinness Book of World Records, deliver the news they had all been hoping to hear.

They were record breakers!

The event, which took place on the 125 anniversary of the publication of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, was organised by English Heritage .

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The Abbey provided a great backdrop for the attempt Pic: James Hardisty

People travelled from across the country to join the event with several coming from places hundreds of miles away, including Stoke on Trent, Whitley Bay and County Durham.

Gates opened at 6.00pm, but it quickly became apparent that with so many vampires gathering in one place the official record attempt time of 6.45pm was unlikely to happen.

Hundreds of people waited patiently, many for over an hour, while costumes were checked and verified.

Several people fell foul of the strict costume regulations and men missing waistcoats, and those without capes or fangs were turned away from the site of the official count.

The record attempt was attended by all ages Pic: James Hardisty

At 8.00pm people were still making their way through the narrow archway to a large area of grass on the other side of the Abbey grounds.

The good natured crowd adorned in red white and black and of course, complete with capes and fangs stood patiently and waited to be verified and counted by the official record adjudicator.

At around 8.30pm, the crowd were asked to ensure they were wearing their fangs and the World Record attempt was underway.

Under the watchful eye of Mr Brockbank, the crowd stood together in one place for five minutes, before being allowed to disperse.

Everybody got involved with the event

The compere took to the stage and said: “We're very close to breaking the record, stay where you are... we'll give you an update as soon as we can.”

Count finished, a nervous wait ensued as Jack Brockbank the adjudicator went off to verify the count.

Free to move around the grounds, the crowd gathered to watch a performance by Time Will Tell Theatre, anxiously awaiting the result.

And then a rumble of anticipation ran through the crowd as Mr Brockbank stepped to the front of the stage to announce the result:

“Ladies and gentlemen … vampires … This has been an official attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Vampires.

“We have now reached a final result.

“The record to beat was set in 2011, in Virginia, USA, where 1039 people dressed as vampires.

“I can now confirm that here today, at Whitby Abbey, at an event organised by English Heritage, that the total number of people dressed as vampires equals one thousand, three hundred and ….”

In truth the rest of the words were extinguished by the cheer from the crowd, it didn’t matter about the rest of the figures, 1,300 would be enough for them all to be record breakers.

The New Guinness World Record, for the Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Vampires now belongs to Whitby and stands at 1,369.