I was very interested, and a little bit horrified to read that one of my favourite places has been in the news recently.
Whitby is a really lovely seaside town on the North Yorkshire Moors…it is one of Shirl and my favourite ‘boltholes’ where we go when we need time away from everyone. It is a very peaceful town – not ‘tacky’ at all and quite genteel. But it does have a dark side…
Bram Stoker has Count Dracula arriving in Whitby. “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.” So wrote Stoker in 1897, and the town forever has been associated with the supernatural and vampires.
Captain Cook also is associated with the town where he set sail on his voyages of discovery. Whitby was also a whaling town. But it is also famous for the Abbey founded in 657 AD and for St. Mary’s cliff top church which was founded in 1110 AD.
According to the news article here recent erosion of the cliff top on which the church stands has caused some of the bones in the churchyard to fall onto the path below, and and others to stick out of the soil.
We are assured that they will be reburied further up the hill…but in the meantime this unsettling experience will certainly add to Whitby’s reputation as a ‘spooky place’.