ONE OF US artistic director Maya Korn and ONE OF US sympathiser Kirsty Young went on a GOTHIC pilgrimage to WHITBY, known for being the first place Dracula landed in Stoker’s novel (among other things).
The journey is not a simple one if you are not a resident of the North with a car. It involved an overnight stay in Leeds, a 7AM bus to Whitby (that lasts 3.5 hours), a return coach to Scarborough (16:30PM), train to York and then London meaning they returned at 23:30PM. BUT this epic journey is well worth the trip to bring you:
HOW TO MACABRE
1. GET CREAM TEA @Sherlock’s Coffee House
The year is 1890. In August, the Demeter, a schooner, is discovered adrift off the English coast near Whitby Harbour, its crew missing, its murdered captain lashed to the wheel, and its only passenger is a sinister black dog. This impenetrable mystery is clearly a case for the inimitable Sherlock Holmes who is approached by Thomas Parker, on behalf of his Whitby Editor, to take up the case, which he does. But for the first time in his illustrious career, the great detective is baffled. Clearly the crew have been murdered and dumped overboard, but what can account for the captain’s expression of imponderable terror and his acute loss of blood, or the ship’s strange cargo — fifty boxes of earth?
The game is afoot, and Sherlock Holmes, aided as ever by the faithful Dr. Watson, finds himself on the trail of no mortal enemy, but the arch-vampire himself — Count Dracula…
Obviously, WE couldn’t not therefore go to the Sherlock Holmes tea house. Maya got Lady Grey, Kirsty got Earl. The scones were fresh baked and warm with crunchy sultanas. An indulgent breakfast for 2 world weary travelers.
There are lots of cute bric-a-brac shops in Whitby that are fairly priced and good quality. Maya’s favourite was the above (Whitby Antiques and Collectibles Emporium) where she discovered Whitby Jade, bought a vintage 50s Vulcanite cross, a doll (ONE OF US PROP), a 70s beaded bag and peacock feather fan, all for way under £100. Kirsty got a beautiful Bakelite bird pin (that will be photographed later).
3. GOTH’S BE GETTING THEIR RUNES READ @Spiritual Connections (Whitby’s Witchcraft Shop)
If a rune reading comes your way why would you refuse? It’s £3 a pop and you get to keep your rune and hang out with the lovely Barry. What did the reading say? Well that would be telling! Barry also gave us both budding daffodils which may have made our day. WHITBY GOFF’s are just nicer than normal people.4. THE ABBEY
It was windy.
Legend has it that you can never count the right amount of steps up to the Abbey/East Cliff (it’s supposed to be 199). Kirsty was 1 off the total, Maya was 5 off (fail). FUN FACT: the steps were built over 200 years ago originally in wood.
6. WITCH BITCHES NEED FAMILIARS SO LET’S DINE @The Magpie Cafe
Maya was very tempted to buy a song bird. M & K went into a pet shop that only sold fish, finches, canaries and budgies. Maya decided she wanted to pretend she was from the 20s and buy a canary to put in an ornate vintage cage. This didn’t happen. Instead they channeled the birds they had just seen and went to local classic Magpie for fish ‘n chips. Be warned, this is everyone’s favourite lunch spot so there is always a 15-20 minute queue but it’s well worth it.
7. The Dracula Experience
No photographic evidence… Did it even happen? We kind of saw Christopher Lee’s cape in the dark…
Very tacky, very fun: Whitby Gothic style.
8. WHITBY ART GALLERY & MUSEUMThe art gallery is free, the museum and all its weird curiosities isn’t. The museum was near closing and the lady behind the counter said the time we had left wouldn’t do it justice. But then we found out there was an undergarments expo. Kirsty, being a costume maker, was keen to see it and the ticket master said if we gave Clarence a donation we could sneak in.
This is Clarence.
This museum is worth the trip up the hill (there are a lot of hills in Whitby).
9. LET’S AMBLE
There’s so much weird shit to encounter in Whitby, some of the best advice we can give is wander about with an undefined plan and see what you discover.