A coastal village in the North-east could get a tourism boost thanks to a 19th-century vampire.
That is the view of Dacre Stoker, the great-grandnephew of Bram Stoker who wrote the Gothic drama Dracula, partly inspired by Cruden Bay.
Dacre was in Cruden Bay last night to give a talk about his famous relative, who would enjoy visits to the North-east coast in the late 19th and early 20th Century to escape the hustle and bustle of life in London, where he managed the Lyceum Theatre.
Bram’s visits to Cruden Bay inspired Dracula – Slains Castle was used as a blueprint for Castle Dracula – and Dacre said more could be done to help Cruden Bay businesses capitalise on its association with the great writer.
“There is real living history in Cruden Bay – history that can be told through stories – and, if there can be an effort to persuade council members to recognise that, the whole village will benefit,” said Dacre.
He added: “It would be nice to see something more permanent of Bram Stoker here and it would be good for tourism.
“We have a plaque in memory of Bram at Dublin Castle and here in Cruden Bay there are plenty of opportunities to mark certain spots – where he walked, Slains Castle and the different rocks on the coast that Bram used to describe in different stories.
“This area is very fertile for tourist development that isn’t going to requite messing up the environment. It would require a little bit of investment.”
Dacre said a tourist trail website or phone app could be developed alongside one or two plaques.
The Canadian said the highlight of his two-day trip to Cruden Bay was seeing Bram’s name in the visitors’ book at the Kilmarnock Arms. He added: “I feel Cruden Bay ticked all the boxes for Bram as a place to spend time as he could spend time by the ocean, which he loved, and to chat with coastguards and local fishermen to listen to some of their stories about folklore, which we know he put into his books.”