September 30, 2011

Rector bans Goths from posing for photos in graveyard

by Jan Harris

Twice a year Goths flock to the seaside town of Whitby in North Yorkshire, but the rector of St Mary’s Church has banned photography around the graves.

It is believed that the rector found dozens of Goths sitting or lying on the graves and was concerned that this was disrespectful to the families of the people buried there.

John Hemson, the church’s warden said: “There are people in Whitby who had families there even though it closed in 1861 and they object to it very much”.

The churchyard features in Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula, and is where the vampire Count attacks his victim, Lucy Westenra.

St. Mary’s Church sits on top of a hill above the town and is reached by 199 stone steps.

The graveyard contains memorials to sailors, fishermen, Royal Navy seamen and lifeboatmen among others.

The rector’s decision has caused concern that it could jeopardise the future of the festival, which has been held in Whitby since 1994.

The event attracts thousands of Goths and generates welcome revenue for the town.

The next Goth weekend will be held from the 3rd to the 7th of November and is organised by Jo Hampshire who runs Top Mum Promotions.

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