A descendant of Bram Stoker is to travel to Scotland for the first time next month to visit the stretch of North East coastline which inspired his ancestor’s classic horror tale Dracula.
Dacre Stoker, the great grand-nephew of the writer, will visit Cruden Bay and Slains Castle, a dramatic clifftop pile that overlooks the North Sea.
Its distinctive floor plan was mentioned in Dracula, published in 1897, with the castle used as a setting in at least five of Stoker’s novels, according to research.
Mr Stoker, who has written a prequel to Dracula which is due to be made into a Hollywood film, will also deliver a talk in the Kilmarnock Arms Hotel in the village.
It was here that his ancestor wrote several early chapters of the book in 1895.
Mr Stoker, who lives in the US, will be welcomed to Cruden Bay by Mike Shepherd of the Port Errol Heritage Group which mounted an exhibition this year on Stoker’s links to Cruden Bay.
Mr Shepherd, who is writing a book on Stoker’s North East connections, said: “Around the time of the exhibition I got in touch with him and he was intrigued about the exhibition. I offered to show him round and he has taken me up on the offer.
“It is very appropriate that he will be speaking at the Kilmarnock Arms Hotel as that is not only where Stoker stayed but wrote the first chapters of Dracula.”
Stoker came across Cruden Bay on a walking tour in 1893 and in his own words, fell in love with the place. He returned year after year until 1910, two years before his death.
Stoker, who was born in Dublin and worked as the manager of the Lyceum Theatre in London, set two other stories in the village - The Watter’s Mou’ and The Mystery of the Sea - with much of the dialogue written in Doric.
Dacre Stoker’s prequel, co-written by JD Barker, is due out next year 1868.
It detail the encounters of a young Bram with some of the creatures he would later write about. It will be published on both sides of the Atlantic with the film rights sold to Paramount.
Mr Stoker will speak at the Kilmarnock Arms Hotel on Monday, November 13 at 7pm.