Halloween in Whitby ~ A Seaside Steampunk Spookfest!

Hello world!  I'm fresh back from the most amazing Halloween weekend in Whitby, North Yorkshire! 

I Whitby to the core, and spend as much time as I can there with my family as possible.  There is just something about the wonderfully inviting little vintage clothing and antique shops that pepper the worn-down cobbled streets, the local buskers singing their jolly sea-shanties even on the coldest of winter days, the smell of the kippers being prepared for their posh dining destinations in the teeny tiny smoke house on the hill, and the amazing sense of history that just envelopes me and lures me in to this amazing little town whenever I visit.  And whenever I do visit, I always get that feeling that, I'm finally home. 

Not only did the river (The Yorkshire Esk) that flows from this gorgeous seaside town inspire us in naming our daughter (Eska), it was also backdrop to the day my now Husband proposed to me, on a very wet and miserable Christmas Eve (December 2007), and played the most wonderfully warm & welcoming host to 50 guests on a gloriously sunny day in March this year (the very first day of Spring), when my other half & I finally tied the knot, after 8 and half years, at the beautiful Country House Hotel, that is Dunsley Hall.

Photography Copyright (c) 2009, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

Halloween in Whitby, October 2009 Halloween in Whitby, October 2009

We are lucky to have two amazing friends with access to the most fantastic house, right in the heart of Whitby, just off Flowergate.  Flowergate is a street lined with a menagerie of fabulous gothic, vintage and charity clothing shops, art galleries, restaurants, pubs and some canny coffee houses (visit Java for the best coffee & freshly squeezed Juices going, and Sherlocks for the most amazing home-made scones and cupcakes – that's if you don't have to queue too long to get in), so it took all of about 2 nano-seconds to gleefully accept an invitation to join them there for Halloween this year. 

Bram Stoker found some of his inspiration for 'Dracula' after staying in Whitby in 1890. He stayed in a house on the West Cliff and was trying to decide whether it would be suitable for a family holiday.  Nowadays, Whitby hosts two Gothic weekends each year, and one of them just happens to be on the same weekend as Halloween, so we knew we were going to be in for a visual delight of steampunk spooks and gothic ghoulies!  Here are some of the wonderful sights we encountered …

Look! The REAL Cap'n Jack! …

Halloween in Whitby, October 2009 Halloween in Whitby, October 2009

I noticed far more of the goggle-eyed steampunk look than I have before this year - and it was wonderful!  Everyone, bar one particular miserable group of gothics, seemed delighted to have their photographs taken and high spirits and laughter were most definitely the order of the day.   Halloween Eve was sunny and incredibly mild for October and I got a strong sense of belonging to one big happy halloween family for a day – everyone, no matter their dress choice, age, sex, race or physical appearance, seemed to welcome and smile back at each other.

You just have to visit Whitby at Halloween/Goth Weekend, even if it's just once in your lifetime – but book extremely early for accommodation; the weekend is an incredibly popular one, and most accomodation get's booked out months (some, years) in advance.

More photos & advice on where to get the best fish 'n' chips in Whitby coming shortly!



Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.