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Civic Reception at Cruden Bay for 125th Anniversary of Bram Stoker's 'Dracula'

>> 27 May 2022

The 125th anniversary of author Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula was marked at a civic reception held in the hotel where he wrote his classic books.

Local councillor for Peterhead South and Cruden Stephen Smith obtained agreement from Aberdeenshire Council to mark the occasion with a Civic Reception, which took place in the Kilmarnock Arms Hotel – which still has the guest book from the 1890s signed by Bram Stoker on one of his many visits to Cruden Bay.

The Provost of Aberdeenshire Cllr Judy Whyte, Bram Stoker’s great grandnephew Dacre Stoker, ward member for Peterhead South and Cruden, Cllr Stephen Smith, and Caroline Warburton, VisitScotland’s Regional Leadership Director for the East, were among the guests last night celebrating the historic milestone.

An information board was unveiled by Dacre Stoker at the hotel outlining Aberdeenshire’s rich association with Dracula, as nearby Slains Castle was an inspiration in Bram Stoker’s famous novel. Guests were also treated to Dacre Stoker speaking about Bram Stoker and his legacy.

Commenting, Cllr Stephen Smith, said:

“It was a great privilege last night to introduce the Civic Reception held to mark 125 years since the publication of Bram Stoker's 'Dracula', which was partly written in Cruden Bay during one of his many stays here.

“It was tremendous that Dacre Stoker was present for the event and generously contributed an information plaque to the village, which is now on the wall of the Kilmarnock Arms Hotel – where parts of the book was written - and was unveiled last night.

“I am privileged to represent the area where Bram Stoker was inspired to write Dracula all those years ago. It is an area rich in history and breathtakingly beautiful. I am grateful to everyone who played a part in making this civic event and anniversary commemoration such a success.”

Provost of Aberdeenshire Cllr Judy Whyte said:

“Aberdeenshire is a special corner of North-east Scotland which features hauntingly beautiful scenery, so it is easy to see why Bram Stoker was inspired to write many masterful novels. It was fitting that Bram Stoker’s great grandnephew Dacre shared details about Bram Stoker and his legacy as the author inspired many films and books based upon the classic work.”

Caroline Warburton, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director for the East, said:

“This anniversary is a fantastic opportunity to highlight Aberdeenshire’s connections to this world-renowned book and iconic literary character.

“That Bram Stoker’s writings are said to have been influenced by the area’s evocative locations and landscapes adds a further intriguing dimension to the book.

“2022 marks Scotland’s Year of Stories – so this anniversary is a perfect fit to celebrate the region’s links to this classic novel. And we hope that by highlighting these associations with Aberdeenshire, people will come and see for themselves the inspirational places that arguably helped create one of the most famous pieces of literature ever written.”

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