He is the legendary undead vampire who is normally associated with Transylvania but a new book claims that an author really got his teeth into Dracula in Scotland.

Dublin-born part-time writer Bram Stoker took monthly holidays in the Aberdeenshire village of Port Erroll, now called Cruden Bay, and wrote his books there year after year.

He would even describe some of the rocks at Cruden Bay in his novel The Mystery of the Sea as "fangs rising from deep water".

The Herald:

Bram Stoker first came across Port Erroll and Cruden Bay while on a walking holiday along the Aberdeenshire coast in 1893.

"When first I saw the place I fell in love with it," Stoker wrote in his 1902 mystery novel The Mystery of the Sea, one of his two novels based in Port Erroll.

A new book, by Cruden Bay author Mike Shepherd which provides details of the writing of Dracula in Scotland says he started his creation in 1895 and began behaving very strangely while doing so.

"He withdrew emotionally from his wife and son, becoming quick-tempered at any interruption and that they became frightened of him. He would then escape to Cruden Bay beach to think out his novel," he said.

The new book When Brave Men Shudder: the Scottish origins of Dracula suggests that he was acting out the part of Count Dracula to get an authentic tone to the writing.

Nearby Slains Castle, visible from the beach, probably acted as the visual palette for his descriptions of Castle Dracula.

The Herald:

His last visit to the area was in 1910, when he was very ill and two years later, he died.

His wife Florence contributed a recipe to a pamphlet published by the Cruden Parish Church in the year of his death – Cruden Recipes and Wrinkles. The recipe is for Dracula Salad and was her memorial to her late husband, Cruden Bay and his famous book.

The Herald:

The introduction to the book, written by Dacre Stoker, the author's great grand-nephew says: "The Aberdeenshire village in the north of Scotland is perhaps too remote for most; that is, except for Mike - he lives there. This helps, as he is intimately familiar with the localities associated with Bram Stoker and has access to unpublished local archive material.

"I visited Cruden Bay in 2017, and the memory of Bram Stoker’s time there is strong, even though it’s over a hundred years since his last trip north."