He is the fictional undead vampire normally associated with Transylvania but whose links are all over Scotland.

Dracula author Bram Stoker was inspired by the landscape, the streets and author friends in Scotland as he got his teeth into the legendary character.

The Dublin-born author took monthly holidays in the Aberdeenshire village of Port Erroll, now called Cruden Bay, and wrote his books there year after year.

But there is far more to the vampire's connections with Scotland and it has emerged that on the 125th anniversary of the publication of Stoker's original classic gothic horror novel there are moves to have a tourist trail to commemorate those links.

The potential trail emerged as Bram Stoker's Canadian-American great-grandnephew, Dacre plans to lead an expedition to mark the anniversary in May culminating with a dinner at the Kilmarnock Arms Hotel in Cruden Bay, where the Dracula author stayed and wrote many pages of the novel.

A commemorative plaque donated by the Stoker family detailing locations in the immediate area will be unveiled on the exterior wall of the hotel during this special event.


Before that he will embark on an beginning at expedition will begin in the Yorkshire seaside town of Whitby, where the author set three chapters of the novel and will then move on to explore all Scottish connections to Dracula – including Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Cruden Bay.

The Scottish trail is currently under discussion between the travel agency Experience Transylvania, Visit Scotland and Dacre Stoker.

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

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

"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.

Nearby Slains Castle, visible from the beach, is thought to have acted as the visual palette for his descriptions of Castle Dracula.


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.

Also seen as an important Scottish link to the novel Dracula is the influence of Scottish writer Emily Gerard on Bram Stoker’s placing the plot in Transylvania.

The Jedburgh-born author wrote a book about Transylvanian superstitions, which played a crucial role in Bram Stoker's research when writing his classic novel.

Scotland's capital also plays a part as the publishing house of Dracula was founded by Edinburgh bookseller and stationer Archibald Constable.

Occultist and author JW Brodie-Innes, a leading member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn's Amen-Ra Temple in Edinburgh has been a personal friend.

In his supernatural horror novel The Devil's Mistress - first published in 1915, three years after Bram Stoker died - he paid tribute to the Dracula author in a special dedication in his book.

It says: "To the memory of my dear friend, the author of Dracula, to whose help and encouragement I owe more than I am at present at liberty to state".

Dacre Stoker says he is now investigating what that "more" actually was.

Sherlock Holmes author Arthur Conan Doyle, who was a spirtualist, also features in Bram Stoker' story as a friend. He was at the Edinburgh author's marriage on 18 September 1907.


When Bram Stoker managed The Lyceum Theatre in London, he produced the Conan Doyle play A Story of Waterloo.

In one letter Conan Doyle said that he had enjoyed reading Dracula adding: "I think it is the very best story of Diablerie which I have read in many years."

Dacre Stoker said: "Both of these guys obviously were interested in the occult and Conan Doyle recognised that."

Bram Stoker's career as a theatre manager, also saw him heavily involved in the opening night of the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh in 1883.

The Glasgow connection comes as Bram Stoker got the job to support the staging of plays at the Theatre Royal.

There is a theory that name of RM Renfield, the fictional character that is unquestionably loyal to the vampire in the Dracula novel, was taken from Glasgow's Renfield Street.


A Visit Scotland source said of the trail: "It will be something we will work with Dacre on, to look at related sites for a potential trail and how accessible they are for visitors, for instance, if they are open to the public, and what the visitor experience would be if added to a self guided trail."

An Experience Transylvania spokeswoman added: "The intentions of the Scottish trail are to follow all existing and relevant Dracula connections in the region, including of course Cruden Bay."

The trail could also take in the Aberdeenshire former fishing village of Collieston, where a shipwreck of a 16th Century Spanish galleon is said to have provided the inspiration for Bram Stoker's second novel, The Mystery of the Sea.

Further around the coast at Whinnyfold, Bram Stoker wrote his book, Lair of the White Worm.

The Aberdeenshire village of Gardenstown is where the author stayed in 1896 and could have finished writing Dracula which was published a year later.

Dacre Stoker said: “Scotland is where many chapters of the novel Dracula were actually written. It was during his long walks along the beach of Cruden Bay and on to Whinnyfold where all of Bram’s earlier inspiration, notes and research came together. This area offered him peace and quiet, a far cry from the interruptions and the stresses of his office in the Lyceum Theatre in London.

"Many ask how come we don’t celebrate in Transylvania, Whitby or Dublin. All these other locations do play a role in the origins of Dracula, of course, but when it comes to celebrating the literary process - the process of a writer bringing the story to life - I think Scotland, is a given”.

Jenni Steele, film and creative industries manager for VisitScotland said of the 15th anniversary event: “This is a fantastic opportunity for people to learn about the Scottish connections to this well-loved novel. Dracula holds such a sense of intrigue and mystery, and it’s easy to see why Bram Stoker was inspired by some of Scotland’s magical landscapes and locations on his travels – not to mention the fascinating connections he had with many other Scottish writers and personalities."