St. Mary’s Church in the English town of Whitby is one of those place so spooky and gothic that just seeing it, you can’t help but find yourself thinking of hunchbacks, crashing lightning, and hounds baying in the distance. Well, maybe you could, but Bram Stoker couldn’t. The clifftop church and its adjoining cemetery inspired his novel Dracula, and by extension shaped horror fiction for generations to come. Recently, though, the church has been the real life site of a scene that could have been plucked from a horror novel as landslides near the cemetery at the cliff’s edge have resulted in piles of human remains tumbilng into the town below.
Heavy rain and a busted sewage pipe led to the slides, which caused human bones to slide down the cliff and into people’s yards below it. The remains have since been reinterred at the cemetery, and none of them are reported to have bitten anybody, which is a sure sign that we got off light here.
The church’s connections to Bram Stoker’s iconic vampire novel have made it a tourist attraction, and Whitby residents have embraced it, hosting an annual Gothic Weekend that is well-attended by pasty-skinned appreciators of the mysterious and spooky — though photography in the church cemetery has been banned since 2011 after complaints of goths standing on gravestones to be photographed proved too much for church officials.
If this week’s landslides are any indicator, though, skinny kids in knee-high boots draped over a headstone or two may be the least of the church’s worries. It’s the second time since the year 2000 that the cliff the church and cemetery stand atop have experienced landslides like these, meaning that the cliff may be getting less stable, which could be bad news for the nearly 1,000 year-old church. And that’s not even taking into account the fact that those human remains haven’t even risen up and attacked anyone yet. Which, given the church’s background is really just a matter of time.
(via Daily Mail, image courtesy of BBC)
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