Bram Stoker is famous for his novel Dracula, the named linked in modern times to Vlad Tepes, the son of the dragon and quite a few associations between the seaside town of Whitby, England are reflected in his book.
Fanny Harker was for many years the landlady to Stoker and used the family name in honour of that friendship. Stoker was married with one child, Noel, whilst on holiday with his family a local tragedy seemed to have inspired a well-known part of his book (if not a great deal). Chapter 7 is where the Russian ship the Demeter rolls in, unmanned bar a dead man’s hand which seems to have originated from an incident when local small fishing vessels (known as Cobles) were doing their usual business.
One was off the towns harbour when from the mists a large ship came out in front. Frantic cries from the fishermen went unheard and the ship carried on towards the coble. It upturned the small vessel as it hurt and drown two of the crew in the process, it then carried on sailing and disappeared into the mist.
The “great storm” mentioned did occur, many bad storms had hit the coast over the years but it is generally accepted that Stoker meant the one from 1861.
Much of the descriptions he gives for Whitby are still pretty accurate for today, visitors can follow historical trails for both Bram Stoker and Dracula inspired looks at the town. Whitby has many local landmarks and good views, including ones over the harbour where you can still see fishing vessels and crew at sea.