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Gothic rock fans flock to Whitby’s historic St Mary’s Church in North Yorkshire during Whitby Goth Weekend to be snapped by photographers in the graveyard.
The cemetary is the place Dracula takes his victim Lucy Westernra during the night in Bram Stoker’s classic novel, overlooked by the imposing abbey.
But now photoraphy is being banned around graves at St Mary’s Church because they say is disrespectful to the dead who are buried there.
Signs have appeared since the last Goth Weekend prohibiting photography on and near gravestones.
John Hemson, the church’s warden said: “The reason the rector did it was I had become unbearable. I sat there one day and in half an hour nine photographers walked past me.
“The Goths stand, sit or even lie on the table graves. there are people in Whitby who had families there even though it closed in 1861 and they object to it very much.
“The rector is very strong on this. It is a mark of respect, it is a holy place like all cemeteries and some of the gravestones we have had to lay on the ground.”
Amateur photographer Chris Oakes, from York, says it could spell the end of the festival, which has recently split between two dates each year.
He said: “It needs to be said Whitby is on the verge of losing its weekend soon. What with the split and this, I think that will be the end.
“What’s wrong with the church being used for two days? Everyone is enjoying themselves.
“If anything the families of the deceased should be the ones to complain, what do they say?
“It’s like Whitby is on self-destruct.”
Local resident Lynne Lawrence added: “Restricting photography is a false economy. The more photographs there are to “share” the more publicity is generated therefore more revenue.
“I think “keep off the daffs” and “it is an offence to touch the gravestones” would be more effective in that case.”
Thousands of Goths and punks congregate in the fishing town for the weekend, which began in 1994.