The Daily Fail reports this month that Goths attending that haven of all things ooky and spooky in the UK, Whitby Gothic Weekend, will in future be disappointed to learn that photographs on or near the gravestones in St Mary's iconic churchyard in Whitby are now forbidden. St Mary's is an exceptionally beautiful cemetery in a Goth-beloved setting, featured in Bram Stoker's infamous novel Dracula, and apparently some Whitby locals even fear that the photography ban could spell the end of Goth Weekend.
Certainly, being photographed looking brooding whilst leaning listlessly against a weathered tombstone is one of the most popular pasttimes for Goths attending the event. But I'm sure that many Goths will feel that the reasoning behind the ban is sound. Church officials say that those in Whitby who have families and ancestors resting in St Mary's graveyard have been offended by photos of darklings sitting, lying, or even standing on table stones.
But will it spell the end for Whitby? I highly doubt it. Whilst it has always been a bit of a tradition for many Goths attending Goth Weekend to have their photo taken in such a stunning, historic location, there are many other attractions for the black-clad throng such as shopping, dancing, socialising, climbing those famous steps at Whitby Abbey, and of course all the live band performances.
Plus, even with the ban in effect, many Goths, I'm sure, would still enjoy a pleasant walk amongst the gravestones. And the ban itself only specifies photography 'on or near' the stones, and I would have thought that photos with the cemetery in the background would be equally as good a momento and would be unlikely to offend any Whitby residents. Perhaps a simple ban on standing on the stones would make the point a little clearer for unruly darklings...