“Lonely Dracula” Visits NJ Sites on Instagram

This Asbury Park Instagrammer is looking for her necks victim.

Photo courtesy of Michele Aed.

Ever wondered what Dracula enjoys doing on the weekends? Asbury Park resident Michele Aed likes to think he’s just like us. The 28-year-old’s creative Instagram photo series “Lonely Dracula” aims to take the mystery out of Dracula by placing him in everyday situations—that just so happen to be around New Jersey.

The Pennsylvania transplant still remembers the exact moment she met Dracula. Aed recalls visiting her hometown, where she met up with a group of close friends at a local hangout. It was there, she says, where a friend “went to the back of the bar and brought out a huge, silly mask.” After being passed around the table to unwilling recipients, it landed by Aed, who decided she would take it home.

She admits it wasn’t blood-sucking love at first sight. “It sat in my car for close to a year,” says Aed. A graphic designer for the national publishing giant Gannett, Aed says she was prompted to bring the mask back to life during a “13 Weeks of Summer” event at work. During the weekly team-building excursions, she and her coworkers tried their hand at everything from stand up paddle-boarding to deep sea fishing—all while she was wearing the Dracula mask.

Dracula Beach and Bike

As a graphic designer, Aed is always on the lookout for things that will spark her creativity—even outside the office. “What I do is very conceptual,” she says, “so I find a lot of inspiration through art and photography.” Aed cites fellow Instagrammers Derrick Lin and Tatsuya Tanaka, who bring miniature figurines to life by staging them in real-world scenarios, as influencing her Lonely Dracula project. She also attends regular Instagram meet-ups around the state, where members of the New Jersey Instagram community can explore unfamiliar places and meet new faces.

Meeting new people, Aed explains, is another reason she was drawn to capturing Dracula outside his element. “That’s where some of the inspiration comes from for the Lonely Dracula name, me personally trying to get myself to explore and to meet new people.”

Dracula Barn and Orchard

So, where is Dracula headed next?

Well, he certainly won’t be retreating to the darkness anytime soon. Aed says she has a “laundry list of every day things [she wants] to get pictures of Dracula doing.”

But for now, she’s just hoping to get a picture of him picking pumpkins before the season is over.

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