You may either love it or hate it, but Halloween is a staple tradition we can't seem to let go of. For me, it's the weird time between the close of summer and Christmas, but it's just a tad bit too early to start taking out the fairy lights and start singing 'Do they know its Christmas time'. Many people just don't understand the hype of it all. However, across the country, there is an abundance of sensational events and festivals that cater to all ages which will help even the nay-sayers get into the ghoulish festive mood. And we have picked six of the best.
Spirits of Meath Festival
Picture: Spirits of Meath Festival
Samhain is the original Celtic festival that we now call Halloween and originated almost 3,000 years ago in the Boyne Valley in County Meath. The festival of Samhain marked the end of the old Celtic year and marked the start of the New Year. So, it is only fitting that a Halloween festival would be held there in its honour. The Halloween extravaganza includes lantern-lit tours of the River Boyne, pick your own pumpkin activities and a special Samhain tour of the Hill of Tara. With an extensive list of activities for young and old, it is the perfect spot to get in the Halloween mood. The Spirits of Meath Festival has already begun and will continue until the 6th of November.
Find out more here.
Westport House Halloween Fest
Video: Westport House Youtube
For this special time of year, Westport House turns into an eerie mansion with scary stories of witches and of creepy dungeons below where the Pirate Queen Grace o' Malley hid her prisoners. There is an abundance of activities to keep the little ones happy including pumpkin carving and a Michael Jackson Thriller dance class. Visitors can then head over to enjoy the Pirate Adventure Park and its hair-raising rides and the acres of parkland which surround the house. On Halloween Day there is a very special disco and costume competition from 3-5pm. The Halloween Fest takes place from the 2oth to the 21st of October and the 27th to the 31st. Click here to find out more.
Bram Stoker Festival
Video: Bram Stoker Youtube
The Bram Stoker Festival takes place in Dublin from the 26th to the 29th of October and is a four day spectacular of gothic and deadly adventures. The Macnas parade, a screening of the horror comedy 'Arachnophobia' at the Botanic Gardens, The Haunted Library tour and the Dracula Disco are some the frightening events on offer in the capital.
Find out more here.
Taking place from the 26th of October to the 4th of November, the Carlow Scarefest is offering up one of the most extensive event guides for Halloween. Anything from paranormal investigations, Halloween farmers markets, a spectacular fire show and a public witch trial, there really is something for all the family to enjoy over the ten days. Find out more here.
The Nightmare Realm
Picture: Nightmare Realm
Strictly for teens and adults only, the Nightmare Realm is the place to go if you really want the actual fear of God put in you this Halloween. Taking place in the RDS, this is an extreme walk-through event with all the sets being live and the monsters and goblins being real-life horrors. It is most definitely not for the faint of heart, but if you love a good fright and screaming your lungs into oblivion, this is the place for you. Find out more here.
Knocknagoshal Halloween Festival
Picture: Knocknagoshal Halloween Festival Facebook Page
Once a year, a small village in North Kerry becomes a terrifying spectacle. Now in its 25th year, the famous ghost trail in Knocknagoshal plays host to some of the scariest creatures and villains that can be found in this country and is a great price at only €5 per person. I have been there numerous times and can vouch that it is horrifically scary, so much so that I lost my phone on the trail in a mad fit of screaming terror. Find out more here.
For something a little different this Halloween night, look no further than the Kraken Screamfest at The Sugar Club. Not for the faint-hearted, dive into the myth and legend of the Kraken sea beast and experience a truly gruesome and immersive movie experience. The freakiest film- which you can now vote for on the Kraken Rum Ireland social media channels- will be shown on the night. Guests will also be treated to a spine-chilling collection of The Kraken Black Spiced Rum cocktails and cinema snacks which all possess a dark Kraken twist. And if you really want to go that extra mile, guests can get a freaky make-over with an on-site horror make-up artist. Tickets are great value at €20 and include two Kraken Rum cocktails. They can be purchased over on Ticket Tailor.