In order to get into the spooky spirit, here’s a list of fun and frightening things to do in Dublin this eerily festive season.
1) Samhain Tours & Tales at the GAA Museum
This family friendly event consists of a scavenger hunt through the grounds of Croke Park, searching for Séamus the Samhain Scarecrow, who guards the elusive Harvest treasure. Following this, visitors will be entertained by the renowned storyteller, Eddie Lenihan. The whole family will be enthralled as Eddie tells the tales of his own childhood Samhain adventures and recalls hurling with the fairy folk. Tickets for adults cost €16, for children €12 and students or OAPs, €14. A family of four ticket is €50. Each ticket includes a hot Halloween drink for all adult ticket holders, a small gift for all children and late entry to the GAA Museum. This event runs from the 28th October to the 1st November.
2) The Macnas Parade
This is an annual spooky, elaborate, night-time parade, performed by the world-renowned theatre group Macnas. The city is transformed as the group showcase their enormous, creepy floats through the city centre, while actors jump out and walk alongside them in an unnerving manner. The whole event gives off a chilling, demonic vibe, especially as it takes place right after dark, to give it the full effect. This is actually the last event in the Bram Stoker Festival and is a free event, suitable for all ages. It takes place on Monday 30th October at 6pm and the starting point is on Moore Street.
3) Bram Stoker Festival
As we all know, Bram Stoker was the Irish author most famous for writing the novel Dracula. For the past few years during the month of October there has been a festival in honour of the man himself and the creation of vampires. This year is no different, in fact it’s bigger and better than ever. There are tons of events which the Bram Stoker Festival are holding between the 27th and 30th of October, including a screening party of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a screening and live score performance of Vampyr, the Irish horror expo, Al Porter’s camp Dracula, and many more. The festival includes a wide variety of events all held in Dublin, which are not to be missed.
4) The Nightmare Realm
The Nightmare Realm is an immersive, haunted house like no other. It plays on your deepest fears and twists them into reality. It’s an extreme, horror filled walkthrough event which has been torturing its victims in Cork since 2009. However, this is its second year in the RDS in Dublin, and this year it’s even more petrifying, grotesque and thrilling than ever before, with three different scare attractions. It’s not for the faint-hearted, and strictly suitable for teenagers and adults only. If you book your tickets online they’re slightly cheaper and range between €16-€21 depending on if you’re a student or adult, or if it’s off-peak or peak time.
5) Movie Nights at the Lighthouse Cinema
The Lighthouse is one of Dublin’s most iconic cinemas with its vibrant presentation and unique programming style. This Halloween season it’s showing a variety of horror flicks, including Carrie and The Shining. The bar in screen makes this cinema experience even more pleasurable, as patrons can enjoy a craft beer, wine or even cocktails while watching a film. If you’ve got an itch for horror, then check out your local cinema to see what seasonal movies they’re showing.
6) Spooktacular Boo at Dublin Zoo
This year, Dublin Zoo are hosting a family friendly event for Halloween, including creepy arts and crafts, spine-chilling keeper talks, spooky face painting, monster music on the Great Lawn, as well as many other festive activities. So bring the youngsters down to Dublin Zoo in the Phoenix Park on October 31st to enjoy all of this spooktacular fun!
7) Halloween mid-term activities at The Ark
The Ark, which is a cultural centre for children based in Temple Bar, has created eight days worth of Halloween-themed workshops and events to keep the kids busy throughout the mid-term break. The first programme kicks off on October the 28th with a ‘Make your own Deadly Dance Track Workshop’, which is a music technology workshop that enables children to become a dance music producer. The Ark’s other workshops and events include ‘The Supernatural Pop-Up Choir Family Workshop’, ‘Dracula’s Disco’ and ‘Spooky Songs and Sounds Workshop’. The programme finishes on November 4th with the beautiful show, ‘Strange Feathers’, which is an engaging, humorous, interactive, non-verbal show specifically designed and created for young children.
8) Enchanted Halloween at Malahide Castle
This Halloween you can experience Malahide Castle like never before. They are holding a spooktacular storytelling and sound experience for all the family. Visitors can interact with some of the oldest paintings and should listen out for creepy surprises as their storyteller shows them around the haunted rooms. No matter your age, all visitors will have a chance to play with the live sounds throughout the interactive exhibitions. This event is running from Friday the 27th October to Tuesday 31st October. Adult tickets are €8 each and child tickets are €10 each. Bookings can be made through their reservation team’s number only, on 018169538.
9) Samhain Festival
The Samhain Festival is a fancy-dress music festival like no other and this year it’s back and better than ever. It will be held in a brand new location, a hangar in Weston Airport, which has never hosted a gig before. The weekend festival is taking place on October 28th and 29th and the lineup this year so far includes Liam Gallagher, to headline Sunday the 29th October, with special guests the Strypes and Touts. The Saturday night welcomes Annie Mac, Eats Everything, Melé and Kelly-Anny Byrne to this spectacular gig. With the location this year being a bit unusual, there will be a dedicated shuttle service available to all concert goers from the city centre. Weekend ticket prices start at €99.50 excluding service charges.
10) DoDublin Ghostbus Tour
This is a chilling and truly entertaining bus tour incomparable to any other you’ve seen before. Passengers enter the bus and explore the sinister maze-like corridors and rooms below leading up to a stark Victorian theatre above, where the show truly begins. Passengers will be enthralled by their storyteller’s compelling tales which may leave you shocked, repulsed or horrified! You’ll stop off at one of the city centre’s creepy hidden graveyards and visit a medieval vault beneath Dublin Castle. You will hear of menacing Dublin surgeon Dr. Clossey, learn all about the art of body snatching, hear about the inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s famous character Dracula, and much more. The tour starts at Dublin Bus Headquarters, on Upper O’Connell street, at 8pm Mondays to Thursdays and 7pm and 9:30pm Fridays and Saturdays and costs €28 per person.
By Alison Egan