Things to do this Halloween

Costumes at the ready, as here are some of the spooky and terrifying events for families and grown ups happening around the country this Halloween

  • Bram Stoker Festival

Halloween is one of our favourite times of year, whether we're eating bellyfuls of sweets, bobbing for apples or scaring ourselves silly re-watching The Exorcist or Nightmare on Elm Street. What really takes the Halloween festivities to the next level is finding the perfect spooky event to dress up for and whether you want the kids to enjoy some Halloween fun or you want to be scared silly yourself, here are some of the family-friendly and more scary events happening around the country this Halloween.

Bram Stoker Festival

Friday October 28 - Monday October 31

The Bram Stoker festival is a wonderfully creative and immersive list of events taking place around Dublin city over the course of the weekend. Experience the weird and wonderful at Bleedin’ Deadly, a freaky Halloween show hosted by extreme performance artist The Space Cowboy, as well as world’s most pierced woman Elaine Davidson, Coney Island sideshow act Donny Vomit and snake charmer Kitty LeRoux. Visit the Botanical Gardens after dark; enjoy ‘Monsters!’ season at the Lighthouse Cinema; and check out the Victorian fun park that will take place at St Patrick’s Park. A special issue of Guts Magazine made for the festival is entitled Young Blood and explores the presence of blood in confessional writing and illustration. Free copies will be available in libraries and other locations across the city and there will be a special event with the writers at the Fumbally Stables on October 31. www.bramstokerfestival.com

Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival

Friday October 14 - Sunday November 6

With activities already underway, this is a jam-packed schedule. Families will enjoy the spooky train ride at Rathbeggan Lakes; younger kids can go on a witch hunt at Loughcrew Megalithic Centre, or pick your own pumpkin at Fordstown. For grown ups, there are fancy dress parties, the Haunted Spooktacular Horror Farm at Grove Gardens or Farmaphobia at Causey Farm. www.spiritsofmeath.com

The Nightmare Realm

Friday September 30 - Saturday November 5

Test your mettle at the Nightmare Realm, if you’re brave enough. Walk through this truly terrifying house of horrors in Cork or Dublin without screaming and you will certainly earn bragging rights. www.thenightmarerealm.ie

Samhain Abhainn: Ballina’s Halloween Festival

Friday October 28 - Thursday November 3

Brave the Fanta Scary Woods Walk at Belleek Woods where art collective the Huxley Horror Show will be on hand to raise the hairs on the back of your neck. With plenty of spooky activities for kids happening throughout Ballina for the week, including a Spooky Scéals storytelling session, there’s plenty of Halloween fun to be had. www.mayonorth.ie

Something Wicked: Malahide Crime Writing Festival

Friday October 28 - Sunday October 30

Fans of crime writing and those who dream of getting published in the genre will enjoy the excellent line-up at this festival. On Friday, leading crime fiction writers Alex Barclay, Sam Blake and Liz Nugent will take part in a panel discussion. On Saturday, there will be a forensics workshop with Forensic Anthropologist René Gapert, Deputy State Pathologist Linda Mulligan, Garda Vanessa Stafford and author Arlene Hunt. www.somethingwicked.eu

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