Unknown to most people, the world has to thank Ireland for this annual event of costume-wearing and ghost storytelling popularly known as Halloween. Experts and historians believe most of the practices on Halloween closely resembles a Celtic harvest festival known as Samhain. Some history books say this was originally a Gaelic tradition and later on Christianized soon after deemed as a “pagan practice”. However, just like anything that has historical roots, there is still an ongoing debate whether this festivity was truly Irish (Celtic) in origin or not. Regardless if that’s true, the Irish definitely knows how to let you scream from fear (or laughter) if you are around town during Halloween!
Halloween is an annual event used as an excuse by some to ditch their normal clothes in exchange for costumes – comic-con aside. Apart from sporting really dark, spooky, and gore makeup looks, Halloween is another event that will make you wanting to go out to spend the night partying with friends. Local pubs and hotels are common venues – so it is not overly complicated to find an event near you!
However, not everybody who wants to participate in Halloween wants to go out and party. And if you are after a hair-raising and spine-chilling experience, I’d say, ditch the club scene and go to these events instead.
Gravedigger Ghost Bus Tour (or join the Haunted Walking Tour)
The Gravedigger Ghost Bust Tour is available all-year-round, but riding this bus on Halloween will definitely amplify the spooky element to the entire tour, doesn’t it? While riding the only 4D ghost tour bus in Ireland, expect goose bumps as your guide lets you time travel back in time 600 years ago. Visit major tourist attractions around Dublin such as The Dublin Castle and Christ Church while hearing the hair-raising stories these breathtaking buildings are hiding underneath.
After the tour, enjoy a refreshing (and spooky!) drink courtesy of the Gravediggers pub. As morbid as it sounds, there is no better way to call this pub. Why? Because this pub is just a few meters away from Dublin’s largest cemetery, that’s why!
If you think the bus tour is not-too-scary for you, why not join the walking tour done by the same team instead? The Haunted Walking Tour is another sought-after Halloween event in Dublin for a scary evening. And you should know these guys are the real deal when it comes to anything paranormal. As a matter of fact, they are the ONLY haunted tour associated with Paranormal Study and Investigation Ireland (PSI). So that should tell you this team is the best option for a ghostly Halloween!
This event is definitely NOT for the faint-hearted (no kidding!) or young kids. Another very popular attraction around Dublin, this event recently received recognition as Europe’s Best Independent Scare Attraction at the SCAR awards in London. So that alone should tell you this is an event not to miss!
The event started on 14 October 2016 and will continuously scare visitors until 1 November 2016. The experience will definitely leave your throats sore from lots of screaming (and laughter) the entire hour and a half while inside the wickedly designed evil attractions.
Most of the haunted sites are indoors but since October is already a cold and wet month in Ireland, get ready with your wellies and raincoats to keep safe! Also, it is highly recommended to book tickets in advance. Farmaphobia is celebrating its 8th birthday this year and scared over 120,000 visitors since – that should tell you how popular it is!
Bram Stoker Festival
If you are a fan of Dracula or Goth-inspired novels – it is very likely you know Dublin-born writer Bram Stoker. And to celebrate his heritage and legacy, a four-day event known as the Bram Stoker Festival starts today, Friday (28 October 2016). This event is mostly famous for the eerie parade making Dublin’s dark side come alive!
Suitable for the young and old, the festival features various events to make sure you leave the area spooked from various levels. Walking tours and literary workshops for aspiring horror writers are just some of the activities you can participate in. And don’t miss catching featured performances around the area, too. Especially performances from the acclaimed street theater company, Spraoi, leaving you scared and entertained at the same time!
Simply have a look at the activities for the four-day event to check which “level of scary” you can manage. But regardless of the activity, don’t forget to don your best vampire look and cape to emulate Bram Stoker’s Dracula!