Spook yourself out this Halloween in Dublin
Historical architecture, dark times and colourful characters - Dublin is a city basically built for October 31st. Halloween's not the only spooky holiday on the cards as Samhain Festival crosses over with the festivities, celebrating the end of the harvest season and Dublin really turns it to eleven for the season. Here's the best things to get up to this Halloween in Dublin.
Murder Mystery Hunt
Whodunit? Well, that's exactly what you're going to find out at Dublin's National Wax Museum where a murder's taken place and imposing Viking Joe is a major suspect. Help him prove his innocence by following the clues (in costume of course) to discover what really happened. A great one if you've got kiddos in tow.
Halloween at Dublinia
Take a step into Ireland's dark past at Dublinia, where the entire space will be transformed into medieval Dublin at the height of the Black Death. Dubliners will be roaming the halls, looting corpses for treasure as they share their stories about the plague, clutching at healing herbs to keep them healthy as they pass. Crafted by the Delig Inis theatre group, it's an immersive theatre experience designed to be enjoyed by the entire family.
Every year, Dublin Zoo gets in on the festive fun and decks out its sprawling enclosures with Halloween-themed decor. With a long list of fun activities including a monster disco, spooky arts and crafts and face painting for all those who want to up their fancy dress game, one of the highlights of the season is watching the elephants play with masses of pumpkins, joyfully smashing them to pieces.
Ghastly Glasnevin Tours
There's nowhere eerier than a graveyard and Dublin's iconic Glasnevin Cemetery is a prime location for Halloween. This Halloween, they'll be running a number of horrifying tours where they delve into the unsavoury characters buried in the cemetery and its spooky past. Naturally, fancy dress is a must and it's ideal for younger children right before you delve into the trick or treat circuit.
Bram Stoker Festival
While books like Twilight may have ruined our perception of vampires forever, it's great to remember how terrifying, sensual and complex they once were at the Bram Stoker Festival. Held over several days, there'll be everything from screenings of film adaptations to a Victorian themed amusement park to get you into the mood. Just remember to have a garlicky meal beforehand and bring a vial of holy water with you - you know, just in case.
Yes, this is technically part of the Bram Stoker Festival, but it deserves a whole category of its own. Held on the 30th, this gigantic parade turns Dublin on its head and brings chaotic revelry to its streets as an eerie monstrous procession navigates its twists and turns. With gigantic monsters and creepy entertainers ruling the capital after dark, it's a unique way to spend the spookiest time of the year - don't forget to come dressed the part.
The Nightmare Realm
Think you're brave? Prove your metal at The Nightmare Realm, one of Dublin's scariest haunted houses. It's not at all for the faint of heart and best explored with a group, with the house straying firmly away from lame cliches like ghosts in sheets - instead drawing on horror films and the stuff of nightmares to terrify you. One of the top things to do this Halloween in Dublin, it's been known to be so gruesome and scary that people regularly bow out - you in?
Bram Stoker's not the only one in town with a convention. The Horror Expo is coming to Dublin and if you're a fan of the genre, it's an absolute must. With horror-themed Q&A panels, movie screenings and live paranormal investigations, there's so much to see and do. If you're looking to brush up on your fancy dress skills, there's a few SFX make-up artists ready to share their tips on getting zombified and ready for the monster ball.
Halloween at the Lighthouse
All month long, the Lighthouse Cinema will be showing a string of horror flicks including classics like the Creature from the Black Lagoon through to modern day theatre epics like NT Live's rendition of Frankenstein. While some of the screenings are a part of the Bram Stoker Festival (yes, Dracula's in there somewhere in the line up), you'll be able to rock up and make the most of the cinema's festivities - all with a bucket of popcorn.