Halloween, the night of ghosts, ghouls and all things ghastly, is believed to have originated in Celtic custom. The festival of Samhain was celebrated on 31st October every year as the night when the souls of the departed would return to where they came from, and evil spirits were released from the Otherworld, making themselves visible to humans. There’s no better place to celebrate Halloween than in Dublin, the birthplace of Bram Stoker, creator of Dracula.
Ghost Bus Tour
The Dublin Ghost Bus runs tours all year, but there’s no spookier night to learn about the darker side of Dublin than on the eve of All Hallow’s. The gothic bus takes visitors on a spellbinding tour through the city, narrated by a live storyteller who recounts the origins of Dracula, and the tale of the physician whose spirit is still seen walking the corridors of a haunted old college building carrying a bucket of human entrails. The unsuspecting will also be taken to the spooky site where the victims of Walking Gallows, the city’s notorious hangman, met their fate. See http://www.dublinsightseeing.ie/ghostbus/index.aspx for more information.
Bride of Frankenstein
James Whale’s 1935 classic horror film The Bride of Frankenstein will be screened in the National Concert Hall at 8pm on Halloween night. The haunting score to the film will be performed live by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, one of Ireland’s most famous musical ensembles. For information and bookings, see www.rte.ie/concertorchestra.
Hellfire Club Tour
Hidden Dublin organises an annual Halloween torch-lit tour to the Hellfire Club in the Dublin mountains, where a burnt out hunting lodge has long been associated with Satanism, the supernatural and the occult. The guides claim that it is not unusual for people to experience strange sensations in their chest and head as their subconscious tunes in to the terrors witnessed by this haunted place – you have been warned. Over 16s only. See http://www.hiddendublinwalks.com/DUBLIN-halloweenspecial.php for more details.
Dublin City Marathon
Ghosts, ghouls, devils and wizards will make spectacles of themselves while running this year’s Dublin City Marathon, which takes place on 31st October. Many of the runners, especially those participating for charity, are guaranteed to be dressed in costume. For details on the route or to sign up for the race, see http://dublinmarathon.ie/.
Fancy Dress Parties
The Irish love to dress up, and on Halloween night, almost every reveller in Dublin city will be adorned with a broomstick, horns, fangs and cloaks. Pubs and clubs play host to fancy dress parties, with competitions and prizes for the best costume.
Images courtesy of lobo235