There are hauntingly good Halloween celebrations happening throughout the country that are sure to spook the daylights of anyone enjoying a trip to Ireland during late October.
There’s a wide range of activities and festivals taking place including pumpkins, ghosts and dressing up, which should put the fright back into your Halloween. Here are some to spike your interest:
World Ghost Convention (24th October)
The 14th Annual World Ghost Convention provides the perfect platform for supernatural enthusiasts to hear a colourful assortment of supernatural topics discussed by a panel of international guest speakers from different backgrounds and professions. In addition, people who have experienced supernatural occurrences have the chance to share their own personal supernatural experiences if they so wish as well as hear first-hand the accounts of others who echo similar experiences.
This Scientific, Therapeutic and Educational Ghost Convention is held in Cork City Gaol which provides suitably atmospheric surroundings for this special Halloween event as it has its own resident ghosts which have been seen by members of the audience and speakers since the first World Ghost Convention was established in 2001.
Virginia Pumpkin Festival (24th – 29th October)
The Virginia Pumpkin Festival in County Cavan offers four days and nights of spooky pumpkin fun and entertainment! This festival has something for all the family with a haunted forest walk; street theatre, artisan food and craft fair; children’s fancy dress party; walking treasure hunt, and the Giant Pumpkin weigh-in.
New to the Pumpkin Festival in 2014 is the Glamorous Pumpkin Ball hosted by renowned chef Richard Corrigan. The organisers have also introduced an ‘All things Pumpkin Competition’ and are inviting pumpkin growers to showcase their pumpkins no matter what the size. The festival kicks off on Friday evening at 7.30 p.m. with a Haunted Forest Walk through the naturally spooky Deerpark Woods and, later that night, the pumpkin dome will host a Fancy Dress Party for teens. On Saturday morning a Festival 5k Fun Run in aid of charity will start at 11 a.m. and the day will continue with lots to do for all the family.
On Saturday night the Pumpkin Ball will take place in the Park Lodge Hotel. One of the highlights of the festival takes place on Sunday with all day street entertainment followed by a festival parade and fireworks display, beginning shortly after dusk.
The parade of music, dance and light makes its way through the darkened street throng before turning to lead the spectators down to the lake shore for the spectacular lakeside firework display. Finishing the festival on Sunday night is Ireland’s largest fancy dress party which will take place in the Pumpkin Dome with over 2,000 party goers expected to attend.
Halloweeb Fest (25th – 31st October)
Have a howl of a Halloween at Westport House’s annual Halloween Fest, which runs for the duration of the mid-term break running from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
You and your little monsters will have a hauntingly good time as you experience the thrills ‘n’ chills of the Pirate Adventure Park – you will board the eerie Westport House Express train ride, get into high ‘spirits’ on the swinging ship and the pedal Go Karts and take the plunge to death on the log flume water ride.
Make full use of your Halloween costume and come down dressed to impress! You will really bite the Halloween apple when you step into the stunning 18th century Westport House, which will be transformed into a (not too) scary haunted house for the week.
Your little devils will be mesmerized by the captivating White Witch’s story time, while the Lord of the Darkness and his friends will ensure they looking frighteningly good for the family workshops that are taking place all day. Get stuck in to making your own Jack O’Lantern home to bring home for the holiday.
Lullymore Halloween Happenings (25 – 31 October)
Lullymore Heritage & Discovery Park in Rathangan, County Kildare, hosts its now infamous Halloween Happenings Festival for seven spooky days this October. Lots of ghastly ghouls and terrifying treats are in store at Lullymore including haunted holograms, spooky train trips, terror treasure hunts and freaky fun in the devilish den of play – the Funky Forest.
Prepare for the fright of your life! Come in fancy dress (optional). There will be prizes for the best fancy dress costumes in the indoor centre every day. The park is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with Halloween prize giving starting at 2 p.m. Normal family admissions apply – there is no extra cost for Halloween activities and no time limits apply.
Room Number 28 at the Eldon Hotel Skibbereen, West Cork
Another fun activity is taking a trip to the very spooky Haunted Room number 28 at the Eldon Hotel in Skibbereen. Extra charge may apply and advanced booking is required. For accommodation stay at the nearby West Cork Hotel.