Frightful week of spooks and scary Halloween events

Scaredy-cats of all ages are in for a frightfully good time over the next few days as Monday’s bank holiday, the mid-term break and Halloween merge into a week-long October horror-fest.

Frightful week of spooks and scary Halloween events

Dublin is going gothic for the third annual Bram Stoker Festival, which takes the legacy of the Irish writer and his gothic novel Dracula as its inspiration. Highlights include a gothic ball and a street spectacle by Macnas.

Other Dublin events include Spooktacular Boo @ Dublin Zoo and a Hidden Walks’ Haunted Spooktacular in the Dublin mountains, where the devil himself is said to have appeared.

Cork’s spookiest highlight is the Dragon of Shandon Parade. An 11m dragon and his host of púcaí and fantastical creatures will rise from the underworld, accompanied by hundreds of performers, to walk through the streets of Shandon and celebrate the feast of Samhain.

From Wednesday to Friday next, a circus big top erected in St Anne’s Park, Shandon, will form the hub of the festival, hosting activities for families by day, while a cabaret of banshees, live music and performances will entertain by night.

The nearby Firkin Crane hosts a Dance Spooktacular, while ghost storytellers unveil the more obscure history of Cork in Shandon Tower and the garden of the Butter Exchange will showcase traditional Samhain children’s games.

The Cork Counselling Centre holds a Halloween fancy dress party in Cork City Gaol next Friday, while record numbers are already enjoying the fear factor at the Nightmare Realm on Albert Quay, and in Kinsale the annual Halloween Parade, now in its ninth year, takes place at the town park.

Limerick city residents get a chance to scare themselves silly with ghoulish goings-on at a Horror Mania Fest in gothic mansion Leamy House, with a spooky parade and terrifying ghost train that organisers promise is “guaranteed to be a scream”.

There are Halloween fun and games at Bunratty Castle, Co Clare, where a Celtic Halloween includes performers playing ancient instruments.

The fear factor abounds at Farmaphobia on Causey Farm, near Navan, Co Meath. The theme is Triskaidekaphobia — the fear of the number 13. The terrifying cast includes zombies and ghouls in the Field of Screams.

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