Did you know Halloween began in Ireland? We take a look at some of the scariest experiences you can imagine, from haunted castles to frighteningly good festivals
Halloween – a time for thrills, chills and scaring ourselves silly. But did you know that everyone’s favourite fright-filled holiday began in Ireland? Trace Halloween right back to its origins and you’ll find yourself in the mists of pagan Ireland over 2,000 years ago – a time when the ancient festival of Samhain was celebrated in the heart of Ireland's Ancient East to mark the beginning of winter.
It’s said that at Halloween the veil between our world and the Otherworld is at its thinnest, allowing spirits and demons to easily pass between the two. So come with us on a strange and spooky journey as we experience Halloween in Ireland.
If there’s one thing the Irish know how to do really, really well, it’s scaring the living bejaysus out of you.Author Derek Landy, The Telegraph
Púca Halloween Festival
An authentic celebration of mischief, storytelling, music, food and dazzling spectacle in Ireland's historic Boyne Valley.
Every year, across the island of Ireland, there are a wide range of celebrations for Halloween. You’ll find a nice mix of quirky local fare, and sprawling festivals that are known the world over. If you’re around Dublin, make sure to try the haunted Dublin tour, where you can learn the spooky tales that have frightened the locals for centuries…
Want to travel further afield? The Púca Halloween Festival is a folklore-infused celebration of Ireland as the original birthplace of Halloween. The event takes place in County Meath in Ireland’s Ancient East, and is filled to the brim with dazzling spectacle, music, harvest food and more. In Northern Ireland, Derry Halloween is a must see. For over 35 years, this event has captured the imaginations of visitors to the famous Walled City, with several events celebrating the city’s unbridled creativity…
A spooky Halloween supper
Halloween isn't your typical celebration. And, it turns out, Halloween food isn't exactly "normal" either.
Can’t make it to the island of Ireland for Halloween? Don’t worry, you can recreate the magic of the Halloween season from the comfort of home, no matter where you are in the world.
First off, you’ll want some barmbrack. This bread/cake is a staple of every Irish household at Halloween. And a note to any young romantics in your family – if they find the ring in the cake, they’ll be married within the year! And for your dinner, you must have colcannon – curly kale cabbage mixed with creamy mashed potatoes.
After dinner and before trick or treating, you have to partake in some of the traditional Halloween games. The most famous is snap apple, where an apple is suspended from a string while the blindfolded revellers try to get a bite. You can also try bobbing for apples in water, just be sure to bring a towel!
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Scares from all over the island
Cork Ghost TourVisit website
Ballygally Castle HotelVisit website
The Gravedigger Ghost Tour - Hidden Dublin WalksVisit website
Irish Secret SightsVisit website
Grace Neill'sVisit website
Mysterious HolidaysVisit website
Leap CastleVisit website
The Haunted History Walking Tour - Hidden Dublin WalksVisit website
Crumlin Road GaolVisit website
Kilkenny Ghost ToursVisit website