Elaine Show looks at Halloween things to do in Ireland

Elaine Show on Virgin Media 1

Are you looking to travel for a scary experience over Halloween? Then you don’t have to go far because there is lots happening around Ireland which is the original home of Halloween. Not many know that Derry has the reputation of being the Halloween capital of Ireland with a festival that’s rated in the top five in the world.

From October 26th – November 1st 2019 as the veil between this world and the other is at its thinnest, join supernatural beings and the walking dead as they surge and stagger into the city for a week long, internationally renowned Samhain spectacular.

Derry Halloween – Return of the Ancients’ International Halloween Street Carnival Parade

Derry Halloween
Photo by Lorcan Doherty

There’s a bumper harvest in store this year, from ancient mythology and ghostly tales of yore, to cutting-edge culture and a showstopping carnival and fireworks finale. The first ever LegenDerry Food Village in Waterloo Place will showcase the best local seasonal produce and celebrate the city’s thriving street food scene, with wood fired pizzas, fiery Latin American flavours and delicious autumnal sweet treats.

Still hungry for more? Local bars and restaurants will be concocting bespoke Halloween dishes and drinks for ravenous revellers as part of a LegenDerry Food Trail. It’s a great way to experience a city which has established a name for itself as a foodie hotspot.

Derry Halloween – 
Photo by Lorcan Doherty


The historic Derry walls, which celebrated their 400th anniversary this year, will come alive for the three evenings before Halloween. Awakening the Walls is a free trail of more than 40 installations by artists and performers, all reflecting this year’s theme, The Other World Awakens. You’ll see Eyes to the Skies, an aerial dance spectacle, a wicked wonderland, haunted windows and more.

Now world-famous, Derry Halloween began as a party in a pub more than 30 years ago. It has retained its grassroots feel and the huge community-led carnival on October 31 will feature hundreds of participants performing a new work inspired by Celtic legends such as the shapeshifting Morrigan. A fireworks finale is a suitably epic note to finish on.

Other highlights during the week include Samhain Sessions, a series of live concerts in atmospheric venues. Meanwhile, ‘Count Dracula’ will be blasting out gothic tunes on the organ in the Guildhall, by the light of the stunning Samhain Moon.

The Heart of Samhain is located in the Guildhall Square and Waterloo Place, where, as well as the LegenDerry Food Village, you’ll soak up the sights and sounds of a haunted market, arts and crafts, live music and street performances, plus a festival information point.

There’s also a frightfully good line-up of Little Horrors activities to let children’s imaginations run wild. Events include the Return of the Morrigan show, ghost bus tours, Viking role play, Japanese storytelling, a bat safari and so much more. And beware of the giant – supposedly extinct – Saurus beasts who will be roaming the crowds in search of food.

Costumes are a key part of the fun, and festival-goers are being urged to dress up. (Who knows? You might just see a few Derry Girls – or Derry Ghouls). From bin liners to masterpieces, all are welcome, and there will be costume workshops and a freaky Junk Kouture fashion show in the Guildhall.

For a wallet-friendly Halloween with the wow factor, Derry has it all. Join us… if you dare!

For more information visit derryhalloween.com


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Spooky Stayovers, Devilish Dining and Ghostly Going-Ons at Ballygally
Get into the ghostly spirit at Ballygally Castle this Halloween. Book your Spooky Stayover and sink your teeth into our specially themed Halloween Afternoon Tea. Do you dare visit our Ghost Room and see our regular special visitor.
Our Spooky Stayover offer includes:
• Halloween afternoon tea for two (served between 2pm and 5pm daily)
• Luxurious overnight accommodation
• Full Irish breakfast
• Complimentary car parking
• Hastings Hotels Duck
From £75

Offer valid Sunday 27th October – Thursday 31st October 2019

Halloween Dining

Enjoy some ‘Spooktacular’ food at Ballygally with our specially themed Afternoon Tea and Sunday Buffet Lunch.

Our Halloween Afternoon Tea will be available every afternoon from 25th October – 3rd November and feature an array of themed delights and ghoulish treats to sink your teeth into.

If would prefer to have all the treats and no tricks our Halloween Sunday Buffet Lunch on Sunday 27th October is the perfect answer. Enjoy our five-course Creepy Crawly Buffet with all the family.

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The Ghost Room

Have you heard about our permanent ghost resident Lady Isabella Shaw? Lady Isabella’s ghost is reputed to be a “friendly” spirit who walks the corridors of the old castle. We have even dedicated a bedroom to her, “The Ghost Room” in one of the turrets in the oldest part of the castle. Click below to view the video of our Ghost Room – do you dare visit over Halloween?

Watch Video 
Ballygally Castle
Coast Road, Ballygally, Co. Antrim BT40 2QZ
Tel: 028 2858 1066
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Hotel Westport is located on the Westport House Estate in the beautiful town of Westport.

Get a TWO-day Family Ticket for €52.50 to Halloween Fest in Westport House (normal price for 1-day is €52.50
Real Dungeons, Storytelling with the White Witch, Pumpkin Carving (€3pp additional or bring your own), Dance Workshops and much more in the Haunted Basement of Westport House – The Pirate Adventure Park Rides, Slides, Boats and Trail are all Open for the Midterm Break.

Winter Wonderland at Hotel Westport
Prices from €149 in total for a Family of Four to include One nights B&B Plus a Visit to Winter Wonderland in the 18th Century magical Westport House. Limited availability for certain dates. Book now.


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The Sunny South East Wexford

Pumpkin Power at Dunbrody House

Combine a wonderful 2 night escape to Dunbrody with some fabulous fun-filled Halloween treats for all ages. Enjoy a free Pumpkin Carving class for residents only on Halloween afternoon between 4pm and 6pm, followed by Halloween games in The Local until 7.30pm. All this combined with two nights accommodation with Spooky Halloween Dinner on one night and of course the legendary late breakfast until Noon each day.

Visit their Sunday market, enjoying the Sunday Jazz brunch in and sampling of the “craic” in their traditional Irish pub “The Local” are also Must Dos.

For those seeking to discover the delights of Ireland’s Ancient East we offer a host of packages featuring some of the top attractions from right here in the heart of Irelands Ancient East – the Hook Lighthouse, Dunbrody Famine Ship, Tintern Abbey, the Kennedy Homestead… and much, much more.

Valid from: 28.10.2019 – 01.11.2019

Price From: €265 per person

Dunbrody House is a member of Ireland’s Blue book, for more information visit www.irelandsbluebook.com or contact Dunbrody House directly on 051 389600 https://www.dunbrodyhouse.com/

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Spooktacular Halloween events to take place at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and King John’s Castle

Monday 7th October 2019: Visitors to Bunratty Castle & Folk Park and King John’s Castle better beware this Halloween as Shannon Heritage has announced a range of frighteningly exciting Halloween events that are sure to thrill and terrify the entire family!

Suitable for all ages, “Monsters, Misfits and Mayhem” is the theme at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park this Bank Holiday as on Monday 28th October, for one day only, creepy creatures and mighty monsters are set to invade the castle grounds.

From 12 noon visitors can experience face – painting, bouncy castles, juggling shows, balloon modelling and the wonderful Monsieur Gusto the amazing street performer who will provide some light-hearted relief from all the mayhem. There will also be snakes, lizards, terrifying tarantulas, a talking head and several other creepy creatures roaming the park so even the older kids will be entertained!

“Monsters, Misfits and Mayhem” event which will be taking place in Bunratty Castle and Folk Park Bank Holiday Monday 28th October

Back by popular demand this year is the Halloween Spooktacular Train ride – so stay on the lookout for ghosts, grim reapers and zombies as they will appear from out of nowhere to give you a scare!

If you really want to be spooked then explore the creepy crypt in the castle basement complete with Dracula in his coffin, a screaming banshee, Frankenstein and a horrifying killer rabbit!

New for 2019, members of the Shannon Musical Society will also be surprising visitors with a impromptu flash mob performance of the electrifying hit “Thriller” on the village street at various times throughout the day.

But that’s not all. The much loved and illustrious children’s magician Joe Daly, best known for his hugely popular TV show ‘abraKIDabra’ will be performing his show in the Corn Barn full of modern magic and mini illusions, which is sure to be magnificent.

In addition to all these frightfully googlish goings-on, Shannon Heritage will also play host to some spooktacular  events – at King John’s Castle, over the course of the October midterm.

On Saturday 26th October boys and girls aged 6-12 years will have the unique opportunity to create their favourite Halloween themed game and movie characters out of LEGO® at the Halloween Workshop. Each participant will receive a special Halloween goody bag on completion of the workshop!

The wacky and wonderful team from Planet Science Kidz will be bringing their Spooktacular Slime Workshop to King John’s Castle on Tuesday 29th October. This is the ideal opportunity for kids to embrace the mad scientist within themselves while doing some fun (and messy) experiments. Some of the activities planned for the day include Gooey Bugs ‘n’ Slime, Giant Slime Bubbles, Slime Monsters, Spooky Trick or Treat Science & Test Tube Potions.

-Meanwhile from Wednesday 30th October to Friday 1st November kids will be able to explore Limerick’s hidden past at the Halloween themed archaeology camps at King John’s Castle. Run in conjunction with the School of Irish Archaeology the camps will introduce children to the mysteries and adventures of Limerick’s past in a fun, practical and hands-on way. Facilitators will use an ‘interactive’ approach so that children will get lots of time outdoors as they take part in excavations to explore Limerick’s hidden past with haunted historical quests around Limerick’s Medieval. Other highlights include a Horrible Histories Excavation, Haunted Historical Quests, Medieval Combat and Weaponry, Archery and a whole host of Halloween games.

Tickets can be booked online at www.bunrattycastle.ie/halloween and www.kingjohnscastle.com

Visit www.shannonheritage.com

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If you’re thinking of heading down to the festival then enjoy

Fang-tastic Family Breaks at Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa, Limerick!

Set on 20 acres of rolling green fields and with striking views of the Woodcock Mountains, Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa, Limerick has a world of enchanting adventures waiting for your little ones this Halloween with the Spookacular Limerick Escape.

There is plenty of Halloween treats and trickery to be had at Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Limerick this year with hot chocolate, cookies and a Halloween themed Rad Family Welcome Bag for the kids on arrival. Full of fiendish fun, ghoulish games, colouring packs and sweet treats – the packs are always a big hit!

It’s all treats and no tricks at the fantastic Rad Family Kids Club with a range of activities on offer designed to entertain and engage children of all ages from the Base Camp kids room, transformed into a haunted house especially for the Halloween midterm. Activities include a ghost town scavenger hunt, creepy creatures, pumpkin painting, spooky storytelling, trick or treat treasure hunt, mystery clue hunt and spooktacular movie nights. To add to the magic, a fairy family have carved their homes into the woodland surrounding the hotel, so make sure to don your most sparkly pair of wings during your stay and see if you can spot them as you explore the outdoors.

From exploring and adventure to indoor entertainment children can enjoy an unforgettable adventure, all onsite at the Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Limerick. Only a short drive from Limerick city, you’ll have the chance to discover some of the ghoulish history behind Medieval Limerick, with a haunted Halloween walking tour of Limerick’s haunted medieval quarters, suitable for the whole gang and available during the Halloween midterm. Not to mention a variety of local attractions in close proximity to the hotel, such as Thomond Park, Bunratty Castle & Folk Park and Limerick city centre.

The Spookacular Limerick Escape is available from €410 for a two-night stay in a deluxe family room. Including;

  • Super Buffet Breakfast each morning
  • Halloween themed hot chocolate, cookies and welcome pack on arrival for each child
  • A delicious 3-course dinner on one evening for two adults at Porters Restaurant while the kids are entertained at the Rad Family Kids Club
  • A Haunted Halloween Walking Tour in Limerick City
  • Offer available from 25th October to 2nd November 2019
  • Tee-pee Rental – Suitable for younger children aged up to 4 years. Available on request and is subject to availability.

Visit www.radlimerick.com

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If you’re in Dublin and you don’t want to travel too far then Causey Farm in County Meath is a favourite for kids and adults https://www.causey.ie/halloween/


SAT 26th OCT- THURS 31st OCT
12:00pm – 4:00pm DAILY

Suitable for families with children aged 3-12. €13 per ticket

(both adults and children).

Children aged 3 and under are free of charge

If you are looking for some serious scaring and this is for big kids and adults then

Farmaphobia is the adult version and especially scarey! https://farmaphobia.com/directions/


Journey through a frightful evening of screams and laughter… eerie corners, blood-curdling frights, ghoulish entertainers, heart-pounding, adrenalin pumping, life-threatening fear… your worst nightmares come true!

The Attractions

Farmphobia consists of 5 terrifying experiences with lots of other scaretainment taking place around the farm, guaranteeing a unique and great and different night out. https://farmaphobia.com/

Get a scream pass to three events from €20 or a nightmare pass to all five from €30

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All treats and no tricks at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin this Halloween

Children under 12 stay and eat for free

  • Brand new family rooms
  • Trick or treat bags on arrival for children
  • Located in the heart of Dubli

For a terrifyingly good family break this Halloween, keep it in the city with a visit to the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin, where brand new family rooms await, and the kids can stay and eat for free.  

The fun begins at check in with trick or treat bags packed with goodies for the children before making your way to the brand-new family rooms. Spacious and comfortable, they make the perfect base to explore Dublin city as a family this Halloween.

Kick up the leaves along the city streets or visit one of Dublin’s infamous Halloween haunts such as St. Kevin’s Graveyard, the Medieval Vaults at Dublin Castle or discover Dracula’s Dublin origins. Return to the hotel for a selection of bewitching brews in the newly opened Dyflin Bar or dinner in the brand Asador restaurant, The Chancery Grill. The following morning, awake and enjoy a leisurely Super Breakfast with family, as well as a complimentary late check-out of 2pm before leaving to explore the rest of the city.  Located within minutes from the key shopping and cultural areas of the city, the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin is the perfect base for a spooky city and mid-term break this Halloween.

Valid from 26th October to 3rd 3rd November, the Halloween package at Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin starts at €158 per adult including Super Breakfast and children under 12 can stay and  eat for free. For more information visit www.radissonblu.com/royalhotel-dublin.

The Nightmare Realm

If you’re coming up to Dublin or you don’t want to travel far and you live in Dublin, then The Nightmare Realm comes highly recommended by my 15 year old daughter. She says it’s incredibly scary and you will need to have a boy with you to hold on to when the characters jump out at you! She didn’t think she’d get through the ordeal but it turned out to be very entertaining…


The  Nightmare Realm was setup in 2009 in Tralee where it started terrorising people for the first time.

In 2016  The Nightmare Realm in Dublin, in the prestigious RDS arena. The show immediately took off and since then the show has expanded more and more to accommodate the growing audience for our event.

Student Slasher

Student Slasher deals are available every Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday excluding Halloween week. €17 at the door or online with promo code DEVIL17 entered at checkout. 😈

Teen Scream

Teen Scream tickets are available on Fridays and Saturdays from 6-7pm for €16. Box Office only! ☠️

Date Night

Cheer up your other half with a date to die for! Date night tickets are available for Sunday the 20th only for €35 for 2 tickets. Can be purchased online!


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