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Thursday 30 March 2023 Dublin: 11°C
Greg Clarke via
# Culture
Horror films in Galway and Meath's frightening farms: Ireland's scariest Halloween events
A guide to Ireland’s best Halloween-related events for all the family to enjoy

TRICK OR TREAT; which one do you choose? Would you rather scare yourself with chilling horror movies or innocently search for coins buried in the barmbrack? 

Whatever your preference, there are plenty of family-friendly events organised across the country from spooky trails, pumpkin patches and Halloween-themed parades to get you into the festive spirit. For those looking for a real scare, however, put your bravery to the test with night-time activities and tours of Ireland’s most notorious haunted spaces. 

It’s no surprise that Ireland is one of the best places to celebrate Halloween given the long-standing Celtic connection associated with the scariest night of the year, going back to the Samhain festival.

Here’s a selection of events happening this weekend to help you get into the Halloween spirit. 


1. Celebrate the enduring legacy of Dracula at Dublin’s Bram Stoker Festival 

Screen Shot 2022-10-19 at 15.14.18 Bram Stoker Festival instagram Bram Stoker Festival instagram

It’s easy to forget that Count Dracula, the most notorious villain in the gothic horror genre, came from the imagination of the Irish writer Bram Stoker. Today, 125 years since Stoker’s Dracula was published, the legacy of his writing and this character continues to inspire great fascination amongst contemporary audiences. To satisfy this curiosity, Bram Stoker Festival returns for yet another year of events organised to celebrate and provide academic insights into the significance of Stoker’s seminal work. This year, there’s even more cause for celebration as it marks the centenary of Nosferatu, the iconic depiction of Dracula in F. W. Murnau’s iconic German horror expressionist film. 

When: Friday, October 28 – Monday, October 31

Where: Venues across Dublin

Further information and tickets are available here

2. The spirits contained within Derry come to life to share the spooky secrets of the walled city 

Screen Shot 2022-10-19 at 15.35.13 Derry Halloween Festival Instagram Derry Halloween Festival Instagram

Derry Halloween Festival, described on their site as “Europe’s Biggest Halloween Festival” makes its long-awaited return for another frighteningly fun weekend. A number of brilliant events will take place across the beautiful walled city for all the family to enjoy. Don’t miss the opportunity to see Derry City transformed by incredible projections onto the historic buildings for the City of Bones trail after perusing the market in Guildhall Square and Waterloo Place. 

When: Friday, October 28 – Monday, October 31

Where: Events taking place across Derry

Further information and tickets are available here

3. Do you have what it takes to face the frightening haunts at Farmaphobia?

Screen Shot 2022-10-19 at 16.00.25 Farmaphobia Instagram Farmaphobia Instagram

Throughout the month of October, visitors to Farmaphobia’s vast attraction located on the expansive Causey Farm in County Meath, have been terrified and tormented by zombies and clowns. Test your bravery with a terrifying trail in the surrounding woods at night and try to survive Momma’s Murder Maize and Purge Night. Once you’ve gotten the scary activities out of the way relax with music provided by DJ Spooks.

When: Saturday, October 1 – Wednesday, November 2

Where: Causey Farm, Girley, Fordstown, Co. Meath

Further information and tickets are available here

4. Popcorn and Panic! Watch some horror classics at Silver Scream film season at Pálás Cinema, Galway

Screen Shot 2022-10-19 at 16.07.18 Pálás Cinema Instagram Pálás Cinema Instagram

Some adore paranormal psychological thrillers such as Poltergeist and The Exorcist while others prefer gruesome slasher franchises from Halloween to The Evil Dead and Friday the 13th. Before those legendary movies and moments in horror cinema took off, there were films such as The Bride of Frankenstein in 1935,  The Mummy from 1932, and Bela Lugosi’s portrayal of Dracula from the 1931 adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel. All of these pictures paved the way for horror and continue to influence contemporary filmmakers. As part of their Silver Scream series, Pálás Cinema in Galway is screening these iconic titles from the golden age of horror cinema. Be sure to see them on the big screen for a heightened spooky experience.

When: Saturday, October 15 – Monday, October 31

Where: 15 Merchants Rd Lower, Galway

A full list of screenings and tickets available here     

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