While Halloween is celebrated all around the world, it actually originates from the Celtic traditional festival of Samhain. So the Irish celebrate Halloween with special vigour. October 31 is a perfect time to be in Dublin due to its numerous castles haunted by the tortured spirits of the underworld, wild parties and family-friendly fun events. Macnas Sleep No More torchlight parade throughout Dublin City is one of the most popular events on Halloween night. Also, don't forget to pay tribute to Irish author Bram Stoker who created the infamous Dracula story.
Bram Stoker Festival (October 30–November 2, 2020)
The Bram Stoker Festival is one of the largest gatherings of vampire fans in the world. The famous gothic festival features a terrifying programme of events during four days and nights of deadly adventures. The festival is always held on the eve of Halloween, during the October Bank Holiday Weekend. The Bram Stoker Festival embraces all things dark and supernatural, as well as the legacy of one of Ireland’s most famous writers. It features memorable spectacles on water, costume screenings in the dead of night, daring theatre performances in evocative churches and other unusual places, a pop-up Victorian fun parks and plenty of live entertainment.
Halloween at Malahide Castle (dates for 2020 TBA)
Malahide Castle is one of the unique places to celebrate Halloween. At least several restless souls haunt the mysterious medieval castle boasting 800 years of heritage. Like Puck the Court Jester, who was stabbed here after falling in love with the Lady Talbot, or Join Hattie, the eccentric Housekeeper. Malahide Castle was home to several generations of the Talbot family, storing plenty of legends and scary stories. Visitors can explore the private rooms and collections, and learn about the castle's role in Irish political and social life. Also, you can experience the magic of the Fairy Trail through the enchanting woodlands of the private West Lawn, see the beautiful Walled Garden and step into the fascinating world of butterflies in the Cambridge Glasshouse.
Dublin has a vibrant nightlife, and on Halloween, there are many parties throughout the city, ranging from fun and silly to genuinely frightening. Halloween Roller Disco is a perfect nostalgic event for the whole family, taking place at Dublin’s roller disco rink at D12 on the Long Mile Road. There are prizes for the best costumes! Disco Bloodbath is a seriously scary Halloween party, taking place in The Church Café, Bar & Restaurant, an 18th-century renovated crypt. Expect to see many ghouls, zombies and other creeps all around you. The Danse Macabre, Halloween Monster Ball, is Ireland's most decadent Halloween party held at the Grand Concert Hall (RDS Venue—Main Hall Complex) and becomes a freak circus for just one night. There will be live music, DJs, immersive performances, variety, cabaret and the occasional sacrifice. Everyone is expected to wear a fancy dress.