A Halloween Spooktacular

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Ireland’s Ancient East is alive with truly terrifying tales and daunting displays of the macabre – are you brave enough to venture into its spooky realms this Halloween?
Hook Head Lighthouse
Woman in spooky costume at Wells House gardens
Left: Hook Head Lighthouse | Right: A ghostly tour guide at Wells House

Our Halloween traditions can be traced back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, which marked the end of harvest season and the onset of winter darkness. This was seen as a transitional time in which the boundaries between this world and the next were weak, allowing spirits to commune with the living. To this day, people still wander the haunted landscapes of Ireland’s Ancient East at Halloween in search of the supernatural – and we know some of the best places to find it!
 

Púca Festival

Thanks to those enduring traditions, Ireland is the true home of Halloween and The Púca Festival celebrates this with three breathtaking nights of music, food and spectacle at a time when light turns to dark and the veil between realities draws thin.

At The Feast of Samhain@Púca you can sample award-winning Boyne Valley food and drink across restaurants, cafés and pubs in Athboy, Trim and Drogheda. Dishes created especially to celebrate Samhain feature amazing local produce and are paired with local craft beverages. Whether you enjoy a Theatre of Food experience with free talks and information sessions from food producers, foragers and artisans; grab a snack from the Púca vendors; or partake in a once-in-a-lifetime fine dining experience – there's a cornucopia of seasonal delights with something for everyone. For tickets and full event details, visit the Púca Festival website.​

 

Féile Samhain at Hook Lighthouse

Travel back in time to explore the ancient celebrations of Samhain in Wexford. Discover the history and mystery of 800-year-old Hook Lighthouse at a ritual where age-old tales of Samhain will be shared by ‘Druids’ in the graveyard of one thousand ships. Also on offer is children’s entertainment with Captain Hook and Pirate Pat, and Samhain Art with resident Hook Lighthouse artist, Rose. The Lighthouse café will serve traditional fare and special Samhain platters.
 

Spirits of Meath

Meath is the birthplace of Ireland’s Ancient East, and host to Ireland’s biggest and scariest Halloween festival – the Spirits of Meath. Whether you prefer Fun by Day or Fright by Night, from Haunted Hills to Eerie Graveyards; a Tour of Shadows to Friendly Witches & Spooks and Spells; Thriller Nights to Terrifying Terror Houses – The Spirits of Meath will delight and fright equally!

A family come across a scary scene at Wells House
Pick and carve your own pumpkin at Killruddery House
A family nervously enter a cell in Wicklow Gaol
Left: A scary scene at Wells House | Middle: Pick and carve your own pumpkin at Killruddery House | Right: Nervous steps towards a cell at Wicklow Gaol

The Spooky Express

Prepare for a chilling adventure on The Spooky Express and capture the spirit of Halloween at the Waterford & Suir Valley Railway. Climb aboard and enjoy a 30 minute train journey in the dark where anything can happen! Be on the lookout for ghosts, witches and skeletons as the train rattles your bones along the tracks. 
 

Halloween at Wells House & Gardens

Travel through the enchanted grounds, and beware the spooky interactive characters who might just hitch a ride on the Halloween Train at Wells House & Gardens in Gorey, Co. Wexford! Other activities include a themed scavenger hunt, Kids Fancy Dress Mini Disco, trick-or-treating with Halloween Face Painting, movies including Hocus Pocus and Ghostbusters, and a chance to meet cute, weird and wonderful critters.

 

Seasonal Halloween Fun at Killruddery

If you want to enjoy Halloween festivities as a family (minus some of the more hair-raising elements), head to Killruddery House and Gardens in County Wicklow for a super weekend of seasonal activities. Killruddery's pick and carve pumpkin extravaganza invites crafty types of all ages to participate in an outdoor celebration. But that’s not all – afterwards, you can also design and build your own scarecrow to enter in the DIY Scarecrow Competition!

Huntington Castle Woods
Two ladies posing with Station Master Lullymore
The ruins of Belvedere House
Left: The spooky woods at Huntington Castle | Middle: Posing with the Lullymore Station Master | Right: The ruins of Belvedere House

Halloween Tour at Huntington Castle

Huntington Castle in Carlow lays claim to being one of the ‘most haunted’ castles of Ireland, and its Halloween experience is bound to dig up some spectral encounters. A special tour introduces participants to a number of resident ghosts, whom children help to find missing ghostly items in the spooky house and grounds, before enjoying a well-earned mug of hot chocolate (included with each child’s ticket). The shop and tearoom will be open for gifts and further refreshments – after all, ghosthunting is thirsty work!
 

October Family Fun at Castlecomer

This Halloween, Castlecomer Discovery Park in Kilkenny has some truly original events planned. Visit the vendors at the Autumn Street Food Festival in the Estate Yard, follow the Halloween Family Forest Trail, or grab your wand and broom and head along to Harry Potter Day! As part of the Savour Kilkenny festival, the park will also host a Family Foraging with Blackstairs Eco Trails Event.
 

Lullymore Halloween Happenings

Prepare for the fright of your life with a full week of eerie Halloween events at Lullymore Heritage & Discovery Park in Kildare, with ghastly ghouls and terrifying treats in store including haunted holograms, terror-filled train trips (watch out for zombie attacks!), treasure hunts and freaky fun in the devilish den of play – the Funky Forest.​

 

Belvedere Halloween Treasure Trails

The Halloween Treasure Trail at Belvedere House in Mullingar, County Westmeath is particularly wonderful for families; it’s full of fun and laughs and suitable for young children. Witches and zombies and ghouls await – expect some cheeky tricks with your treats!

Lightning striking over Wicklow Gaol
Exterior of Loftus Hall at dusk
Left: Lightning strikes over Wicklow Gaol | Right: Night falls at Loftus Hall

Not for the faint-hearted…

 

Wicklow Gaol

For any aspiring ghostbusters out there, the Paranormal Investigative Trail at Wicklow Gaol is ideal. Led by Paranormal Researchers Ireland, curious guests can look for evidence of the spirits which are rumoured to wander the corridors and inhabit the cells. The experience begins at 9pm and ends at 2am, and all participants must be aged 18 or over.
 

Loftus Hall

Prepare to immerse yourself in the full ‘lockdown’ experience! The Halloween Paranormal Investigation Lockdown at Loftus Hall in Wexford explores the most haunted house in Ireland; on the very night ghostly apparitions are most likely to come forth. Once briefed and prepped, your lockdown will commence at 8:30pm. A de-briefing will take place following your investigation, complete by 2:30am. Investigators must be aged 18 or over.

 

Shroud yourself in the unearthly terrain of Ireland’s Ancient East this Halloween. Don’t forget to booook in advance!

More Halloween Treats


Enjoy your spooktacular escape in Ireland’s Ancient East!

For more attractions and activities
check out the See & Do section