Eleven Halloween events you won't want to miss

Fill your scary season with scarecrows and pumpkins or underground vaults and haunted houses

Bram Stoker Festival: the Dublin event runs from Friday until Monday. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall

Bram Stoker Festival: the Dublin event runs from Friday until Monday. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall

 

Halloween is right around the corner and there's plenty to keep the family on the spooky side of things over the midterm-break. Here are eleven events in Dublin and Cork.

Vaults Live

Daily, 10.30am-6.30pm (Thursdays 10.30am-8.30pm), 30 one-hour shows a day; John’s Lane West, Liberties, Dublin 8; €22/€16 (families €55); vaults.live
Dublin’s newest visitor attraction, with its gruesome journey of horrors through Irish history, has opened just in time for Halloween. The €5 million interactive show, based on 800 years of Irish history, involves live performance and special effects to bring to life six scenes, including a Cromwellian torture chamber, the crypt of a Dublin church, a Viking settlement, Bandon courtroom, medieval apothecary and what was once Europe’s biggest red-light district, Monto, in the heart of Dublin. The scripts were first written by the late Fergus Linehan, the comic writer and Irish Times journalist and critic; the playwright Peter Sheridan created the final versions.

Dockers & Demons festival

Saturday, October 27th, until Wednesday, October 31st; Dublin; free; dockersanddemons.com
The second Dockers & Demons festival takes place again this year in the Irishtown, Ringsend and Docklands area of Dublin. Choose from the curious cabaret, a zombie teen disco, freaky funhouse, seniors’ Halloween monster’s ball and loads more. The festival ends with the Dockers & Demons parade and street party, on Thorncastle Street from 6.30pm to 9.30pm on Halloween night. (Warning: watch out for the banshee.)

Vaults Live: Judge Dolores Fitzroy, from the new attraction’s gruesome journey of horrors through Irish history
Vaults Live: Judge Dolores Fitzroy, from the new attraction’s gruesome journey of horrors through Irish history

Otherworld Halloween Festival

Wednesday, October 31st; 4.45-9pm; Ballymun Plaza, Dublin 9; facebook.com
The kids can channel their inner zombie at this year’s Otherworld festival in Ballymun, with lots of spooky stuff, including a circus, funfair rides and an arts-and-crafts tent. Witches Brew cafe will serve ghoulish cakes, tea and coffee, and Muck & Magic soup stall will offer deadly good homemade soup from vegetables grown on a community patch. The parade starts at the Virgin Mary national schools, on Shangan Road, at 4.45pm; the festival starts on the plaza at 6pm.

Sandymount Tidy Towns Scarecrow & Pumpkin Festival

Runs until Wednesday, October 31st; Sandymount, Dublin 4; facebook.com
The festival takes place on Sandymount Green, with a prize-giving and awards night on Friday, October 26th, in Christchurch Hall from 5pm to 7pm. For more details check out Sandymount Tidy Towns’ Facebook page.

The Cauldron of Smithfield

Wednesday, October 31st, 4.30-8.30pm; Smithfield Square, Dublin 7; free; facebook.com
Double, double toil and trouble: the Cauldron of Smithfield event is back with even more thrills. Expect fangtastic activities at Smithfield Square, including the 300m zip line and a 50m-high bungee jump. New this year: Cirque du Freak Scare Tent, Climbing Wall and Lost Souls parade. The Cirque du Freak Scare Tent is open 4.30-5.30pm, 5.45-6.45pm and 7-7.30pm; arrive early to secure your place in the pot.

Liberties Halloween Monster Bash

Wednesday, October 31st, 4-6pm; Digital Court, Rainsford Street, Dublin 8; free
The Monster Bash is full of spooktacular activities, including a haunted house, spooky storytelling room, face-painting, Halloween games, scary film screening and devilish pinatas.

Sandymount Tidy Towns Scarecrow & Pumpkin Festival

Runs until Wednesday, October 31st; Sandymount, Dublin 4; facebook.com
The festival takes place on Sandymount Green, with a prize-giving and awards night on Friday, October 26th, in Christchurch Hall from 5pm to 7pm. For more details check out Sandymount Tidy Towns’ Facebook page.

Halloween: iStock
Halloween: iStock

The Haunted House in Rialto

Wednesday, 31st October, 3pm - 5pm; F2 Centre, 3 Reuben Plaza, Rialto, Dublin 8; free
The F2 Centre will be transformed for Halloween. Are you brave enough to face the ghost of Mrs Nugent in the basement of the haunted house or enter the Bride of Chucky room? If that’s not heart-stopping enough there’s also a graveyard with music and dance performances among the graves.

Pumpkin Party in Ballyfermot

Wednesday, October 31st, 11 am; Markievicz Park, Ballyfermot, Dublin 10; free
Including train rides and pumpkin-carving.

Ghoulsley’s Manor

Runs until Wednesday, October 31st, 60-minute afternoon (ages four-plus) and evening (ages eight-plus) shows; Cuskinny Court, Cobh, Co Cork; €15; ghoulsleysmanor.com
I have it on good authority that the curse of the purple pumpkin has hit east Cork. That is to say Cuskinny Court has been hit by a 200-year-old curse, unleashing mischief and turning the estate home into a murky manor. “We’ve never seen anything quite like the curse of the purple pumpkin in east Cork,” says Caitriona Johansson of Ghoulsley’s Manor. “It’s quite spooky and funny to see the curse take hold, and we are inviting children to come and experience this imaginative, interactive Halloween experience this October.”

Half Light

Thursday, November 1st, until Saturday, November 3rd, 2pm; the Ark, Temple Bar, Dublin 2; €12.50/€9.50; ark.ie
“Imagine this: you’re walking up a mountain, through a forest of pine trees, and you’re trying to find your dad. He’s been taken by a monster.” Meet Robin, a 10-year-old boy travelling through the magical woodland of his father’s storybook. A tale that is as true as it is untrue, from Bombinate Theatre, for ages eight-plus.