01 Oct 2019
One of Ireland’s most anticipated Hallowe’en festivals returns to Dublin in October for four days of living stories and four nights of deadly adventures.
With something for everyone, the Bram Stoker Festival (25 – 28 October) playfully celebrates the gothic, the mysterious, the after-dark and the supernatural as it delves into the legacy of one of Ireland’s most treasured authors.
Dublin-born Bram Stoker created one of literature’s most famous characters, Count Dracula, and the festival in his honour thrills and terrifies as much as the original vampire character.
From a Victorian pop-up fun park, dress-up film screenings in the dead of night and a devilishly delicious food trail, the packed programme of events mixes family-friendly adventures with late-night antics for mates, dates and everything in between.
Don’t miss Night Watch, an outdoor spectacle at Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock that will run across all four days of the festival. Best enjoyed from dusk, but visible from Friday 25 October until late on Monday 28 October, this atmospheric and darkly theatrical installation will see a ghostly ship summoned from the dark.
Swathed in fog and foreboding lights, it will be accompanied by an eerie, maritime forest of beings and bodies arising from the depths. The must-see water-borne installation will reflect age-old anxieties of predator and prey, watcher and watched, with tales of the strange and sinister from the high seas.
Elsewhere, you can face your fear of the night at Séance, taking place in complete darkness in a sealed shipping container on Wolfe Tone Square for 20 people at a time. An immersive and unnerving experience that has thrilled audiences and received acclaim worldwide, Séance arrives in Dublin for its Irish premiere at the festival to blur the boundaries between reality and the otherworld.
Gothic literature lovers should check out ‘Stoker on Stoker the Mysteries Behind the Writing of Dracula’ (26 October). Separating fact from popular fiction in a compelling audio-visual presentation, Dacre Stoker, the great grand-nephew of Bram Stoker and co-author of the 2018 prequel novel Dracul, will give an intimate insight into Dracula’s history within the Stoker family.
Among the many other highlights of this amazing festival will be a series of horror movie screenings outdoors in Meeting House Square, a Bram Stoker Tasting Walking Tour and InstaTerror, a ground-breaking online event telling an ancient horror story. Anyone with a smartphone and a sense of humour can follow this terrifying haunting as it unfolds. As tension builds and the body count rises, this macabre adventure will culminate in a shocking climax during the festival.
Ireland is regarded as the best place in the world to enjoy authentic Hallowe’en experiences. As the country where it originated, the whole island still celebrates the festival with spectacle, gusto and enthusiasm.
Other festivals to explore around the island include the world-famous Derry Hallowe’en (26 October – 1 November) in Northern Ireland, and the Púca Festival in Ireland’s Ancient East (31 October – 2 November).
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