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Macnas Halloween Parade, Galway, 2013 | ©young shanahan/Flickr
Macnas Halloween Parade, Galway, 2013 | ©young shanahan/Flickr

The Top 5 Halloween Events In Ireland In 2016

Picture of Kate Phelan
Updated: 9 February 2017
Ireland is home to Europe’s biggest Halloween festival, as well as a host of other festive events to mark the annual holiday that descended from the Irish Celtic tradition of Samhain. We’ve already given you the best Halloween events happening in Dublin, but here are some suggestions for how to spend a spooky All Hallows’ Evening in the rest of the country.

Haunted Spooktacular Horror Farm, County Meath

For anyone who has ever wanted to star in their own personal horror film, the Haunted Spooktacular Horror Farm event is happening again this year at Grove Gardens in Kells, Co Meath, with indoor and outdoor fear-inducing activities. The farm has two mazes – a two-and-a-half acre haunted corn maze, and a thoroughly creepy sounding mirror maze full of ‘dark ghouls.’ Also part of the fun are laboratory and abandoned asylum themed areas. Only those over 18 are permitted, so you know it’s scary. Promotion nights with a special ticket price of €20 will take place on October 14th and 15th, with the full event beginning on the 21st and running until Halloween night, with tickets at €25.

Haunted Spooktacular Horror Farm, Grove Gardens, Fordstown, Kells, Co Meath, Ireland

⛔️ #Ireland #meath #kells #hauntedspooktacular #shack #carousel #closeddown

A photo posted by Dave – Dublin (@ahsurethisisit) on

Abooo Halloween Festival, Galway

Galway’s Abooo festival, the Republic of Ireland’s largest Halloween festival, will take place from October 28th to 31st. The programme features a jaw-dropping parade by internally recognised spectacle and street performance company Macnas on Sunday 30th, including new ‘giants’ – huge papier-mâché mobile puppets – bespoke costumes, music and dance. There will also be a repeat of the Monster Dash, a costumed fun-run to raise funds for On The Road Again (OTRA), a personal development programme originally developed to help the homeless.

The Nightmare Realm, Cork

Casting itself as ‘Ireland’s most extreme scare attraction,’ the Nightmare Realm is a Halloween walk-through event that means business. A horror house spectacular, this one admits people as young as 13, but advises that teenagers have an adult present. Getting scarier every year, the Nightmare Realm has entertained some 150,000 people in Cork city since 2009, and this year will see the first iteration of it take place in Dublin (with a different theme to the Cork version.)

The Nightmare Realm, Navigation House, Albert Quay, Cork, Ireland, +353 21 233 9043

Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival

This annual event in Derry has been called Europe’s biggest and best Halloween festival, and was even voted the world’s best Halloween destination by readers of USA Today in 2015. Celebrating its 30th birthday in 2016, this year’s theme is ‘Out of this World in the City of Bones.’ With live music, storytelling, street performances and markets, a ‘supernatural animation trail’ along the city walls, the four-day event culminates in Europe’s largest Halloween street carnival and costume party on the 31st, closed out with a fireworks display.

Derry Halloween Carnival, Londonderry, Derry, United Kingdom

Halloween Mid-Term Activity Camp, Bunratty Folk Park, Clare

The 15th-century tower house at Bunratty is the ideal setting for a mid-term Halloween activity camp for kids, designed to keep the fun going for several days, from November 1st to 4th. Suitable for children aged seven and up, this camp at Bunratty Castle Folk Park will allow kids to design their own scary fairy doors, bake Halloween cookies, and take a ghost tour of the castle and learn about its history.

Bunratty Folk Park, Bunratty, County Clare, Ireland, +353 61 360 788