HALLOWEEN is just around the corner and to celebrate the spookiest time of year, Tourism Northern Ireland is encouraging everyone to enjoy a bewitching time and discover all the frightful events and ghostly places available to visit all over Northern Ireland.
Whether you are planning a short break or dress-up days away with your little wizards and witches there are lots of great events to choose from including fireworks displays, spooky tours and haunted houses.
Rachel Quigg, Destination & PR Officer, Tourism Northern Ireland explains why everyone can enjoy spine-tinglingly good fun in every county this Halloween: “Halloween is the perfect time of year to dress up and explore all the wickedly wonderful events happening in Northern Ireland this October with friends and family.
“We’ve put together a terrifyingly good list of just some of the events and would encourage everyone to check out what’s happening in their local areas for some guaranteed fun,” added Rachel.
To help get you started, Tourism Northern Ireland has put together a list of spooky events to make sure you get into the Halloween spirit:
Monster Manor is back in W5 until November 6, and it’s even spookier than last year! The singing pumpkins, dancing skeletons, floating ghosts, witches and monsters have been joined by some new phantom friends this year, and W5 have uncovered some new rooms in the mansion where new scares await. It may be really spooky and a little bit eerie, but Monster Manor is a whole lot of fun.
Ghost in the Glens Storytelling Festival takes place from October 27-30 in Cushendall and celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the Glens of Antrim. Over the weekend renowned storytellers will tell tales of ghosts and witches to send shivers up the spines of listeners of all ages. The festival, which takes place in local pubs and restaurants, will also have non-scary storytelling for the little ones in Cushendall Library.
This Halloween season, the Giant’s Causeway will be exploring how other cultures remember loved ones who have passed with its Mexican Day of the Dead. The event will feature a host of activities that the whole family can enjoy, while the café will be serving tasty treats with a Mexican twist, whilst live Latin music will be played in the Visitor Centre. Mexican Day of the Dead will take place on October 29-30 and is no extra cost.
Enjoy some spook-tacular family fun at Little Spooks at the Navan Centre, Armagh, from October 28-31. Are you brave enough to pass through the Bone Taker’s garden and see their Palace of Bones? Test your Halloween knowledge and follow the Spooky Riddle Trail if you dare. With prizes in every show, don’t forget to come in your best fancy dress.
Millbrook Lodge Hotel in Ballynahinch is hosting a Halloween Drive-In Movie Night, with two scary movies being shown in the hotel’s rear car park on November 1. Enjoy American fantasy comedy Hocus Pocus starring Bette Midler as the leader of the villianous Sanderson Sisters, followed by classic supernatural horror The Conjuring. Hot and cold drinks are available, as well as fast food and ice cream.
Halloween Howler at Share Discovery Village is a spookily spectacular family-friendly Halloween event which will be packed with hair-raising activities. On October 31 try out the Halloween games, fireworks, fancy dress and spooky walks through the haunted forest.
Recently voted Best Halloween Destination in the World by USA today, Derry~Londonderry is a destination not to be missed for Halloween enthusiasts as the Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival returns for its 30th anniversary from October 28-31. The crazy costumes that pass through the City at this time of the year are not for the faint-hearted, and the explosive fireworks finale on Halloween night is considered a highlight among both locals and visitors at this time of year.
At the Oasis Plaza in Omagh, the Halloween Party on the Plaza event on October 31 will feature a programme of fang-tastic entertainment featuring spooktacular street performers, fire jugglers and creepy characters. A Halloween fancy dress party will feature spot prizes awarded for fancy dress in different categories throughout the evening, and a spectacular pyrotechnics display will be launched from Strule Arts Centre rooftop at 7.30pm.
SPOOKY PLACES TO VISIT
Found on the North Antrim coastline, along the world famous Causeway Coastal Route, the 4 star Ballygally Castle Hotel is known as one of the most famous haunted hotels in Northern Ireland. The ghost of Lady Isobella Shaw has haunted the hotel for 400 years and is said to wander the corridors late at night wearing a silk dress. The hotel is proud of its resident ghost and has even named a room after her in the older part of the castle, where guests can request to stay if they are feeling brave enough.
Set on the shores of Upper Lough Erne in County Fermanagh, Crom Estate is one of Ireland’s most important and stunning nature reserves and home to its own Ghostly Walking Trail. The trail takes you places around the Lough where many ghostly sightings have been recorded over the years.
The Walled City of Derry~Londonderry has many scary stories to tell, but perhaps none are better than that of the Tower Museum. The museum houses the second oldest coach in Ireland and is said to be frequently visited by the ghost of Mary Anne Knox, who was shot by her lover MacNaughton. A photograph depicting Mary inside the coach is on display in the museum.
Belfast’s iconic City Hall found in the heart of the city centre is reported to be haunted by various individuals who unfortunately died during the building’s construction. Apparently, if you are in the building late at night a chilling presence can be felt around the building.
Tollymore Forest Part in County Down is believed to be haunted by a wistful figure known as The Blue Lady, who formerly resided in the seat of the Roden family in Tollymore House. She is believed to wander restlessly through the trees, and has been seen on many a dark night walking the tree-lined avenues.