Oiche Samhain is one of the most inspiring times of year for artists, art hobbyist and creatives everywhere. Traditionally the veil between the two worlds is at its thinnest at this time and our imaginations can be set free as freedom of expression and exploring new persona’s becomes mainstream. Some cultural events are taking place around Ireland to celebrate our most famous pagan festival. Should you wish to be instilled with Celtic mysticism, scared out of your wits or simply looking for somewhere to enjoy Halloween, check out the following Samhain events.
LoughCrew Megalithic Centre: The Boyne Valley is steeped in ancient history and mysticism. Check out Sliabh na Cailli, the hill of the witches, at Autumn equinox or at Halloween. Walking in the footsteps of ancestors at this 5,000 year old site is sure to rejuvenate the creative juices. The stone carvings and incredible landscape will not disappoint.
Location: Oldcastle, Co. Meath
Ghostly Tours of Hook Lighthouse. Special Halloween tours at the lighthouse are designed for those who like the ghoulish and the terrifying. Creeping through the darkened lighthouse where ghost and ghouls lurk and with the sound of the waves smashing against the rocks, certainly sets the scene. The faint light thrown periodically by the
lighthouse beacon adds to the atmosphere of terror, and the whole experience is well put together. The tours are suitable for braver kids and for much braver adults but are not for anyone, adult or child, of a nervous disposition.
Location: Hook Head, Wexford
The ghosts of Wicklow Gaol: More spooky shenanigans in the Wicklow Jail with a night tour of this creepy ancient building. The normal interactive tour of this 300 year old jail includes holograms, visual displays and guided tours, but at Halloween you can join the ghosthunters and seek the restless spirits who walk the corridors, beginning at 9pm and finishing sometime around 2/3am the following morning, if you can stand it that long
Location: Wicklow Town
Nightmare Realm: “Are you ready to face your darkest nightmares and experience the artistry of fear? We are Ireland’s most extreme scare attraction, and are masters at creating horror and fear. This is not your typical (boo) haunted house – there are no ghosts and goblins – our sets and live creatures prey on your darkest fears and bring your nightmares to life.” So asks the organisers of the Nightmare Realm. A journey through the dark and downright nasty side of Halloween. Not for the young or the more delicate among us.
Location: Dublin and Cork.
Derry Carnival : To celebrate the Pagan festival in a more festive style, head on up to Derry where the Halloween Carnival attracts as many as 40,000 festival goers. All in full fancy dress and high spirits.
But for those of us who get our creative inspiration from the gentle side of nature Oiche Samhain itself, and indeed, the days which lead up to the festival, can provide the most amazing tapestry of natural colours which feed our creative nature in a fulfilling and amazing way. The leaves turn from green to brown and the purple heathers bloom in the mountains. Autumn is a particularly beautiful season. Get out and enjoy it.Organised walks can be found here. Be inspired one way or another, this Halloween season.