As Halloween approaches with the assured, slow pace of a hungry zombie, we round up the coolest, spookiest, drooliest events for you to scream your way through. Bram Stoker Festival runs from October 27-30, filling our weekend with gore and terror, and we’re very, very excited.
Stokerface: The top floor of Jervis Centre will be overrun with bats and witches, ghouls and monsters, with the occasional scream echoing through the corridors as all sorts gather together to offer up photography, food, art and much more. Gaze longingly at portraits taken by Alex Sapienza of The Analogue Studio, Ireland’s only 19th century photography studio specialising in wet plate collodion and vintage portraiture. Wet-plate collodion was the dominant photographic process from the 1850s to the 1880s. It’s a dangerous and complex process – the photographer can easily create explosives and deadly poisonous cyanide gas using the chemicals involved. Check out the video on how the process works, and fly on up to Jervis for this free event on Sunday.
Whitby: Experience the haunting voyage of the Demeter as it sails Dracula from Romania to the port of Whitby. Hear the creaks and groans of the old ship, the call of the waves, the scurrying of the rats. Renowned dance artist Colin Dunne brings to vivid life the chilling journey of the Count, using the Captain’s log as the central framework of the piece, and making it an immersive experience not to be missed. Smock Alley never felt so un-dead! Catch this haunting show on Friday, October 27th, and times can be found on the Bram Stoker festival website.
Turning Vampire Mixtape: An evening of scary songs and collaborations bringing together some of Ireland’s most successful and talented musicians for a serious night of music, giggles and ghouls – this is your Halloween Party with a devilish twist, with scary songs from Thriller to Ghostbusters and everything in between! There will also be a one-off special of the legendary Turning Pirate gigs, transforming into Turning Vampire for this very special event. The line-up, so far, includes Lisa Hannigan, Saoirse Casey, Niamh Farrell (Ham Sandwich), Adam Matthews, Saint Sister, Kier (Delorentos) and Wyvern Lingo all playing alongside the Turning Pirate house band – The Flux Capacitors. Come along dressed to impress the living dead.
Bram Audio Ghost Experience: Go walking through the City with spirits whispering in your ear about all the terrible goings on: a walking tour that would spook Bram himself. Beginning in the city centre and ending god knows where, this weird walking tour is not for the faint hearted. So grab your crucifix, wrap that scarf tight around your tasty neck, put on your headphones and download terror straight into your unwitting ears. The tour will be available to download from tomorrow, Wednesday 25th, and can be listened to all weekend.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula Screening: This Friday, the Lighthouse Cinema opens its arms to all you ghouls and gals, fangs or no fangs, as they host an evening of bloodied Marys and tasty potions – some normal treats, also, for the not-yet-dead. If that doesn’t get you shrieking, they’ll have a choir of ghosts singing your favourite spooky tunes, from “Thriller” to “Monster Mash.” Get the capes and claws out, girls and goblins: I predict a full moon.
Moonwalk over to Trinity College Dublin on Friday for the chillingly insightful exhibition, In case of Emergency: A night of delicious doomsday disasters and ominous occurrences. This late-night party, part of the exhibition, will invite visitors to explore everything from plagues and pandemics to infectious disease and survivalist preppers. On the night, expect to hear from leading experts in the field who are preparing for the apocalypse… NOW. Featuring the portentously playful musical meanderings of DJ Sally Cinnamon and tasty travesty treats… Come along dressed to survive the end of the world.
If nighttime terrors aren’t your cup of tea, fear not: Stokerland, a pop-up Victorian fun-park, takes place on Saturday from early morning till sundown. Located in St. Patrick’s Park, with the towering gothic giant of St Patrick’s Cathedral looming in the background, you’ll be able to enjoy comedy shows from Punch Lion Kids Comedy Club, featuring Andrew Stanley, Damian Clark,Steve Cummins and Totally Wired. Complete with a food village, olde-worlde games, face-painting and more, this family-friendly fun-day is the perfect way to entertain children 12 or under – and any other scaredy cats too spooked to go cavorting with the undead – this Hallowe’en Bank Holiday weekend.
End the festival with a howl with the world-renowned Macnas as they cavort through the City on Monday with their Memory Song Parade, led on its route through worlds and wastes by the Mystic, a supernatural creature wise beyond our mortal understanding. Dublin will get that horror-glint in its eye as wild, magical, unearthly shapes and forms strut their scary stuff through the streets. Starting on Moore Street at 6 p.m. they will bring horror and beauty (for aren’t they really the same thing?) across the Northside.