Halloween is screaming up in our headlights in a pound-shop fright wig and a borrowed Scream mask. It’s the time of year when the paranormal goes mainstream and every family embraces ideas of the other side.
This year Americans will spend nearly $7 billion on the festival, Derry in Northern Ireland has been named as the best city in which to celebrate it, and Caitlyn Jenner costumes are igniting the annual bad-taste-costume row.
Behind all the family fun and big business profiteering there’s a serious story. Halloween is All Hallows’ Eve in the Christian calendar, the day before All Souls’ Day, when the dead are remembered.
Like many Church festivals it’s thought to have older roots, in this case in Celtic festival of Samhain – “summer’s end” in Old Irish. On that day, which marked the transition to the “darker half” of the year, it was believed that fairies and spirits could cross into our world more easily. Gifts were given to them to keep them in a good mood and the dead were said to return home, where a welcome was prepared for them.
In the spirit of the origins of Halloween, here are five places in Ireland where the two worlds of spirit and matter are said to still collide and where you wouldn’t want to spend Halloween without a got shot of Irish whiskey inside you!
Read on to see our selection of Irish Ghosts to give you the Irish shivers.