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02nd Oct 2020

Bram Stoker Festival – Here’s what to expect this year

Sarah Finnan

Bram Stoker Festival

The annual Bram Stoker Festival has confirmed that it will go ahead this year. A standout event on the yearly spooky season calendar.

It’s only the second of October and I’ve already used the phrase ‘spooky season’ more than a handful of times… but why stop there, eh? So HAPPY SPOOKY SEASON my dudes.

October is upon us which means that our minds have moved to Halloween at the end of this month. Though I’m not the biggest fan of autumn evenings and the complete lack of sunshine, one thing that helps to get me through is knowing that there are plenty of festive events organised to help celebrate Oíche Shamhna.

And good news, as the annual Bram Stoker Festival has confirmed that it will go ahead this year. A popular event with locals, this year’s event challenges Dubliners to invite Dracula into their homes. Not quite sure that’s the wisest choice given his track record, but ok…

Featuring a specially-curated programme of events, there’s a mix of both at home and in-person activities including a walking tour of the city that people can enjoy at their leisure.

From chilling audio theatre in your bed to creating Macnas puppets at home, the festival has plenty of spooky adventures to occupy little monsters and aged vampires over the midterm and Halloween weekend.

Below are some of this year’s highlights:


A self-guided audio tour, it’s described as a walking tour with a “devilish difference”. Featuring the voices of some of Ireland’s most celebrated writers, humourists and comedians – including Tony Cantwell, Seamus O’Reilly and Hannah Mamalis – all of whom will regale you with personal horror stories inspired by Dublin’s fair streets.

Do the tour by night and it will be complemented by impressive visual projections and animations at some of the stop-offs along the way.


A 20-minute immersive audio experience, it’s designed for one person to experience lying down alone
in their bed. And yes it’s as creepy as it sounds.

Unique to this year’s festival, this is an adults-only event and definitely not for the faint of heart.

Macnas workshop

Famous for their annual Galway parade, Macnas are masters of mystic and magic. However, with giant in-street performances unable to happen this year, they’re hoping to help you bring your own stories to life at home instead.


Another self-guided tour, this one is darkly comedic and brings listeners around the National Gallery of Ireland. Headed up by two lady-like members of Dublin’s vampire community, Anne and Winifred, they’ll most definitely lead you astray so best expect the unexpected… that being visions of exposed flesh, murder, darkened rooms, storms and a deeper look at our human obsession with immortality.

You can find more details about the full festival programme here.

Header image via Instagram/Bram Stoker Festival

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