Just in time for Halloween, Dublin’s second Bram Stoker Festival kicks off on the long Bank Holiday Weekend in October from Saturday 26 to Monday 28, with Dracula stealing the show. Lovers of the night, scary storytelling and all things gothic and macabre will be dying to attend the assorted spooky and literary events planned for these three terrifying days and nights.
Dracula fans in particular won’t want to miss out on any gory going-on’s which will include walks through narrow winding lanes and passageways together with hellish descents down hidden steps.
Then there are the ancient film archives, musical performances in church and a candlelit supper in a 12th century church crypt and with a handful of hosts who mysteriously disappear on a regular basis.
Learn to write horror. Fiction writing is a popular past time these days and horror is a genre which receives its fair share of fans – both writers and readers alike. And for that reason there’ll be a series of inspiring horror writing and literary workshops which teenagers and adults can take part in.
Watch horror on the screen. Over Saturday and Sunday the Festival showcases an amazing film archive dating from the 1930s and Tod Browning’s early Dracula talkie with Bela Lugosi as the very frightening Count, to the incredibly popular Brides of Dracula (1960s) with Peter Cushing and, for the kids, right through to Hotel Transylvannia (2012). The latter is an animated Disney comedy movie with Hollywood funny man Adam Sandler as Bela Lugosi and the kids will just love it (along with mum and dad we’ve no doubt).
Hunt down a vampire. Now, it’s not something you’d spend a typical Saturday morning being involved in, but who likes routine anyway? On the vampire hunt children and adults alike with scour the Victorian alleyways of Dublin, the city’s historical buildings and all sorts of cultural venues in order to seek out the black-cloaked foe. It’s a blood curdling task and it doesn’t come without its dangers… The hunt takes one hr 45 minutes and there’s a mini version of just one hour 20 minutes for younger trainee vampire hunters.
Sing your fear away. Gothic readings and music by candlelight in Dublin Cathedral – it couldn’t get any more atmospheric, we reckon. Local actors and the choral group Crux Ensemble will enchant and terrify at the same time. We loved this last year and plan on returning – tickets willing.
Eat to terrify. Enjoy the blood-thirsty delights of Bram’s Banquet – a five course candle-lit feast in the city’s atmospheric Christ Church Crypt (the 12th century old location is the oldest structure currently standing in the city). Theatre, music and a troupe of unlikely hosts are all part of the petrifying proceedings. Try not to get frightened too much otherwise indigestion may prove a problem later (Dracula may not be the only reason you can’t get to sleep).
If you’re planning on coming through to the Bram Stoker Festival then we’d be delighted to see you here at the Sandymount Hotel. You can always book in advance to make sure you don’t have to sleep outdoors in a nearby churchyard where you never know who may be lurking…