A Vampire Hunt & Dublin Turned Red: Happy Halloween!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN from Dublin! Yes, it’s that time of year for that American tradition… Oops, I mean Irish tradition? Yes, it is believed that Halloween was bought to America by the Irish.

On a Vampire Hunt in Dublin's Christ Church Catherdral
It all started with the Paleopagan Druids who were celebrating Lá Samhna, the Celtic new year. However, once the Christians moved in and went about organizing these unruly pagans around the year 800, they simply re-branded, and designated the 1st of November as All Saints Day. The name Halloween stems from the term evening of all hallows (hallows = holy saints). And there you have it! Well kind of, this is a very short explanation, go here to read an interesting and detailed post on the link between Halloween and the Irish.

Vampire Hunt, Trinity College
Most years we don’t get to celebrate Halloween as we’re usually traveling at this time of year for work. But not this year, so we’ve been able to fully get in to the celebrations! We took part in a vampire hunt to commemorate Irish author, Bram Stoker, who wrote ‘Dracula’ over a century ago, as part of the Bram Stoker Festival. We teamed up with a wonderful travel blogging couple, Hai and Jessica from Notes of Nomads and had an awesome time. The vampire hunt was basically a scavenger hunt around town. The timed event began at City Hall where we were given a list of 10 attractions to swing into and look for answers to our clues. Once we solved the clue, we would receive a stamp upon exiting the attraction. There were also many Dracula’s out and about!

Vampire Hunt, St Kevin's park
One of the really cool things about doing the free Vampire hunt, was that we received free admission to several attractions that otherwise charge. Those included Christ Church Cathedral, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the old Library at Trinity College/ Book of Kells, the Marsh library and the National Wax Museum. That was over €30 of free attractions that you could enjoy at your own pace if you didn’t care about your time. We’d never previously visited the National Wax Museum and enjoyed popping in for realistic wax sculptures of many icons such as Madonna, Elvis and Darth Maul fighting a young Obi Wan Kenobi from Star Wars. You can also receive an excellent Irish history lesson there, and of course there’s a statue of Michael Collins, the revolutionary leader credited with Ireland gaining its independence from Britain in 1922.

Vampire Hunt
All up it took us 3 hours to complete the hunt, that’s because we missed an attraction and had to backtrack, and managed to walk right past St Kevin’s park, but we’ll take that as a sign of being with great company! Also, we’ll never again forget where to find this park in Dublin. Overall it was a fun afternoon of exploring Dublin, learning new things and seeing cool costumes.

Vampire Hunt and Dublin turned red

Dublin castle, Dracula and his brides
Sunday night saw us exploring the streets of Dublin to check out buildings lit up in red as part of the Bram Stoker Festival. It was disappointing that Trinity College and the Wax Museum had not put their red filters on, despite being on the list. However, the show at Dublin Castle  was absolutely fantastic. They had installed an impressive fire display in a haunted castle courtyard!

Dublin castle

Inside the castle courtyards were beautifully designed fire displays. But you really needed to keep your eyes open for beasts and vampires as they were prone to sneaking up behind you or jumping out in front of your camera! The stunning installation was created by outdoor arts experts Walk The Plank, which was designed to evoke Stoker’s imagination and give everyone a good scare if their guards were let down!

Dublin castle

Dub Castle

The Bram Stoker Festival happens every year in Dublin. If you missed it this year, you can join in the activities in 2014, and we highly recommend you do if you’re around! Other activities included a dinner in the crypt of Christ Church Cathedral, scary movies, vampire opera and much more.

Dublin Castle
What are your plans for Halloween, and what are you dressing as? Do you have a favorite haunted house you like to visit? If so let us know!




  • Alex&Bell

    Alex and Bell originally met while solo traveling after finishing university in 2002, in Brugge, Belgium. Alex grew up in the USA and Bell hails from Australia. During our nearly 20 year marriage we've lived around the world, including spending six years living in the Netherlands and Ireland. We have traveled to nearly 70 countries and enjoy giving readers authentic and quality travel tips. Alex is an award winning travel journalist and travel planner, who also freelances for other outlets. Bell is an award winning PhD scientist who currently works for a non-profit lung cancer advocacy research organization called Lungevity. Happy travels and if you have any questions leave a comment or drop an email!

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4 thoughts on “A Vampire Hunt & Dublin Turned Red: Happy Halloween!

  1. Hi guys! It was so lovely to join you for Halloween celebrations this year! Great company and certainly worth missing a park and losing time for! Thanks for a great weekend and we hope you are enjoying the day of Halloween itself in Dublin. We don’t have much experience celebrating Halloween so don’t have a favourite haunted house, but we are with you in recommending the Bram Stoker Festival to all for next year! Have a great one and Happy Halloween from London! 🙂

    1. Hey Jessica! Yes we really enjoyed sharing in the wonderful festivities with you two. Loads of fun and it was great bonding last weekend…while also getting lost once 😉 We were out last night for Halloween but didn’t dress up as Bell had a work dinner that I also joined for free food and drinks. We saw lots of dressed up people, pretty smashed out and about. We hope you had an awesome time celebrating in London. See you there in a few days for World Travel Market! 🙂

  2. Looks fun, there were more houses and shops decorated (tattooist) this year in Melbourne. There were even a few oddly dressed people at Bampf in St Kilda last night. We even saw two monks!!!!! Maybe they had costumes left over from another outing!!!! Photos look great.

    1. Thank you!…And that’s wonderful to hear that Halloween is getting bigger in Australia as it really is a lot of fun! I was just reading that Halloween season is now the 2nd biggest shopping season in the USA, next to Christmas…And thanks to cheap Chinese stuff, you don’t have to spend much either. My scary Pumpkin mask was only 2 euro at the 2 euro shop! 🙂 Whether that’s a good or bad thing is a whole other story.

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