Quickly becoming one of the West’s biggest festivals along the Wild Atlantic Way, Samhain Abhainn Halloween Festival returns for yet another year of scares. The festival, which last year saw an unprecedented turn-out for its main event – the immersive Scary Woods Walk, in the amazing surroundings of Belleek Woods is sure to make a huge impression again this year, celebrating all things ghoulish with a cauldron of unique, hair-raising events.
The festival, supported by Ballina Chamber, takes place in late October with a busy programme of events for children of all ages.
The Scary Woods Walk in Belleek Woods is the biggest event of the festival and it will take place from Friday 26th – Wednesday 31st October. Expect scares a-plenty in this immersive, guided night walk through the forest. How brave are you? Find out when a deathly being breathes in your ear, when the wails of lost souls reverberate through the darkness, or when macabre clowns, possessed by evil spirits clutch at you as you pass, trying to drag you down under into the abyss.
There will be special Halloween-themed Arts and Crafts Workshops from Monday 29th – Wednesday 31st October in Ballina Arts Centre.
And there will also be Scary Movies in Ballina Arts Centre over the weekend of Friday 26th – Wednesday 31st October.
Spooky Scéals at the Jackie Clarke Collection, Saturday 27th at 12 noon and 2pm for ages 5yrs to 12 yrs. FREE, booking essential – call the Jackie Clarke Collection on 096 73508.
Halloween Kids Camps with Ballina Costume Company on Tuesday 30th & Wednesday 31st October. Ages 5yrs to 12 yrs, booking through Jane in the Ballina Costume Company on 096 72154.
Wednesday 31st of October, 2pm – Halloween Hoots at the Jackie Clarke Collection with Apex Birds of Prey – Free event and all welcome.
There is no pre-booking system in operation. Queues will be managed from 6pm in the Woods with on-site entertainment.
NOTE: A one-way traffic system will apply from the Arch/Athletic Club past Belleek through to Killala Road. No traffic (residents excepted) will be permitted to approach from the Killala Road side of Belleek Woods. Parking will be available along the main road from the Arch to Belleek Woods. Please obey stewards at all times.
Samhainn Abhainn attracts young and old alike during the Halloween break in Ballina, and aims to provide something for everyone to enjoy on Halloween, whether you are looking for a creepy murder mystery trail, a big night out on the town in your finest costume or a scary walk in the woods for the children to relish. The unique Irish historical context of Halloween will be a big feature of the festival.
First celebrated as a pagan festival back in 100AD, the Celts marked the season of Halloween or ‘Samhain’, an old Irish word meaning the ‘end of summer’. Fast-forward 2000 years and Ballina is building on Irish history in celebrating Samhain Abhainn – a summers-end festival on the banks of the River Moy. This Hallowe’en the town will be transformed into a land of magic, mystery and myth, waiting for you, your family, and friends to come and enjoy.