This is Halloween

By Louise Whelan

There’s no better time of year for lovers of all things spooky, kooky, creepy and chilling as Halloween is approaching fast!  The nights get darker, the winds of change begin to blow, bewitching scents of pumpkin spice, zesty orange and spicy cinnamon fill the air, and the forecast is strong for hocus pocus magic everywhere. 

Since 2017, the Dockers and Demons festival has been unleashed to the communities of Ringsend, Irishtown and the Docklands for a scarefest run of all things trickery with their scary fun antics. Wizened characters have been spotted doing walkabouts over the years like the banshee, witch, devil and birdman along with spellbinding shows for a brilliantly wicked fright-filled lead up to Halloween night.  

All the local forum groups, residents associations and businesses in the communities get on board and come together to plan free events from their locations and engage with skilled individuals, along with the core team members of Dockers and Demons, to help organise activities for all ages including dance, arts and crafts, fancy dress discos, music, spooky bingo, ghost stories and movies, all while enjoying family friendly fun and also learning about the folklore of our town through guided walks around the area as well as sustainability workshops and art exhibitions. They have also collaborated with the local schools teaching songs and dance moves for nightmarish music videos. 

In addition to big top tents, circus performers, outdoor cabarets, and so much more, Dockers and Demons run a variety of competitions so there is something for everybody to get involved in and have a terrifyingly good time.

Dockers and Demons also accommodate the neurodiverse community, by including neuro inclusive events that are accessible, safe and an engaging space where more children and adults can participate and rest all their senses in a quieter environment while still enjoying the Halloween experience.

The Haunted House is also a firm favourite event in the build up to Halloween that gets scarier every year. Located at the back of Ringsend and Irishtown Community Centre, the staff and volunteers do an incredible job of designing and building the space into a spooktacular haven of hauntingness with ghosts, clowns, dolls, eerie music, creepy mist and horrific jumpscares. You have been warned!

Sinister shadows lurk in corners and you may see many unsettling figures out of the corner of your eye like Big Baby, Headless Horseman and Michael Myers to name but a few. Grown adults have been seen screaming and running away in terror. Traumatised (you know who you are!)

The young people of the community also volunteer and help out, dress up and are all so willing to get stuck in and do a brilliant job every year assisting with the running of these themed events.

So, get your ghoulish costumes ready, faces painted and get set to have plenty of Halloween spirit and lots of tricks and treats.

Dockers and Demons is sponsored by Dublin City Council.