'BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD TO CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN'
Named as the best place in the WORLD to celebrate Halloween, nowhere does it quite like Derry.
With over 125 events across seven days, there is no better place to be this October. The week long-festival caters for all holiday makers, and is the number spot to get into the spirit of things this year.
For locals, it was no surprise when Derry~Londonderry was voted by American Newspaper, USA today, as the best sport in the world to celebrate Halloween – beating destinations such as Witch Trial capital Salem, Massachusetts and favourite vampire haunt and home of Count Dracula himself, Transylvania.
But what makes us so special? Well first of not every city in the world has 17th century walls (in fact we’re the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland, and one of the finest examples of a walled city in Europe); that allow us to host our ‘Awakening The Walls’ three-day long event.
Essentially, for three evenings before Samhain, we party with the supernatural to banish the dark on an animated and illuminated trail throughout our historic City Walls.
With haunting tales from friends of the past, spooktacular haunted windows, a witchy wonderland and more.
The Walls are just the start of it. Are week-long festival includes all sorts, including a haunted harvest market, Jack O’Lantern Festival (live music and ghostly tales), a monster fun fair, Carnival Parade Tourist and Trails and Fireworks Parade to name but a few.
What’s more, we’re so easy to reach. Did you know Derry is only 3 hours from Dublin, 1.5 hours from Belfast and 3.5hours from Galway. It’s a journey worth making!
Why is Halloween so good in Derry?
Long before it became fashionable to celebrate Halloween to the extent it is celebrated today; at the height of the troubles in 1985, pub landlord Brian Doherty decided to throw a Halloween party at his pub, Doherty’s Bar, on Derry’s Magazine Street. Fifty to sixty people turned out for the occasion in fancy dress. But, in the middle of the festivities there was a bomb scare and the pub had to be evacuated. Everybody left the pub and piled out onto the street. But, eager to continue the party, Brian and his crew headed down to Shipquay Street – an area of the city known for its bars and nightclubs.
Every year since then, the city has celebrated Halloween. But it was that night, in 1985 that the city regards as its first every Halloween Parade.
Last year over 90,000 people enjoyed the rich programme of events over the five days of the festival, with plans now to extend the festivities to a full week. Events have also been added in recent years to take in Strabane town and other rural
Why not put Derry Halloween on your bucket list. Check out our accommodation offerings here and book a Halloween holiday you'll never forget.
DERRY HALLOWEEN AWARDS
- Voted “Number 1 Halloween Destination in the World”, by USA Today
- The New York Times voted Derry 'Top 6 Halloween Destinations in the World'.
- Boston Globe said 'City of Bones reigns as campital of Halloween.
- Irish Central said 'This Irish city is the capital of Halloween'.
- The 2017 UTB Business Eye Awards voted it Tourism/Hospitality Project of the Year.
- In 2018 it was voted as the Best Northern Ireland event/Festival Experience in the Tourism Northern Ireland Awards category.
Check our our Halloween 2018 promo here:
To learn more, visit the Derry Halloween Website