Northern Ireland news

Halloween events to mark the spookiest time of the year

A werewolf warms up against the Museum of The Moon at the Guildhall in Derry as the city's Halloween celebrations get underway. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

LITTLE witches and wizards can enjoy a host of terrifying events planned across Northern Ireland this Halloween.

Ghost trains, arts and crafts workshops and fireworks displays are all on offer to mark the festival, which has its roots in the ancient Celtic celebration Samhain.

Here are a few highlights of what spooky celebrations are being held.

Belfast

The Monster Mash returns to Titanic Slipways tomorrow night.

The free family event, which runs between 6pm and 8pm, includes fire shows, fairground rides and craft workshops.

It ends with Belfast's largest fireworks display at 8pm.

Free shuttle buses will run from Chichester Street from 5.30pm. Return services will take revellers from Titanic Film Studios on Queen’s Road to Donegall Square West from 8.15pm.

A free tram will also run from the Premier Inn hotel in Titanic Quarter from 5.30pm.

In the west of the city, party-goers can enjoy a lantern parade from the Kennedy Centre to Falls Park tonight, ahead of a fireworks display.

The parade begins at 6.30pm.

Co Down

Little ghosts and ghouls can haunt Phantom Flyer steam trains on Halloween night.

The special trains will leave Downpatrick station between 5pm and 8pm, followed by a fireworks display in the town after the last train.

Co Antrim

Revellers in fancy dress, including stilt walkers and drummers, will parade through Ballycastle tomorrow night.

A giant witch's cauldron by the roadside close to Strabane in Co Tyrone. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

Co Tyrone

Coalisland will host a fun fair and fireworks display at Gortgonis Playing Fields.

Co Derry

Derry boasts the largest Halloween celebration in Europe, with festivities already well underway.

The final Awakening the Walls event will be held tonight.

Celebrations on Halloween night include tours of Derry City cemetery, a wheelchair-friendly cycle in St Columb's Park and a huge street parade, culminating in a fireworks display by the Foyle.

On Thursday, special celebrations to remember the dead will be held in the city.

Events include a yoga workshop in the Guildhall, screenings of Pixar's Coco in the Nerve Centre and craft workshops in Holywell Trust on Bishop's Street.

St Columb's Cathedral will host an evening of remembrance and reflection at 7pm where people will be invited to write down their special intentions for those who have died.

Jacqueline Whoriskey, from Derry City and Strabane District Council, said many cultures have traditions to honour the dead.

"Allhallowtide or Hallowmas is a three day festival of Western Christian observances to remember the dead that includes All Saints Eve (Halloween), All Saints’ Day (All Hallows) and All Souls Day," she said.

Meanwhile, a special celebration will be held at Maghera leisure centre from 4pm to 7pm.

Les Luminéoles show in the grounds of St Columb's Cathedral in Derry. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

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