Exploring Dracula’s Fire Garden at Dublin Castle

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I’ve never been one to make a huge deal out of Halloween.  I very rarely went trick or treating as a child and I didn’t go to a Halloween party until I went to Uni. In fact most of my Halloweens have been spent dressing up in whatever I could throw together on the day and getting drunk.

That was until I found myself in Dublin for the Bram Stoker Festival, a three day festival celebrating the life and works of Dublin-born writer Bram Stoker and his famous Gothic novel ‘Dracula’.

Dracula's Fire Garden, Bram Stoker Festival, Dublin

We could hear Dracula’s Fire Garden before we saw it.  Circling Dublin Castle in the dark, trying to locate the right entrance for the event, the screams and howls echoed above the castle walls and out onto the streets.

Hurrying past one of the locked castle gates we caught of glimpse of the flames, the whole castle dressed in an eerie red hue.

With flames bursting skywards from the walls surrounding the castle gates, Monica, Linzi and I made our way towards the entrance where we were greeted by an over-sized skeleton.

Dracula's Fire Garden, Bram Stoker Festival, Dublin

By this point the anticipation was killing me.  What was behind those castle walls?  Was I going to be genuinely scared?  Exactly how much of Dublin Castle was going to be on fire?!

Thankfully we didn’t have to wait long before being ushered under the huge archway where we dodged characters from the ‘Dracula’ novel and got our first glimpse of the fire garden.

It was spectacular.

Dracula's Fire Garden, Bram Stoker Festival, DublinDracula's Fire Garden, Bram Stoker Festival, Dublin

The red lights we’d caught a glimpse of earlier were being projected onto the four walls surrounding us and gave the castle an eerie glow.

Fire raged around the cobbled courtyard..

Dracula's Fire Garden, Bram Stoker Festival, DublinDracula's Fire Garden, Bram Stoker Festival, DublinDracula's Fire Garden, Bram Stoker Festival, DublinDracula's Fire Garden, Bram Stoker Festival, Dublin

But it wasn’t the smell of burning filling the air that gave me the creeps.

It was the music.

The screaming, chiming of bells and creaking of doors created a sinister atmosphere and really got me into the Halloween mood.

Here’s a short video I took at the Fire Garden so you can hear the music for yourself.

Dracula’s Fire Garden was brilliantly put together by outdoor art experts Walk The Plank and Waterford Spraoi, a street arts company based in Ireland and I’d definitely recommend coming to the event if it’s repeated in Dublin next Halloween.

You’re probably wondering what we did for the rest of the evening seeing as I started this by saying I’d found an alternative to spending Halloween in the pub.

And I’d like to say that I went straight home.

I’d like to say that, but I can’t.

Oh come on, a girl’s allowed a glass of wine or two on Halloween!

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