Tuesday 20 February 2018

Fright night - the ultimate guide for Halloween

Freddy Krueger
Freddy Krueger
Hocus Pocus
Gruesome Negan from The Walking Dead
Tim Curry as Pennywise, Stephen King's It, 1990
Bram Stoker
Spider and web
Vicki Notaro

Vicki Notaro

Whether you're staying in or going out this long weekend, our reporter has the ultimate get-your-freak-on guide for Halloween.


If dressing up and painting the town red isn't really your thing, there's lots on the box to keep you entertained all weekend long...

10 scary movies to stream

Don't worry if you don't have the DVD - these days, most flicks are available at the click of a button via a rental or subscription service. Here's the best of what's on offer.

The Others


Starring Nicole Kidman and our own Fionnula Flanagan, this eerie film tells the story of a nervous mother who protects her photosensitive children by keeping them locked up in a scary old house - until she becomes sure it's haunted. With great performances, a twisting, turning plot and lots of jumpy bits, you might feel like hiding behind a pillow from time to time.


Netflix, Sky Cinema On Demand

The classic 1976 film based on Stephen King's novel tells the story of an awkward 17-year-old who's sheltered by her domineering, religious fanatic mother, and bullied by the popular girls at school. When she discovers she has telekinetic abilities, she learns she can make them all pay in a gory, spectacular finale.

Paranormal Activity

Netflix, Sky Store

A surprise hit in 2007 starring unknown actors, it focuses on a couple that have moved in to a suburban home, but are threatened by a disturbing demonic presence - especially at night. Shot in the "found footage" style, it has spawned several sequels and is known for making audiences jump out of their seats.

The Woman in Black


A period ghost drama starring Daniel Radcliffe as a grieving lawyer given one last chance to keep his job. He's tasked with visiting a remote manor, the owner of which has recently died, but he finds a vengeful spirit determined to wreak havoc on the locals.

The Exorcist

iTunes, Sky Store

Often dubbed the scariest film of all time, the 1973 film about a possessed child is not for the faint-hearted. It's perhaps dated a little, but the story of a desperate mother seeking help from holy men to save her little girl is still utterly chilling.

Stephen King's It


This one might be a bit close to the bone considering the recent spate of killer clown sightings around the world, but it's another King classic. Tim Curry is Pennywise, a shapeshifting demon that often takes the form of a clown. He petrified a group of kids in the 50s, and returns 30 years later to continue his reign of terror.

A Nightmare on Elm Street


Freddy Krueger

The movie that popularised infamous Halloween character Freddy Krueger in 1984, it tells the story of a group of young people who are murdered by the disfigured, claw-fingered killer in their dreams. An oldie but a goodie.

The Witch


This 2015 film is one of the new crop of horror films set in the past with a fairly decent budget and chilling special effects. Here, a Christian family in New England in the 17th century is terrorised by witchcraft until they begin to turn on one another.



A film that revolutionised the horror genre, it opens with two people waking up in an unfamiliar room, shackled. They soon realise that they're pawns in the game of a vicious serial killer. The complex, twisting plot becomes ever more horrifying as it goes on, so one for those with strong stomachs.

Hocus Pocus

Sky, iTunes

Hocus Pocus

If abject terror isn't your thing and you'd like to watch a nice, family-friendly and funny Halloween flick, this is the one for you. Set in 1990s Salem, Massachusetts, three witchy sisters are brought back to life on Halloween night for one last hurrah - unless they can find a way to stick around.

Creepy box sets

With TV in its Golden Age, there are plenty of high-quality spooky series that will keep you hooked for weeks, not just for Halloween.

The Walking Dead

Seasons 1-6 available on Sky Box Sets and on DVD

Gruesome Negan from The Walking Dead

The seventh season of the US zombie drama premiered last week to much chatter, mostly about how gruesome the show has become since its premiere in 2010. A firm fan favourite though, it's remained hugely popular for six years, no mean feat in the cut-throat American television industry.

American Horror Story

Seasons 1-5 on Netflix and on DVD

Brought to us by the same man that created 'Glee' and 'American Crime Story', Ryan Murphy's series has won great acclaim and several high-profile awards for its stars. The five seasons each focus on different stories - Murder House, Asylum, Coven, Freak Show and Hotel - and are independent of one another so you can watch them in any order you please.

Stranger Things

Season 1 on Netflix

The smash-hit Netflix Original series has already been commissioned for season two. This first offering only consists of eight excellent episodes starring Winona Ryder and a host of scarily talented child actors, and it will definitely leave you wanting more. One for those who love Steven Spielberg's supernatural dramas.

Black Mirror

Seasons 1-3 on Netflix, seasons 1-2 on DVD

Charlie Brooker's fiendishly dark and nightmarish Channel 4 series has been reinvigorated by Netflix with six new episodes that critics are swooning over. Catch all 13 instalments exclusively on the online service.

Going out


The Bram Stoker Festival

Bram Stoker

A spooky series of events honouring the Dublin-born 'Dracula' author will take place all around the city from today. One family-friendly highlight is Stokerland, a Victorian Gothic fun fair in St Patrick's Park, Dublin 8. See bramstokerfestival.com

Smithfield Market Fair

Vintage clothing, arts and crafts, vinyl records, scary movie screenings, Halloween-themed sweet treats and more in this all-day festival in Smithfield Square. See Smithfield Market Fair on Facebook.




This will be the eighth year running that Causey Farm will become a terrifying scarescape. Over 120,000 people have already visited the attraction to have their mettle tested, and this year there are five terrifying attractions to get involved with, including two new attractions called Dead & Breakfast and Vamporium. Tickets for all five sections start at €29. Recommended for over 13s with an adult present, or over 16s without. See farmaphobia.ie

Smithfield Market Fair



Galway Aboo!

The festival takes place in the city's medieval streets all weekend with activities for every age group, including a ghost ship at the docks, a parade on Sunday evening and Carnevil, a scare attraction located in the former offices of the Connacht Tribune. See galwaytourism.ie


The Nightmare Realm

Said to be Ireland's most terrifying Halloween attraction, this fright fest has taken over Navigation House on Albert Quay until November 5. Interactive sets, special effects and live characters are on hand to quite simply scare you silly in this walk-through "scare-house". It only takes 30 minutes to complete, but they could be the longest 30 minutes of your life…

Over 13s, tickets cost €18 for an adult. There's a similar experience in Dublin's RDS, tickets for which are €20. See thenightmarerealm.ie

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Entertainment Newsletter

Going out? Staying in? From great gigs to film reviews and listings, entertainment has you covered.

Promoted Links

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment