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City vamps it up to be Halloween capital of Europe

DUBLIN is all set for a spook-tacular weekend of bloodsucking vampires, scary monsters and ghostly ghouls, and if that doesn't have you running, the Dublin Marathon will.

Dublin City Council has launched the first annual Bram Stoker Festival this weekend. More than 12,000 people will attend ticketed events, with several thousand more enjoying other frightening fringe events in the city over the three days.

Andrew Smyth of Dublin's Chamber of Commerce said: "The aim is to grow the festival over the coming years to make Dublin the top Halloween destination in Europe."

Those interested in the Dublin man behind Dracula can take a nightmarish journey into writer's mind in the play Stoker at the Samuel Beckett Theatre in Trinity.

All children know that the woods are full of wolves and witches, but those brave enough can venture into the Samhain Haunted Forest in Marley Park this weekend.

Of course no Halloween is complete without a horror movie night, so Tattersall Country House in Ratoath, Co Meath, has set up a drive-in.

The B&Q Ideal Homes Show takes place in the RDS this weekend.

TV3 star Karen Koster will host make-overs twice daily, while fans of MTV's Geordie Shore can see Greg Lake in the Celeb Salon Pampering Zone.

Altogether more than 220 exhibitors will provide advice and entertainment to 30,000 visitors from around the country at Ireland's biggest home improvements expo.

Shaking off the cobwebs, the truly brave will take to the streets of Dublin on Monday for the annual Dublin City Marathon. More than 15,000 athletes will come to the capital for the 26-mile race around the city centre.

Thousands of people are expected to visit Dublin to watch, giving business in the city centre a major boost.

Some of the world's best athletes will battle it out for the top positions, but many more will run, walk or roll across the finish line to raise funds for good causes.

And they should all be well rested for the race on Monday, as everyone gets an extra hour in bed on Saturday night when the clocks go back an hour at 2am.

The National Lottery is getting in on the act, adding an extra €1m to tonight's jackpot, bringing it to €7.5m.