'There's no way we're letting this festival die on us'

26th year of Halloween Festival goes down a treat as it raises over €14,000 for community groups, with 2,800 people visiting the 'ghost trail'

Joan Heaps (left) from Killarney takes a closer look at Michael Culloty, aka ‘The Headless Man’, at the 26th year of the Knocknagoshel Halloween Festival on Sunday night. All photos by Domnick Walsh
Joan Heaps (left) from Killarney takes a closer look at Michael Culloty, aka ‘The Headless Man’, at the 26th year of the Knocknagoshel Halloween Festival on Sunday night. All photos by Domnick Walsh
Ciara O’Driscoll, Joan Heaps and Wiktoria Kowalowka showing off their spooky side at the Knocknagoshel Halloween Festival Ghost Trail on Sunday night

Fergus Dennehy

Halloween came a little early to Knocknagoshel this year as the hugely popular 'Ghost Trail' returned for its 26th outing, with over 2,800 people visiting the village for the annual fundraiser.

At the time of going to print, close to €14,000 had been raised, and this will now be distributed to various local community groups and charities.

In the lead up to the event, organiser Eddie Barrett said that it was the festival's aim to "scare the life out of the visitors to the Ghost Trail"; now, speaking to The Kerryman, Eddie took great glee in having achieved this aim.

"The feedback has been good. We had 2,800 people, which is roughly what we had last year as well," said Eddie.

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"Oh we definitely did [scare the life out of them]. There were tears from a few people! 

"It was all good fun, though. This year we had the addition of our 'fire-breathing dragon', and the feedback from everyone on it was very good," he continued. 

Having been plagued by anti-social behaviour a few years back, the festival has turned a corner in the last two to three years thanks to a stricter new behaviour policy set up by the organisers. 

Thankfully Eddie said that were no major incidents of anti-social behaviour reported this year either.

"I spoke with our security and with the Gardaí after the  festival, and he said that there was nothing to worry about," he said.

On the future of the event, Eddie was in a defiant mood as he proudly declared it safe from extinction for years to come.

"We were talking about it and we've had a few new faces coming in, and I'll say this, there's no way that we're letting this festival die on us," he said.

New members mean new ideas to scare visitors and "Those youngsters can be very imaginative with their ideas!" he laughed.

Kerryman

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