Last weekend vampires of every shape and size could be spotted lurking the cobbled streets of Dublin during the Bram Stoker Festival. Yet this annual fright-fest just claws at the surface of one of the world’s most gloriously gothic cities. Here are six fun but freaky things to do in Dublin. With thanks to Orla Lehane and Dan Richardson.
The Bram Stoker trail
Trinity College-educated Abraham “Bram” Stoker is probably the world’s most influential horror writer, though, he owes more than a little to the Gothic tales of fellow Dubliners Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu and Charles Maturin (what they’d make of the Twilight saga is anybody’s guess). For some literary inspiration visit the eighteenth-century Marsh’s Library where Stoker devoured books on all things Transylvanian (the oak-panelled corridors are said to be haunted, Ghostbusters-style, by founder Archbishop Narcissus Marsh). If you’re in town around Halloween don’t miss the enjoyably kitsch Bram Stoker festival, packed with events for the all ages of the undead.
St Michan’s Crypt
Petrified corpses aren’t to everyone’s taste, but St Michan’s Church has been subsidizing its upkeep for as long as anybody can recall by charging visitors to see the cobwebbed stiffs in its crypt. The “best” ones are 300 to 700 years old: a man thought to have been a Crusader, a woman who may have been a nun, and a man missing a hand. Apparently a young Bram Stoker visited the dusty burial vaults here before writing Dracula.