With Halloween around the corner and kids on midterm, one great way to celebrate the holiday is to hop on board the Ghost bus tour. The bus operates every evening at eight o’clock in the evening, and is a fantastic way to explore the darker side of Dublin.
The evening begins with a spooky experience as you board the bus. Ghoulish figures wait in the corridor for you as you pass by, and eerie displays of dolls and creepy clowns are set up along the interior walkway into the bus. Once you’ve made it through the terrifying twists and turns of the dark bus, you can head up the stairs and find a seat in the dimly lit room.
Upstairs, your guide will meet you and welcome you onboard the bus with a scary and funny introduction. He then begins by introducing you to one of Dublin’s most well-known figures, Bram Stoker, author of Dracula. You’ll hear a short history of the novel and how Bram Stoker was inspired to write it. Your guide will also perform live readings of Dracula along with acting out certain aspects of the book. As he performs, eerie noises and sound effects can be heard echoing up the bus’s staircase.
After listening to some of Dracula, the bus will drive you past several Dublin buildings with dark pasts. The first building is an old hotel, which is said to be haunted by the ghost of a young girl. Another building that the tour makes its way past is the home of an old anatomy professor who enjoyed working with “fresh cadavers”. The guide gives detailed retellings of both the sinister professor and the hotel’s ghost as you make your way to the first outdoor stop of the tour—Dublin Castle.
At Dublin Castle, everyone piles out of the bus and makes their way into the castle courtyard for an after-hours tour. The tour heads underneath the castle to see the old River Coddle, which used to run right through the centre of Dublin. As you wander the ancient stone corridors beneath the castle your guide will talk about the excavation of the river and tell some spooky ghost stories, too.
After your tour of the hidden part of Dublin Castle, your guide will lead you back to the bus, which will make its way out to the old cemetery in St. Kevin’s park. In the cemetery your guide will explain to you some spooky stories concerning those who lie at rest in the park before taking you right into the heart of the cemetery and explaining how people used to be buried. You will also hear about ancient body-snatchers, and why this was such a popular occupation for those interested in criminal activities.
Once you’ve learned all about body-snatching, you will head back to the bus for the ghost bus quiz! Your guide will play theme songs from famous horror movies and you and the rest of your tour group will work together as a team to guess which theme song matches with which movie. The grand prize for the quiz is a copy of Dracula, which you can take home as a souvenir of your evening onboard the ghost bus!
The quiz is the last part of your tour, which will end back on O’Connell Street. After such a spooky evening it’s time to head back to Ariel House for a good night’s sleep. And don’t worry, we’ll leave the lights on in the Drawing Room to scare away any wandering ghosts! Happy Halloween!