Ultimate 2017 Halloween Playlist

When doing Halloween activities such as carving pumpkins or decorating the house I always have to have a Halloween playlist running in the background. This started from a young age as growing up on Halloween night there would always be spooky Halloween music playing in the hall and since then I've just adapted to it and now anytime anything Halloween is ongoing I have to listen to my Halloween list. 
 On this playlist there will be songs you might think 'what the hell has that to do with Halloween' but it's my playlist and songs that remind me of Halloween so they're there for a reason but that being said I'm sure there's quite a lot that you'll know very well! So without further ado have a listen and get into that Halloween spirit. 

1. Michael Jackson- Thriller
2. The Nightmare Before Christmas - This Is Halloween
4. Ray Parker Jr - Ghostbusters 
5. Bobby Boris - Monster Mash 
6.The Specials - Ghost Town 
7. Cliff Richard - Devil Woman
8. AC/DC - Highway To Hell
9. Hocus Pocus - I Put A Spell On You
10.KSHMR - The Spook
11. The Addams Family -Theme Song 
12. Da Boy Tommy - Halloween
13. Kings Of Leon - Closer 
14. Aly & Aj -The Rush
15. The Exorcist - Theme Song
16. Mike Myers -Theme Song
17. Twitches - Theme Song
18. Hocus Pocus - Come Little Children
And finally to round up the list number 20 is one to completely freak out my friends ...The Strangers - Gibson

So there's 20 songs that I hope will get you into the Halloween spirit, if there's any I left out let me know but for now... Enjoy👻

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH IRISH GHOSTBUSTER TINA BARCOE


I've always had a fascination with the unknown but growing up even the idea of ghosts and spirits freaked me out, I couldn't watch a horror film and actually to this day I couldn't watch one on my own but over the past year my love for the paranormal world flourished especially with my recent trips to Loftus Hall.
On my last visit there, which you can read about here the investigation was lead by Tina Barcoe and her team, The Paranormal Researchers Ireland and I couldn't believe how normal the team, especially Tina was, I felt so at ease and everything was done so respectfully that I couldn't help but admire the PRI team and it left me with millions of questions and who better to ask than one of the top paranormal researchers in Ireland Tina Barcoe.
I know this post won't be everyone's cup of tea but whether you believe in ghosts or not it's completely up to you, I'm not here to change your mind, either is Tina but there are some things that you just can't explain. I spent my morning chatting to Tina and I can truthfully say I had one of the most interesting conversations of my life and I hope you enjoy this little piece of Tina Barcoe.
First things first how does one become interested in paranormal? Is it something you're born with or grow into the boots.
''I was always interested in the paranormal from my teens up but it wasn't until my late twenties/ early thirties that my interest grew and I really got into it'' 

The PRI (Paranormal Researchers Ireland) is an Irish 'ghost busting' team that cover public and private investigations was actually set up by Tina herself and has literally gone from strength to strength.
''I was on a team for a few years but I was more into gathering evidence than the fame side of it so I decided why not make my own team. I met these people through friends of mine and doing investigations and I put the team together' 

I've never doubted that there was spirits, growing up watching Most Haunted with my parents it was just something I've never doubted similar to Tina but as she began her investigations she actually switched roles and began seeing things through a skeptic's eyes,
''It's actually really strange but before I was on a team or got into the paranormal I was a huge believer but when I did get into it I became a skeptic. I became more skeptical because I started to doubt things like the way your eyes can play tricks on you, it's really made me re-think my beliefs. That being said we have caught things that can't be explained but I am quite skeptic'' 

As much as you're into ghosts and spirits the paranormal can be quite scary and even if you're are an investigator like Tina
'' I've had two occasions where I had sheer terror, one of them was in Loftus Hall and it had me questioning whether or not I was actually safe''
One thing that I've always been told to stay away from is the dreaded Ouija boards and this is something Tina and her team stay away from also, growing up it was the one thing I always had such a desire to do but seeing as though I did make a promise to my mother years ago I've never touched them and never will but why?
'' If somebody has weak mental health and they decide to play the Ouija board well the suggestion alone that they could conjure up something demonic the suggestion won't help their mental health. I've been to so many houses for private investigations and people are falling apart becuase they've used an Ouija board. Everything starts going wrong when they play the Ouija boards'' 
When I was in Loftus Hall one thing I spoke about in my previous blog was when we placed a finger on the glass it moved itself which can be similar to an Ouija board and this amazed me but is it what it seems?
'' Scientifically that can be explained, we have muscles in our arms that are tensing all the time and we don't even know about them so that could be an answer but I've also seen people hovering over the glass and it moved so that's something that can't really be explained'' 

I don't know why but for me I always associated the paranormal investigations as very serious and dark but in Loftus Hall we all started laughing at one stage and suddenly we saw the glass move as Tina explained laughter actually creates positive, light energy
''When you laugh you give off positive vibes and when you're inviting somebody in the room with you you want them to be positive, a lot of our energy has been raised when we're having a laugh, having a joke and then you hear a big bang and you're like 'what was that' but positive energy is what you want to attract''   
The PRI team amaze me, they do public investigations at Loftus Hall and Wicklow gaol but more importantly they've helped so many people in their private investigations which they carry out free of charge for the public Tina advises me that ''anyone who charges for private investigations are fake'' . So what's involved when the team get called to a home?
''We do private investigations almost weekly, myself and one of the other member Shane, meet with the person no matter where they are in Ireland, we bring a notebook and pen and document everything. We also get them to keep a diary of activity for a month and then after that month we'll go in and do the investigation. Our private events would be very scientific, very gadget orientated. When we get evidence we then have to go on and see what kind of a haunting it is and how we're going to deal with it from there.'' 

Now and then I think everyone gets the 'OMG there's something in my house' well I know I definitely do but what should someone do if they suspect there is a presence in their home?
''If someone thinks that there is something in their home I would say go and meet with a team, but there are people out there who are playing with fire. They would have went to one paranormal event and decided this is brilliant and have gone looking for ghosts but if you are scared go and ask for help becuase it's not a nice feeling'' 

Everyone in the PRI team does have a day job, Tina herself is a hairdresser so for these guys it's purely the passion they have and the desire to help people and find evidence that drives them on.
''We actually all live off our day to day jobs and we're self funded, there's eight of us on the team and we put money into the kitty and that keeps us going''

When I tell people I'm into this sort of stuff the reaction is always sort of mixed, I have friends who think it's deadly, they want no involvement but think it's cool but I've others who throw dirty looks and that's the same for anyone interested in something off the norm:
''Everybody has a different opinion and if they don't think ghosts exist then that's okay. My parents are very against it I can't even mention it in front of them'' When I started getting into the spiritual realm my mother was so against it too but with good reason because what so many people don't know is it can be very dangerous.
 ''People don't understand how dangerous it is, we always ground ourselves for protection. People who don't believe in it and go just to act the eejit can actually bring home attachments if you believe or don't you should always do a grounding. 
 I'm not sure if this is true but what they say is, you can bring a spirit home if you're not protected and it can then attach itself to the vulnerable, so say if you had a child or a teenager it can attach itself to them and don't forget time is of the essence in the paranormal world it doesn't exist, one day to them can be 50 years so you need to be careful.'' 

If there's ever a time when you do feel scared or feel a presence you can just quickly protect yourself by imagining a white light coming straight through you from the feet out the top of the head and bursting around you and even having this is a lovely thought that you can be protected at any time.
''You can ground yourself at home, if you're home alone and feel something weird call upon your spirit guides and angels and they will protect you. Whether you believe or not there's no harm in doing the grounding.''

And finally what message would Tina pass on to anyone interested in the paranormal
''Before you dabble try and find out what you're doing, there's too many people watching it on TV or going to lockdowns and coming out ghost hunters. What I'd say is hold back, do your research try get in touch with a team in your area and try go with them on a couple of investigations. It can be dangerous so be safe and try figure out what you're doing before you jump in'' 


And on that note my little interview with the lovely Tina ends, I have to say it was without a doubt one of the most interesting conversations I have ever had and Tina is such a lovely, kind woman. 
A huge thanks to Tina for putting up with me this morning, it was a pleasure.
You can follow the team on their facebook page - Paranormal Researchers Ireland
Images - Facebook, PRI, The Irish Sun, Loftus Hall Blog

Exclusive Interview With The Owner Of Loftus Hall - Aidan Quigley

For the past three months one of the questions I get asked constantly is 'What is with your obsession with Loftus Hall' everyday ..and I'm not kidding I'm guaranteed to be asked about Loftus at least once and to be fair with the amount of times I mention it there's no shock I'm asked that much and hey! there are worse things to talk about ey ;)
 Believe it or not last week I spent yet another night locked inside Ireland's most haunted house for my second paranormal investigation (you can read about my first one here) and was asked by one of my readers to write about the second one and of course being the obliging soul that I am decided that of course I would but this one would be very different as I got to sit down with the owner of Loftus Hall, Aidan Quigley and find out the real story behind this incredible place just for you.

If you don't know the story behind Loftus Hall it's something I've spoken about before but if you want to find out in depth you can do so here  but basically in my simple terms the legend of Loftus is that one night a storm stuck on the hook and a boat carrying one man crashed onto the shore. The man on board the ship made his way to the only place where he could find lights which was of course Loftus Hall. The dark stranger was allowed to stay when he got very familiar with the family in particular the daughter Anne Tottenham, one night the family and the stranger played a game of cards and when Anne bent down to pick up a card she realised the stranger had hooved feet and with the anger that he'd been discovered he shot up through the roof in a ball of fire ... The hole still remains in the roof to this day.
The story itself is enough to make you second think even stepping into the house but when you're in there it's unbelievable. I've had a weird admiration with Lady Anne since I first heard about her so one thing I always love is going into the house she once lived in..it's surreal!!
I fist came across the owner Aidan Quigley during my first lock down in October and was amazed by how passionate and genuine he was. I don't know why but I always imagined the owner of Loftus Hall to be very up himself and just there to make money but mark my words that is most certainly not the case. Before you start a lock down you get a tour of the house run by Aidan himself and the knowledge he has of not only the house but the area in general is amazing especially if you're someone like me who loves history. Any question you have Aidan can answer it and I couldn't believe my luck when I realised I had the chance to chat to someone as inspirational as Aidan and it was an experience in itself believe you and me.

The house was purchased in 2011 after being neglected for many years but it wasn't always going to be open the way you and me know it today as Aidan and his brother didn't actually know themselves what was going to happen,
''There was no original plan to open up, the idea was to mothball the house until there was a proper plan but from the minute we took possession of the house we realised that the roof needed a lot of work and that kick started the whole process a lot earlier than I would have anticipated, which did end up being a good thing.''

 If you were to go on and own Ireland's most haunted house would you be a believer or a septic? Me personally? the more I get into paranormal I'm becoming more sceptical but for aidan it's been that way since the beginning, but there are things he just can't explain and being a local man he understands the importance for the house..
''I grew up only a short distance from here, and where I'm originally from you can see the lighthouse from my house, so Loftus Hall was a huge part of my culture growing up. 
I was a big time sceptic when I was taking over the house I didn't really have any belief. It wasn't something that ever came across my radar but it's then you see how much fear and respect locals have for the house'' 

For a young person living on the Hook I can only imagine the fear of God when you heard the legend behind the house, imaging living within walking distance from a place the Devil once slept. Now that being said I do
live near a person who I would consider to have devil like tendencies but all jokes aside it must have been freaky as feck..
''I was eight the first time I was in Loftus Hall and I remember going into the loo and thinking that the devil could be in there you were always conscious of it, almost too young to understand it but were always afraid of it. Then I moved away and lived in Carlow and Dublin so you sort of remove yourself away from it but I know people who stayed around here all their lives and they've still retained their fear and would not step foot in this house, or even up the drive.'' 

I feel like everyone who goes into Loftus Hall has their own experience and mine are generally good ones expect on this specific lockdown on the middle floor, I can't really explain it but it's as if a man was leaning on me and trying to push me out of the way, the freakiest part?? I could see this shadow and in the pitch black room. It scared me so much I literally had to close my eyes for the rest of the investigation and from chatting to other visitors and even Anne who works in Loftus Hall everyone has their own little experiences that has scared them,
'' I personally haven't had an experience that's terrified me, but when I lived here for six months there has been some unsettling, weird things happening and not things that you can ask people 'do you know what this is like' because it's not like anything you know. It's not like you can see anything it's more the feeling. 
 That's what we say to people when they go into the house, be aware of what can be around you but I wouldn't have a fear of it now I don't think there's anything to be afraid of I just have more a curiosity for it'' 

The room that freaks me out but at the same time brings me peace is weirdly the Tapestry room which would have been the room in which Lady Anne was locked away and her dead infants body buried in the wall and I don't know if it's because I feel close to Lady Anne anyway but this room always stops me in my tracks. It's my favourite room but for Aidan it's not exactly a room that gets him, and with a background in farming and building it's no shock. ''The place I love the most is the roof I remember sitting up on that roof in the first summer and it was all just sinking in, I was used to working in big cities but I was sitting up here 50 feet above everything just letting it all sink in''  

I grew up watching the likes of 'Most Haunted' which I hated with a passion, no joke growing up ghosts and paranormal scared the life out of me but if you watch shows like that then you're guaranteed to have seen or at least know of the American show Ghost Adventurers and they were actually the first team ever allowed into the house,
 ''I had no clue what a paranormal investigation was until three years ago and it was one of the first things that I was approached about, it was only then we realised what we were dealing with in terms of the house, the legends and the history and when the approach was made and we looked into them we decided to go ahead. 
I t was great, the last night they were here Zac got an awful land altogether and had to be taken there. 
It was like Hollywood on the hook!! 
 This year was huge for Loftus with it being the 666th anniversary but with the Halloween events, a music festival, lock downs, daily tours, restoring the gardens  and even a million and a half euro movie after been shot in the house what's left you might ask??!!  
''In 2017 we're going to take a rest, we crammed so much into last year that this year that we're going to sit back and smell the roses.
 What's Loftus Hall going to be in five years times, or ten years time. It's got a cult status and you can't go tempering with that now, what it has is that moment in time, it's got that feeling that you wont get in many places.''

The older I get the more I realise I know nothing, you'd be a gobshite to come in there and stand on them stairs and tell people you know everything and that's how you know people are spoofers, when they claim to know everything. You meet lovely people and of course some pain in the arses. 
Its an old building on the peninsula i believe it's full of stories and f you come in here with a good imagination you can go to any era. 
-Aidan Quigley

And there you have it, the most interesting night of my life in Loftus Hall. This is a post I could have continued to write about for pages and pages but I decided to wind it up, as much as I'd love to talk you through every second I had in Loftus I want you to go out and have your own experiences and not have mine in the back of your head. It's your own story and like Aidan said once you go in with an open mind you're going to come out with a story to tell.
 Huge thanks again to Anne and Aidan for inviting me back and giving me your time. I've had the time of my life in Loftus and roll on Janurary when I'm back again!! 
Of course if you want to find out more on Loftus Hall you can check out their Facebook page. 

My Experience With The Paranormal 👻

First things first I am by no means an expert in the paranormal nor do I understand everything that comes with it however that being said I have had my fair share of encounters and whether you believe in ghosts or not I hope this is a post you can enjoy.
When people hear that I'm interested in witchcraft and spell casting they think I've gone mad but having grown up thinking 'I must have been a witch in my past life' I realised I was one in this life too and came out 'of the broom closet' as they say. It can be very confusing to some but witches and witchcraft are a whole different kettle of fish so I will dedicate a post to that another day but for now it's all about my own experiences with the paranormal realm and although I am a 'witch' I am not a psychic, nor do I claim to be.

As a child I was terrified of the paranormal, I hated talking about ghosts, I couldn't watch horror movies and when the theme song for Most Haunted came on I used to have to cover my ears, but for some strange reason I'd always feel safe and at peace in graveyards, even walking around them at night wouldn't faze me at all. I live beside a graveyard and can see it from my bedroom window which I know would freak a lot of people out but not for me, I love it. 

I feel like the best way to write this post is to start at the beginning and that was about eight/nine years ago with my best friend Annmarie. Like every neighbourhood we had our own haunted house down the street, one of those houses that was never verified as being haunted but all the kids were terrified of it, including us. One day whilst walking home I decided to take a visit to the inside (there's always one) and to Annmarie's horror she realised she was coming with me. The minute we went in it just didn't feel right, it felt dark and we knew we shouldn't have been there, when we found blood in the bath we freaked out and left straight away, but it just didn't feel right.
 That evening I got a phone call off Annmarie asking if she could stay in mine because she was still on edge, I agreed mainly to keep her happy but secretly I was delighted because I couldn't shake that dark feeling off. We both decided never to speak of it again and fell fast asleep. 
 I'll never forget what happened next, 3am struck and I woke up gasping and as I did Annmarie just sat up in tears saying 'did you feel that?' I knew straight away what she had felt because I had felt it too, it was as if someone had picked up a bunch of pebbles/stones and thrown them at us, hard enough to wake up both up at the exact same time. Both reduced to tears it wasn't long before we were crying to my mother at the kitchen table admitting everything and promised to never go back into that house again. To this day I still get shivers passing that house, it was very weird.

As I started getting older I became very aware of energy and spirits being around especially in the month of October, never knowing it was when the veil between both realms were the thinnest. I can remember one night specifically walking up 'the backs' with all my friends and stopping in my path because I saw this dark figure walking past, I didn't even mention it because I thought my eyes were deceiving me but it wasn't the first time I saw something like that. When you cast spells you're welcoming spirits so since last year I've witnessed a lot more than I did before. At least three/four times a week I would wake up at 3am, the witching hour as it's known and there are nights I get the feeling someone is with me. 

There was one encounter that really stands out to me, I remember it so well because it was the one time I felt truly scared and even cancelled a lock down I had in Loftus Hall the following day. I woke up and I remember checking my phone,it was 3.01am 'not again' I thought and rolled over to go back asleep but I became very aware something was there and when I tried to get up I couldn't move it was as if something was holding me down. I started crying and all I knew to do was create a light of protection and pray! I prayed and prayed and prayed until eventually I could sit up, turn on all the lights and try come to terms with what had just happened, I was truly terrified and decided I was getting out of all this, long story short...I didn't. 

 Weird things always happen like my dream catcher swinging on it's own and most recently my keys showing up. I can't blame this on the paranormal but it was very weird. I had a wedding two weeks ago and after finishing work on the Thursday I took my car keys, purse and phone out of my work bag and put my bag in the corner not to be touched until I return to work on Monday. Friday was the day of the wedding and when we arrived at the venue I noticed my mother had taken my car keys with her to Kilkenny. WHY!! WHY!! WHY!! she brought them I just don't know but I remember seeing them in Kilkenny and when I woke up Saturday morning and wanted to drive I asked for my keys and when she looked in her bag they were gone. Hungover and in desperate need of a bottle of Lucozade I kicked up blue murder and after ringing the hotel they hadn't seen them. I went all weekend without my keys and when I went to get my work bag from the exact place I'd left it Monday morning I opened my bag and the keys were in the very bottom of the bag that had not been touched since Thursday evening... freaky I know!!! 
 I think if I read that story somewhere else I'd be like 'pfft idiot put the keys in her bag' but I know for a FACT I didn't and I saw them in Kilkenny....It's just WEIRD!!!!

Finally onto the stuff people actually want to know, my experience of Ghosts in Loftus Hall. The first thing you need to know about Loftus Hall is everyone has their own personal experience with the Hall and with thousands of spirits having passed through the there it's plagued with paranormal energy, energy some people pick up more so than others.
 My own experience with Loftus is certainly a colourful one and started almost a year ago. Before I ever went to Loftus Hall I always felt a weird connection to it, I always wanted to go and last Halloween I went for my first time which you can read about here from that time I felt this connection to the ghost said to haunt the house, Lady Anne Tottenham. I can't describe it I've just always felt weirdly close to her, when we went into the Tapestry room (which was where she was kept) I became overwhelming sad, as in tears flowing and this has happened every time I've gone to the house so far.
 When it comes to the night time lockdowns  Anne's presence has always been felt on the tours and I can't get her out of my head at all. Again in the Tapestry room, a freezing cold room I started burning up and through my gloves my friend could feel the heat coming through me. I also felt a hand on the back of my back and I'm fully convinced it was Anne. 
To go a little deeper every time I go to a house tour I'm picked to play Anne (by a different guide every time) my middle name is Ann and I'm known to be bad at playing cards (exactly like Anne) FINALLY,  if you search Lady Anne Tottenham on Google images look who's selfie pops up...
And so there you have it my experience with the Paranormal, there's so much more that has happened in Loftus like seeing shadows in a pitch black room and being pushed by an invisible force but that's something you can just expect going to Ireland's most haunted house. 
Like I said you don't have to believe in ghosts and you don't have to agree with everything I've said but I really believe and I hope you'r enjoyed this post. If you've any experiences with the paranormal or can explain anything to me then feel free to get in touch.

Being The HallowQueen

One question I get asked on a daily basis is 'why do you love Halloween so much?' and my answer is always the same 'I don't know, I've just always loved it' it's this boring reply that got me thinking about the real reason why I love Halloween and where it came from.
 I feel like when you meet someone who loves Halloween it's something that they've always loved, it's rare you'll come across a twenty- something year old who seems to love Halloween and when you ask when they started loving it will say to you 'Oh about a year ago'.  Loving Halloween is something you're born with and no matter how old you get I strongly believe it never leaves your heart.
 I know for me personally letting go of my youth is something I struggle with so having a piece of my childhood never leave my heart is a massive factor in my love for Halloween but it doesn't stop there.

I remember as clear as day the first time I came across the history of Halloween. I was in fifth class in school, so I presume I was about 9/10 and once a week our teacher (I don't remember what her name was but I remember everything I learned in class that day) would do a K/W/L chart which stood for know, what to know and learned and this week it was on a topic I knew little to nothing about...Halloween. When asked what we knew it was all about trick or treating, carving pumpkins, having parties, dressing up then when we got a hand out on the history of Halloween I was blown away.
 I remember reading how it began in Ireland and how Jack had tricked the devil into climbing up a tree then when he did he carved a cross so the devil couldn't get down hense the story of the Jack O'Lantern very basic history but it ignited this fire in me, a fire still burning over ten years later.
 When I got home from school that day I began searching through the internet trying to find out as much about Halloween as I could, I then began writing history books on the subject, such a fun child I know, but little did I know from that day it would kick off three of my biggest passions in life, history, writing and of course Halloween.

Touching back to my point about youth it goes without saying nothing is like Halloween as as child, no matter how much effort you put into Halloween as an adult it will never be as good as it was when you were a child. Overall I had an amazing childhood but my house at Halloween was the place to be.
 This may sound shocking to younger readers but like most Irish children my costume consisted of a black sack, a plastic witches hat and ten plastic witches fingers, some of mams red lipstick and that was it. My cousins dressed basically the same expect the boys who went as ghosts and had a clear recycling sack around them and doused themselves in fake blood, oh how times were simpler but so much better. After going on to boogie (trick or treat as it's known today) we came back horse after all that singing (yep, we sang...at each and every single door) in hopes that we might get a lucky 5 pence thrown in for good measure. It was then time to cut the barn breac and see who was getting married next.
Me, being the youngest in the family at the time had absolutely no desire to get married BUT, so god help someone if they got the ring and I didn't...SO GOD HELP THEM!!!
Mam would always let me fill up a basin of mi wadi and water and I'd stir it with the wooden spoon thinking I was a witch...little did I know ey ;-)
 After that it was time to let the games begin, apples were hung up left right and centre and believe you and me it wasn't long before someone's head was being held under a bucket of water searching for a half eaten apple.
  To top off the night a trip to the bog field to watch the bonfire from the safety of the steps, I hated fire/ fireworks so this for me this was a nightmare but something I'd never miss then if you were lucky it was into the car to drive by the rivals of the town bonfire, Carrick Beg always won!! - oh how times were good.

In my town there would be three bonfires in the town, Carrick Beg, Ballylynch and Tracy Park but the biggest rivalry was between Carrick Beg and Ballylynch. The 'who would have the biggest bonfire competition' took place every October and it wasn't to be made a mockery off. The boys of the avenues would begin collecting from August onwards so you'd leave out any bits of wood/ mattresses/ tyres anything to get the bigger bonfire and beat those Linchers!!  We always did ;) -Believe me, I could tell as I cowered behind all my cousins covering my eyes and wishing I was at home!!

For as far back as I can remember my house would also be completely decked out for Halloween. Most people go OTT with Christmas decorations but oh no not in Connolly Park, Halloween was show time here. People used to stop and take pictures of the garden and would you believe I've none to show you myself, just goes to show you should always use the opportunity to capture moments..then again, I still have the memories don't I ;)
I used to get this warm fuzzy feeling when I'd see halloween decorations in the shops, one of my favourite memories/decorations was one evening going to SuperValu with my mam and seeing them putting up their decorations and getting a witch that had crashed into a wall, it's such a shame now days SuperValu haven't one single decoration up for Halloween but to this day I still go crazy with decorations and have just bought loads more new ones for this year, the tradition lives on. So from that 'short' snippet of my youth it's probably easy enough to see why Halloween was such a happy time for me.

Something that shocks a lot of people is the fact I hate horrors!! HATE them and it wasn't that long ago I'd watched my first ever horror, The Strangers with my best friend Annmarie. I was terrified and it didn't faze her, tables have turned now let me tell you sd I ghost bust my way through Loftus Hall on a regular basis.
 The fact I was such a girly girly but had an obsession with such a dark day would amaze people but growing up I couldn't talk about ghosts, horrors or anything scary still to this day I can't think about that sort of stuff past 9pm at night or I won't sleep... Swear to God you just couldn't write it.
 I was much more into Hocus Pocus, one of my alltime favourite movies and of course my FAVOURITE!!! that I've already watched on YouTube six times this month Recess- Taking The Fifth Grade. Even though it's only the second half based on Halloween I was obsessed and still am. Any programme that would have a Halloween episode used to make me so so happy and of course my Halloween night movie Twitches.
 I loved Twitches, twin witches..separated at birth but brought back together to fight the darkness ahhh I love it!! I have best memory of my father actually from this film. It was Halloween night and I was supposed to be at my cousin's party from about 6.30pm but what started at 6.30...Twitches. He covered for me until 8pm so I got to watch the entire movie and that's the kind of father he was even though he got in trouble for dropping me over late I got to enjoy my fave movie and it made my Halloween night, I had never been so happy in my life and that's what Halloween does to me, it makes me so so happy and that's the real reason why I love Halloween...Happiness!!

Unfortunately I can't put it any simpler, it's a mixture of my childhood, my own spiritual path, celebrating Samhain and the history of such an amazing but dark period of time, I adore Halloween and I guess now know you know why.

White Witch Patricia Weston - Book Of Spells And Magic Review

You might remember back to last year when I ran an interview with white witch Patricia Weston? If not you can check it out here .
 This interview circulated a lot of hype and raised the question 'do witches really exist?' Well, duh...
 Since then I've gotten my hands on Patricia's book by my friend Vera and having read, tired and tested my first ever spell book I've decided to give you my full honest review on Patricia Westons book of 'spells and magic'.

First and foremost I have to just say how much I love Patricia and if you're not following her Instagram account you need to do that straight away (@patriciathewitch) if, like me you're lover of all things spiritual then her insta account is all the daily social media you'll need, it's my first page of interest every morning.
 From my encounters of Patricia I've yet to come across a more genuine, amazing person who hopefully I'll get to meet in the flesh one day but don't let my admiration of Patricia get in the way of my honest book review. No matter how lovely a person is if I don't like something I won't pretend I do, but that just isn't the case for this book as I can genuinely say it's changed my life.
 Like I said above, this was my first spell book and having just got interested in spell work and spirituality I felt like a duck out of water, there was so much to learn and so many ways this craft could be dangerous so I stuck to this book like there was no tomorrow and it made everything so easy and straight forward for a beginner like myself.
 It goes through everything from setting up your altar, going through the tools, casting and closing a circle, sourcing ingredients and of course the spells this was everything you'd ever need as a beginner witch.

I understand there will be people reading this right now who think this is insane and spells are rubbish and I completely respect their opinions but for me it's something I strongly believe in and it's amazing to have guides out there like Patricia to help you find your path.
 I believe everyone's spiritual journey is personal and unique so I won't go too much into my own but having done spells from this book I'm so happy to say some have worked for me, some haven't but it's putting something out into the universe and asking for help to make it happen that seems so magical to me.

Overall I'd give this book 5 out of 5 and would recommend it to all, whether you're a beginner or an experienced witch there's something you can take out of this book.

You can purchase Patricia's book here for €10 and be sure to check out her Facebook page to find out more. 

Halloween Events 2017

With Ireland being the birth place of Halloween I think it's so important to keep the celebration alive and well throughout the country, and with hundreds of events taking place over the bank holiday weekend thankfully it's an easy task to keep the history alive these days.
Whether you like being scared out of your britches or enjoy a more factual based evening I have ten events for you to really get your fangs stuck into to make the most of this Samhain.

1. House Of Horrors - Waterford 
I'm ashamed to say that even though I live so close to Waterford this will be my first year attending House Of Horrors. I've heard nothing but good reviews of this event so I'm really looking forward to seeing what it's all about, what I have heard is 'if you're afraid of clowns this isn't for you' ....well, wish me luck there so!! 

When: This event runs from October 26th to the 31st
Costs: €10 to enter
Age: 16 + but they do run a child friendly one too

2. The Scare Factory - Limerick 
With two of the cities most amazing locations, King Johns Castle and the City Hall you can already imagine how eeery this event is. Once you step inside those doors there's no turning back and you're in for what's described as 'the most pulse pounding moments of your life' Oh nice one...

When: 19th - 31st October
Costs: €15 Adult or €13 Student (With ID)
Age: 13+

3. Spirits Of Meath - Navan
''The entire Boyne Valley gets ghoulishly into the dark side of life''
The country where Halloween began more than 3,000 year ago. I came across this festival last year and although I have never been but it's on my bucket list. I think everything sounds amazing and I'm blown away by the amount of events taking place this year. 
 From murder mysteries, a horror farm, pumpkin picking, drive in movies and a ghost hunt in Tayto Park Meath is the place for all Halloween lovers and it's my aim to be there next year. 

When: 7th October - 5th November

4. Paranormal Research Ireland - 
I've had the honour of meeting this team and going on ghost hunts with them and there's no one I respect more than the founder Tina Barcoe, I truthfully couldn't say enough good things about this group but believe me when I say their Halloween line up is SAVAGE!!!
 Running events all month long their next public ghost busting event is on Sat 21st October in Malahide Castle and in Wicklow Gaol on the 28th. You'll be given the opportunity to join the team and have your own investigation something I strongly recommend. 

 If the paranormal lock downs aren't for you then not to worry as on the 26th Chris Rush (PRI member and horror author) will be doing a FREE horror night where he'll be reading the most disturbing chapters of his new book. 
 Then on October 30th bring the family to a movie screening of Hocus Pocus in Wicklow Gaol at 4:30 then get rid of the kids and if you're braver than me head to the gaol for 8pm to watch the directors cut of The Exorcist...Now that, I could not do...

 Last year I also did an interview with Tina so if you want to check that out you can do so here...

When: 21st, 26th, 28th and 30th October

5. Youghalloween Spooktacular - Youghal
Last year was my first time at this festival and I loved every second, it was brilliant!!
If you haven't been then I really recommend you visit at least once during the weekend. 
It kicks off on October 27th with the opening ritual and fireworks on Mall beach. You get to watch as a gathering of witches perform a celtic ritual to welcome An Bhean Uisce home from the underworld then join in a lantern parade led by the knights and witches around Youghal. 

 On the Saturday Youghal comes to life between 1pm-7pm there's an amazing line up throughout the day but the best event is at 6pm when the Banshee parade begins. Are you brave enough to stand on the main street as the banshee passes through the town and collects the spirits of the dead.....

Finally on the Sunday there's another day of festivities until 6.15 when you're invited to join beautiful closing ceremony and say goodbye to Bhean Uisce as she returns to the watery underworld for another year. 

When: 27th-29th October
Age: Family Friendly

6. ScareFest, Shankill castle - Kilkenny 
It goes without saying there is something for everyone at Shankill castle, from wand making for children, a candle lid kids tour to the downright terrifying night candle lit ghost tour. It's said this is one of the most scariest ghost tours in Ireland and is an over 15's event. Every year this event sells out so to avoid disappointment get your tickets early, they'll set you back  €32 which is a lot but hopefully it will be worth it. 

When: 27th October - 5th November
Cost: €32
Age: 15+

7. The Spooky Express - Kilmeaden, Waterford (KIDS!!!)
Of course I have to include one for the kids and sticking locally the Spooky Express on the Waterford & Suir Valley is one of the cutest Halloween ideas ever, I wish there was an adult version!!
 Take a thirty minute trip on the Suir Valley train through the haunted area in the dark, where anything can happen.
Tickets cost €13 for an adult and €10 for under 16s the trips take place on Saturday October 28th now does anyone have a child I can borrow for the day?

When: October 28th
Cost : €13 for an adult and €10 for a child

8. Pumpkin Picking At Ballycross Apple Farm - Wexford
It's on my bucket list to go pumpkin picking so now that I've heard about Ballcross pumpkin farm I'm making a plan to go there next weekend and I'm so excited. Open every Saturday and Sunday from 12-6 and daily from the 28th to Nov 5th you get the chance to pick your very own pumpkin to take home and carve just in time for Halloween, prices vary on the size of the pumpkin but I cannot wait.

9. Loftus Hall - Wexford
Saving the best two for last, heading down towards the Hook Peninsula?  Are you brave enough to visit Ireland's most haunted house? A place of pure evil and devilish visits? 
Well, I'm not going to go too much into the history of Loftus Hall because it's something I've done numerous times before (like right here) but for me Halloween wouldn't be complete without a trip to my favourite place Loftus Hall.
 Each year the team run a Halloween tour from the 27th to the 31st of October from 7pm-each night. It's not one for the faint hearted hence why it's an over 18s event but believe me when I say it's amazing and I'd really recommend it. Tickets are €18 and selling out quick so if you want to book you can do so here..

When: 27th- 31st October
Costs: €18
Age: 18 +
Websitehttp://loftushall.ie/

10. Féile Samhain At Hook Lighthouse - Wexford 
Up until this morning I had never heard of Féile Samhain but after looking into it I think it's my favourite Halloween event so far, I love it!!
Situated right beside Loftus Hall why not kill two birds with the one stone and check out Hook Head Lighthouse between the 28th and 31st of October. 
Your first option,and my favourite option costs €30 on Saturday 28th at 6.30pm and that's for a guided sunset tour. After you've been guided through the historic lighthouse, with plenty of tales of horror from the hook of course, you can tuck into prosecco and canapes as the sun sets across the sea. Pre booking is essential so call 051 397 055 to save your place. 

On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday (October 29th-31st) from 6-9pm join in an 'evening of fire' based on the old traditions of Samhain, age old tales will be shared by 'druids' around a circle of fire.
A family bbq, children entertainment and Halloween stories no booking is required and these events are FREE!! 
Pumpkin carving with resident artist Rose will also be on offer for €5 . 

Finally for those feeling brave why not take a lantern led evening tour at either 6/7/8pm. Tours cost €9 and booking is advised.

When:28th - 31st October
Cost: Varies 
Age: Child Friendly

So there you have it ten events going on around Ireland this Halloween,
Enjoy 🎃