SAMHAIN At Rathcroghan
The 31st of October marks the celebration of ‘Samhain’, one of the four major pre-Christian Gaelic Pagan Festivals along with Bealtaine, Lughnasadh and Imbolc. As Crúachan (Rathcroghan) was traditionally a site for great óenachs or gatherings, it can be suggested that these festivals were very important occasions here. Of the four however, ‘Samhain’ is particularly linked with Rathcroghan.
As Samhain traditionally marks the end of the harvest and the arrival of Winter, it would be particularly relevant to a prehistoric, agricultural society whose survival and welfare would have been intimately linked to the landscape and the seasons. Therefore, it would probably have been a last chance to celebrate the harvest before preparation for the challenge of a cold, dark winter ahead.
As Samhain is a natural interval or liminal period between the Summer and Winter seasons it is perhaps no surprise that this festival provided ease of access across the borders from this world to the Otherworld. It is from the cave of Oweynagat at Samhain that fearsome otherworldly beasts emerge to ravage the surrounding landscape and make it ready for Winter.
Haunted Samhain Tour of Rathcroghan and Oweynagat Cave
With the cave of Uaimh na gCat (Oweynagat) being the home of Halloween, and reputed as Ireland’s Gate to Hell, what better way to spend Halloween, the ancient festival of Samhain, than by a special dusk guided visit down into the bowels of the earth, to prove yourself on this most unholy of nights!
Are you up to the task?
Our tour takes place on Halloween eve, Oct 31st, and last approximately 2 hours. Departing Rathcroghan Visitor Centre at 6 pm sharp, we would advise you arrive approximately 15 minutes before the tour departs, we don’t want you missing your introduction to our mysterious guide!
Our tour is set in modern day Tulsk and from here we work our way back in time, visiting Rathmoyle Cemetery, finishing at the cave Uaimh na gCat (Oweynagat), the origins of Halloween, and home of the mighty Morrigan and many more malicious mystical monsters, where you may face your fears and any demons that reside within.
This is a truly atmospheric Halloween tour, you won’t want to miss! Early booking is highly advisable as there are only 20 places available on the tour. Please Follow Us on Facebook, Join our mailing list or contact us directly to learn of the ticket release date for this year’s Halloween Tour!
Under 18 €10
*Booking fee applies
Our Halloween dusk tour is suitable for children aged 10 +, for younger visitors please visit our Facebook page for details of events taking place at Rathcroghan this Halloween!
Please note the Cave of Oweynagat at this time of year, is muddy, dark and slippery, appropriate footwear and clothing must be worn. All tours are weather dependant. In the unlikely event of cancellation, a full refund will be issued.
- B S
The staff was super friendly and helpful; they come across as being very fond of their centre in a nice way. We didn't even have the time to do a guided tour of the complete site as we were just passing through, yet Elaine explained...More
Being from Louth I'm obviously team Cúchulainn 😁, but I have to concede that Rathcroghan is a fascinating place. Mike took me on a tour to the mouth of hell and back. He had a wealth of knowledge about the facts and the fiction of...More
Our tour guide Mike McCarthy took us to Rathcroghan Mound, and to the Oweynagat Cave of the Cats. His knowledge of history and mythology was mesmerizing. His kindness and encouragement was inspiring. Entering into the Cave with Mike was exhilarating! We all felt reborn when...More
- Blythe K
We drove out here from Westport on a rainy day and took the tour with Michael. Michael proved to be a great tour guide and great storyteller and we really enjoyed ourselves. I have read the Tain, but my parents knew nothing of the history...More
We drove for several hours to get to the centre, looking forward to a tour, only be told in an unfriendly manner “we don’t go out in this weather.” It wasn’t even raining - more like a gentle mist. They cited health and safety concerns...More
- Ciara C
Really enjoyed this visit. Information is presented in a variety of videos and wall boards. Great artefacts on display. Nice focus on Queen Meabh and the Táin. Personal touch from the owner who talked us through some of the displays and was there to answer...More
I thoroughly enjoyed my few hours in the visitors centre in Tulsk and the Royal Site a few kilometres up the road at Rathcroghan. The visitors centre is staffed by wonderfully helpful and knowledgeable people, only too happy to talk to you about the site...More
- Steve B
I got up early the morning of May 9th and researched things to do in the area and thought it looked interesting. I love mythology, mixed with a bit of truth. We got in just a few minutes before 2. Mike was kind enough to...More
I was somewhat skeptical about stopping in and taking this tour. I WAS WRONG! Our tour guide, Michael was wonderful. He has so much knowledge of the area and Irish mythology and shares it in a most delightful way. He has a great way of...More