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 Aénaige / 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 Halloween 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!

Our tour begins in modern day Tulsk and from here we work our way back in time, finishing at the cave Uaimh na gCat (Oweynagat), the origin place of Halloween, and home to the mighty Morrigan and many more malicious, mystical monsters. Here you can face your fears and any demons that reside within. This is a truly atmospheric Halloween tour, you won’t want to miss!

Are you up to the task?

Haunted Halloween Tour

To celebrate Samhain in style this year, we will hold a number of tour events to mark the occasion.

Our annual ‘Haunted Halloween Tour’ will take place this year on Tuesday 29th October, departing Rathcroghan Visitor Centre at 6pm.

Prices: Adult – €15 Junior (Under 18’s) – €10 *Booking fee applies

For more details or to book a place on this tour, click here

Primary Schools Tour - Rathcroghan Visitor Centre

Origins of Samhain Tour

As an extra offering this year we are delighted to announce our ‘Origins of Samhain’ tour, a daily tour to Oweynagat (the Cave of the Cats), the birthplace of Samhain and the home of Halloween.

This special seasonal tour will run from 29th Oct to 1st Nov 2019 inclusive, departing Rathcroghan Visitor Centre at 3pm.

Cost is €10 per person (adult/child). *Booking fee applies

For more details or to book a place on this tour, click here

Primary Schools Tour - Rathcroghan Visitor Centre

General Tour Information

Please note that as our Halloween Tour Events are very popular and places are limited, that early booking is strongly recommended in order to avoid disappointment. For further details of these events, please Follow Us on Facebook, Join our mailing list or contact us directly.

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 dependent. In the unlikely event of cancellation, a full refund will be issued.

Our Halloween dusk tour is suitable for adults and children aged 10 +.

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Visitor Reviews

  •   Great experience and really helpful staff along with great book shop and cafe. After we did the interpretative centre we drove to all the sites using a map they gave... read more

    Barramacanna
    5/08/2020
  •   We travelled to Rathcroghan in a group of eight from Tour Guiding course in Dublin.
    We all knew about the Royal site at Tara and Newgrange but we were... read more

    helenfX8613RW
    3/21/2020
  •   This was a great tour...highly recommended. Would love to return with some friends. Well done tour guide.

    raynasura
    3/07/2020
  •   If you are in the West you must visit Rathcroghan and take the tour led by the mighty Mike, who brings this unique place alive with his depth of knowledge.... read more

    SarahO855YE
    3/02/2020
  •   Great tour into our medieval past and very informative tour guide Daniel Great value for Money lovely cafe and visitors center Overall a great day out

    frankdV9587MZ
    2/06/2020
  •   The tour guide we had was Daniel Curley and he was brilliant. He made sure to answer all of the questions we had and was very helpful to our little... read more

    devsc232
    2/06/2020
  •   The museum is really excellent, there is a very interesting exhibition on the history of the site and the landscape. There are two films, one explains the archaeology of the... read more

    ArchaeologistD
    1/11/2020
  •   Really interesting tour. Mike the guide was really enthusiastic and knowledgable. Fantastic value for money as tour lasted over 2 hours. Great way to break a drive west or to... read more

    84gerryc
    1/03/2020
  •   The site is incredibly brought to life by Mike's thorough and entertaining knowledge, incredible centre this place is of history and myth. Left with a sense of connection to the... read more

    MarthaSK
    12/06/2019
  •   Standing on the site of such an important and pivotal place in Ireland's ancient history was a humbling experience. Add to that the incredible care taken by the knowledgeable ... read more

    Christa N
    11/16/2019