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.
I don't know why this place is not more famous, this is where the legendary Queen Maeve had her royal seat and where the saga of the Tain Bó Cuailnge... read more
- Janine R
A site not yet overcrowded, full of history and legends. would recommend it to everybody who is interested in all the legends about the queen of connaught. we did the... read more
The most interesting and very entertaining tour of beautiful fields rocks and ruins . Mike the tour guide was so entertaining knowledgeable and passionate about the area. Would highly recommend... read more
The trip was absolutely fantastic. I cannot applaud Mike (tour guide) enough for his energy and information. His presentation was poetic, informative, factbased and also referenced An Táin as well... read more
- Kathy C
We stayed at Anne's B & B in Tulsk after visiting the Irish National Famine Museum in Strokestown. Anne directed us to the Rathcroghan Visitor Centre and suggested we... read more
The Rathcroghan Visitor Centre has a wonderful exhibition. It was very helpful and informative for the research I'm doing. They have a case with artifacts from the National Museum of... read more
Guide Mike was an unending source of knowledge and realism. Made history not just interesting but really fascinating. Did the tour, at the end of which a man from RTE... read more
The visitor center has awesome displays and local information, as well as a cute gift shop and a restaurant. Our guided tour was led by Daniel and I'm convinced there's... read more
I visited both the visitor center and the royal site and neither disappointed. Daniel, our guide and the manager of the visitor center, was incredibly knowledgeable and a very engaging... read more
- Katrine D
The tour at Rathcroghan was an excellent experience! We didn’t know very much about Ireland’s past and the guide helped us understand much more about the how we know (or... read more