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

  •   The visitors center here is built with nothing but what tourists can buy. However, the food and gift shop was quite good. It was a good place to relax after... read more

    Ann H
    11/06/2019
  •   Visited this interpretive centre and site on the way back from Sligo. Very impressed with the centre - it is small but very well designed and has something for... read more

    Cailleach79
    11/01/2019
  •   My husband, 3 and 5 year old visited Rathcroghan visitor centre last Saturday. We had a fantastic day there. The centre itself has a nicely sized museum with lots of... read more

    LeitrimRusty
    10/30/2019
  •   Excellent tour with Mike our guide highly recommended went down into the cave of cats the birthplace of Halloween. Superb stories so well told managed to keep my 6 and... read more

    F497BMbrianh
    10/29/2019
  •   Tuesday morning. We had a wonderful Irish breakfast at the lovely cafe in the centre. I booked the guided tour for 12 noon the next day. Arrived at 11.30 am... read more

    533glynb
    10/19/2019
  •   We spent several hours with our guide, Elaine, who was incredibly knowledgeable about Celtic history and folklore. It was fun to begin our trip to Ireland by learning so much... read more

    EdgarGaines
    10/18/2019
  •   This Visitors Centre is a real find for anyone interested in the Celts and the Iron Age or generally any aspect of Ireland's rural heritage. I was so impressed with... read more

    Alison R
    10/11/2019
  •   This site is nominated as a Unesco World Heritage Site for a reason. This is the epicenter of the greatest oral epic in Irish History - Ireland's equivalent of the... read more

    KevinR2151
    10/09/2019
  •   Our visit to Rathcroghan combined myth, history and archeology to provide a wonderful appreciation of this exceptional site. Our guide, Mike, gave us a lively account of the Táin and... read more

    victorialex13
    9/25/2019
  •   We always try to look in on the visitor centre when we are in Ireland, but this time we booked in on the tour they arrange of some of the... read more

    HawkofMay
    9/18/2019