If you go down to the woods today, you had better go in disguise; especially if you are visiting the woodland pathway to Aughnanure Castle.
For if you visit the castle near Oughterard in a brilliant Halloween disguise, you stand a chance to win one of three prizes.
The castle, curated by the OPW, will be free for all to enter on Halloween, Monday, October 31 to encourage as many bodies as possible to visit the historic site.
Over the day, from 9.30 am to 5.15 pm, the castle will be judging castle entrants and awarding prizes of €50 to the best-dressed family, and individual prizes of €30 each for the best (or worst) dressed visitors under 10 years of age; and for those over the age of ten.
The 23-metre tall tower house and its grounds will also be decorated for the day with appropriate scenery and props, and who knows?, you might feel the spirit of Murrough na dtuath O’Flaherty (Murrough of the Battle-Axes) haunting the Lordly home of the ‘Ferocious O’Flahertys’ during your stay there.
Climb the spiral stairs to the top of the 15th century fully restored tower house itself, admire the deadly defenses, explore an unusual double-defensive surrounding wall with bastions, imagine pirates sailing into the dry dock, create an eerie echo in the ‘oriental’ watchtower, and visit the remains of a once-magnificent banqueting hall.
Ask the guides for a hair-raising horror story, or even a horrible history and, if they are not too tired from beating off the four species of bat that haunt the castle, you may get a bone-chilling feel of what it was like to live in Galway in the Middle Ages.
If you are travelling in a group, please call in advance at 091 552214