By Jennifer McShane, GCD
Campus.ie Intern


Being a huge fan of all things Dracula related one of my favourite events of the Halloween Season is the Bram Stoker Horror Festival. It takes place in Clontarf Castle Hotel starting from the 27th ? 31st of October. Whether your a fan of the legendary vampire or not, this is an event not to be missed for those who want a unique Halloween experience.

In the lead up to the Bram Stoker Centenary in April 2012, the new and invigorated Stoker Dracula Organisation incorporates its 20th International Summer School into a Halloween Horror Festival to be held in the fitting surrounds of the character laden, gothic Castle in Clontarf. A very fitting location as Clontarf is Stoker?s hometown.

This atmospheric festival includes: A Bram Stoker Ghost Walk with a visit to the ancient Clontarf Cemetery containing the ruins of the church where Stoker was baptised in 1847, a Monster Ball, Screenings of Dracula films and Stoker documentaries, a Science Fiction Convention, competitions in Gothic Horror, full access to the gothic library and there will be guest speakers on various Stoker/Dracula/Gothic topics.

Be sure to visit the Bram Stoker Dracula Halloween Horror Festival website for all information and ticket prices.

And for those who would like a little background information on the origins of Halloween?s most famous vampire, here is some history on Stoker, the novel and the Dracula phenomenon:

About Bram Stoker

Abraham "Bram" Stoker was born on November 8th 1847 in Clontarf in Dublin. After graduating from Trinity College in 1868 he began to work in the Civil Service and in 1880, Stoker started to write theatre reviews for the Dublin Evening Mail. He published his first novel, ?The Snake's Pass? in 1890. However, it was not until the 1897 publication of ?Dracula? (originally titled ?The Undead?) that Stoker received real attention and it became a critical and popular success.

The novel is mainly composed of journal entries and letters written by several narrators who also serve as the novel's main protagonists; Stoker supplemented the story with occasional newspaper clippings to relate events not directly witnessed by the story's characters so we get an individual character perspective as the events unfold ? this was a unique method of writing at the time.

It has inspired more than 1,000 movies (with my personal favourite being the 1992 version directed by Francis Ford Coppola and staring Gary Oldman) and after the bible it's the biggest selling book of all time, which is still popular today.

It has undoubtedly inspired the mass of popular vampire themed books and TV shows we have today, from the hit 90s series Buffy the Vampire Slayer to the more recent Twilight Saga, True Blood and The Vampire Diaries.

Dracula flicks will no doubt be as popular as ever this Halloween as they remain a firm favourite by fans and critics alike.