Page content

As Halloween creeps in closer and the spine-tingling excitement builds, dare to be scared as part of the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s spooktacular Halloween Happenings Festival, is hosted on the Ulster University Coleraine campus for the first time ever.

The free event is eagerly awaited each autumn and is renowned as a night not to be missed. The sheer expanse of the university grounds located on Cromore Road, Coleraine means that more members of the community, as well as visitors from afar, can come together to revel in the festivities of the largest Halloween celebration in the borough.

The enchanting evening of family fun will kick off at 5.30pm on Friday 27 October with quiet time, an autism friendly part of the evening, with reduced lighting and sounds.

Transform yourself in your Halloween costume, whatever you desire and join us from 6.30pm until 8.30pm where you will see stilt walkers roam the campus and a circus workshop astound with its tricks, whilst balloon modelers will craft your favourite characters, and an array of amusements will create a carnival of treats! Don’t forget to embark on the spooky trail, you never know who you might meet through the woods.

Bringing the party atmosphere with a high energy performance on the main stage is seven-piece band from the North Coast ‘The Dandy Lyons’, playing live from 6.30pm until 9pm, whilst all eyes turn to the skies for a magical explosion of colour for the firework display at 8.30pm.

There will be free parking at Ulster University campus and a free park-and-ride bus service will also operate from The Mall car park, Coleraine in town centre starting from 6pm. Please note normal town centre car parking charges will apply up until 6.30pm.

Speaking ahead of this year’s events, Professor Malachy O’Neill, Director of Regional Engagement, Ulster University said: “We are thrilled to be hosting the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Halloween Happenings this year, for the first time ever at our Ulster University Coleraine campus.

“Ulster University has been part of the community here since 1968 and we’re looking forward to welcoming more people onto the Coleraine campus to enjoy an evening of family fun with entertainment, amusements, and a spectacular fireworks display to celebrate Halloween.

“We also have a range of Halloween events happening across our Coleraine, Derry~Londonderry and Belfast campuses for the local communities and for students which provide opportunities to come together, embrace the spirit of Halloween, and create unforgettable memories.”

Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens, Councillor Steven Callaghan said: “I am delighted that Council has come together with Ulster University to provide the 2023 Halloween entertainment and fireworks display in Coleraine. The site provides a fantastic venue for this event, offering ample car parking with over 1,500 parking spaces, as well as facilities for accommodating a free park and ride service from the town centre to the campus. On behalf of Council, I wish to thank the University for allowing us to hold this hugely popular event at their Coleraine campus.”

Ulster University Mysterious Halloween Festivities

Coleraine campus

Step back in time to the early 1700s and immerse yourself in the captivating world of the Islandmagee witch trials. Join us for a spellbinding one-act play written in 1948, the ‘Witches in Eden’ by Olga Fielden, produced and performed by staff and students at Ulster University from Arts, Drama, History, and Music. A production to transport you to the bygone area as we reenact the chilling events that led to the trial and conviction of eight women and one man for practicing witchcraft.

We explore Andrew Ferguson’s investigation, ‘Justice of the Peace’, as it delves into Mary Dunbar’s allegation of witchcraft.  Join us on Friday 27 October and Saturday 28 October at 8pm, the Riverside Theatre at Ulster University Coleraine where this tale will come to life.

Tickets are available for £15, visit our Halloween website for event and booking information.

Enchanted by this fascinating story of the last witch trial in Ireland? Then explore a series of free bewitching exhibitions this Autumn through projects, events, workshops, and virtual reality experiences at the Island Magee Witches Museum Exhibition, Carrickfergus Museum until 16 November, open Monday to Saturday, 10am – 4pm each day.The exhibition is free, and no booking is required.

For some family fun, come join Mr Hullabaloo the Magical Storyteller and friends on the Fairytale Farm for an exciting Autumn Adventure. From baking bread with Dotty the Cook, to visiting the magical pumpkin patch of Hideaway Hollow. This show is full of magical moments and troublesome tricks, especially with the naughty little witch Troubleena and Mischief the Cat around. Join us at Riverside Theatre, Ulster University Coleraine on Saturday 21 October at 4pm.

Tickets are £8, visit our Halloween website for event and booking information.

Derry~Londonderry campus

Ulster University Drama students present “The Final Countdown” at Derry Halloween as part of Europe’s biggest Halloween festival which attracts over 100,000 revelers from around the world.  For three nights the spirits arise to join the Awakening the Walled City Trail, a magical journey through the City of Bones where visitors will encounter weird and wonderful characters who bring Halloween to life.

United in their belief that the world is about to end, a group of visionaries will descend upon the city’s streets to warn off any potential demons and monsters. Watch as the groups battle it out to interpret the supernatural signs before the countdown ends. Don't miss this apocalyptic showdown with performances across Saturday 28, Sunday 29 and Monday 30 October each evening between 6pm – 9pm in Artillery Street, within the city walls.

Or if you’re just dying to learn more about zombies and the world of the living dead, join us for this year’s Global Zombie Studies Symposium, hosted at Ulster University Derry~Londonderry campus. The Symposium brings together academics for two days, Monday 30 and Tuesday 31 October, from all over the world researching the many fascinating facets of Zombie Culture, to share their studies with like-minded Zombie fanatics. Registration is free and everyone is welcome.

Belfast campus

Enjoy Halloween movie night in the Students Union Bar. Movie options will be available in the bar so students can vote for the movie they want to watch. Come along early to get a seat and enjoy with a selection of food and drink deals including sweets and popcorn available.

Throughout the Halloween week, kicking off on Monday 23 October, Ulster University students can enjoy a frightful series of events across all campuses including Halloween movie night, pumpkin carving, creepy creatures, Halloween pub quiz, and Bangers bingo.

Visit our Halloween website for event and booking information.