Happy Halloween… in July!

Time (and broomsticks) fly and before we know it Halloween is upon us.

Here’s me with the mother-in-law and her coven at Dublin Castle.

I’m at the unveiling of Fáilte Ireland’s initiative Púca, its brand new Halloween Festival, which will celebrate our unique position in the world as the birthplace of Halloween.

Held across three sites in Co. Meath, Trim Castle, Drogheda and Athboy, between October 31 and November 2, we can look forward to the Samhain Procession, scary interventions, pyrotechnics, contemporary Irish music nights, storytelling and good oul’ Halloween traditional foods.

Like barmbrack obviously. And apples.

I’d forgotten about the hidden ring and thought I’d dislodged a filling while I was glad that the apples were just in a bowl and that I didn’t have to dunk for them.

Legend, as you know, has it that a girl should eat an apple in front of a mirror on the approach of midnight while combing her hair and on the stroke of midnight she will see her future husband behind her shoulder.

Unlucky if you get a Granny Smith… and I don’t mean the apple.

Witches, of course, come in all shapes and sizes as do, obviously, shape shifters.

And Treasa Kerrigan wasn’t quite what I expected.

Treasa is a witch who runs a tour and heritage guide at sacred sites. Now she has seen things, let me tell you… and she will.

She will be reprising her role as Tlachtga this year at the Hill of Ward, Athboy and after a few minutes with landowners Mark and Elaine Clarke and Treasa I was already entranced. Visit http://www.sacredsites.ie.

Talking of scary interventions I have been beckoned – the mother-in-law is on the dog and bone (not rhyming slang, it is an actual dog and bone) and The Scary One wants me to check on her barmbrack in the oven.

Mirror, mirror on the wall who’s the scariest of them all?

Visit http://www.pucafestival.com.

And why not come troll-hunting with us? The call of the fjords

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