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Marsh’s Library celebrates Bram Stoker

The Bram Stoker Festival returns for yet another year of spooky events in celebration of one of Ireland’s greatest writers. With experiences around Dublin across the weekend of October 25th-28th, the festival is sure to get you in the Halloween spirit. The Liberties will host a number of these celebrations, including Stokerland, a “pop-up Victorian fun park” in St. Patrick’s Park on Saturday and Sunday. 

However, the events in Marsh’s Library on St. Patrick’s Close, Wood Quay, will be both creepy and unmissable. On Friday and Saturday, the library is hosting Spooky Stories at Marsh’s from 10am-5pm. A free event, it invites guests in to hear the chilling anecdotes of the library’s past. 

The library opened in 1707 and has welcomed the likes of Jonathon Swift and, of course, Bram Stoker over the past 300 years. However, it is also rumoured to be visited by the ghost of its founder, Archbishop Marsh, who roams the aisles of the library in search of a letter from his niece Grace, who left to get married. 

The Liberty visited Marsh’s Library to speak to director Jason Mc Elligot. Photo by Eibhin Kavanagh.

Marsh’s director Jason McElligott said, “She left a message for him that she had to follow her heart and the ghost of the archbishop wanders the library at night looking for the letter.” Guests will also hear of the headless Egyptian mummy from the year 1500 BC that is connected to the library.

On Friday and Saturday, the library will also host Bram Stoker and the Haunting of Marsh’s Library, which will see Mr. McElligott showing guests the books and pamphlets that Bram Stoker read when he visited the library at the age of eighteen. 

Topics such astrology, witchcraft, superstition and maps of Transylvania were among the items Stoker took out and “might have influenced the novel Dracula” said Mr. McElligott.

Tickets for this event cost €16.87 and it begins at 6.30pm. Mr. McElligott said that Marsh’s Library will be decorated in “suitably spooky colours for the evening”. Looking forward to the festival, he said,  “I hope people have a bit of fun with it, as well as seeing the historical stuff.”

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