Derry’s Halloween celebration is Europe’s biggest, one of the highlights of its cultural calendar with a week of creative events

“I think my favourite costume was one that a girl made from 3,000 polo mints.”

Jacqueline Whoriskey told me this as her three-year-old son was climbing over her and her publicity material for Derry’s 2018 Halloween festivities. Jacqueline is the organiser of the local council’s carnival, which will see around 40,000 people on the streets in and around the walled city of Derry – for what could well be the world’s best Halloween-night experience. If you’re there and you’re not in fancy dress, you’re the one likely to get the strange looks from the zombies, film stars, Trumps, mermaids, witches, warlocks and Pac-Man ghosts. The Pac-Man suits were worn by my children about 10 years ago. (They may still be in the garage if you’d like to borrow them.)

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