Halloween is, without question, one of the most exciting holidays of the year. While other celebrations have wholesome traditions - think paper hats and chocolate eggs - All Hallows' Eve has a mischievous edge with ghost stories and horror movies aplenty.

And although it would be easy to write the day off as a dressed-up sugar high, it is important to remember the history of this eerie day.

The festival originated from the Celtic observance of Samhain, marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the Celtic New Year.

Back then, people believed that the veil between the living and the dead grew weak on the night of October 31st, and many of the traditions we follow today - such as bonfires and costumes - were originally used to ward off unwelcome spirits.

Read more: How the Irish Celts invented Halloween

To help you ease into spooky season, we've found some spine-tingling Irish podcasts that will have you listening out for Banshees in no time.

Fireside
Hosted by actor Kevin C. Olohan, Fireside is an entertaining and educational podcast that delves into the history, craft, and culture of Irish mythology and folklore. From Brian Boru and Cú Chulainn to Deirdre of the Sorrows and The Lady O'Connor, this storytelling podcast will give you a much-needed break from reality. 

This October, your fireside bard will be exploring the gothic tales of Irish poetry, music, and literature. In the meantime, you can listen back to The Piper and The PúcaThe Banshee Welcoming Party, and Fireside of Horror

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Irish History Podcast
Historian, author and podcaster Fin Dwyer is the knowledgeable host of this historical podcast. Having worked in archaeology for several years, and with a master's degree in archaeology from UCD behind him, Dwyer had his sights set on becoming a modern-day Indiana Jones. However, between the recession and some health issues, he decided to turn to writing and podcasting instead.

While the show mostly focuses on medieval history and the Great Famine, some episodes are perfect for Halloween. We recommend Jack the Ripper and Irish Connections, The Hellfire Club - Debauchery in the Dublin Mountains, and Kilkenny Witchcraft Trial of 1324.

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Spooky FM
A new radio station from RTÉjr has mysteriously appeared in time for Halloween for any families missing out on trick-or-treating. Spooky FM's most terrifying show, 'Scare Me If You Can', is hosted by Uncle Vlad, a vampire from the heart of Transylvania, and Zombetty, surprisingly chipper considering she’s been dead for 100 years. It’s time for the children of Ireland to turn the tables and scare the devilish duo with their own tales of terror! You can listen here.

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The Creep Dive
Every Tuesday, Sophie White, Jen O'Dwyer, and Cassie Delaney investigate and report on the lesser-known details of the bizarre stories that you've seen while scrolling through your social media. Their topics of interest range from true crime and conspiracy theories to con artists and the paranormal, as well as general chats and laughs among the gals.

In the run-up to October 31st, we'll be listening to A Guest Ghost Story and The Haunted Spots of Dublin

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Sexy Beasts
On Sexy Beasts, comedian and podcaster extraordinaire Tony Cantwell and his co-host Marc Jago, explore a menagerie of monsters from folklore, mythology, and movies. Using their specially formulated system, and armed with extensive Wikipedia research, the duo rate the flaws and merits of each beast so as to find the best of the bunch. 

Last year, the two took a break from appraising apparitions but have resurrected the podcast just in time for spooky season. In the run-up to Halloween, Tony and Jago are on a mission to find the best movie monster of all time. Check it out here.

Real Life Ghost Stories
With their pet cat, Tiny Bim, by their side, Irish woman Emma and Englishman Dan have created a podcast dedicated to paranormal tales and ghostly experiences. Discussing everything from hauntings, ghosts, death, and aliens, the couple review their favourite spooky shows and movies, share listeners' ghost stories, and speak with cynical skeptics. 

If you want to send a chill up your spine, we recommend you check out: Faith, Fairies and the Festival of Samhain and The Banshee.

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Bandwagons
Have you seen the top trending hashtags on Twitter? Have you watched that viral video doing the rounds on Facebook? Are you all caught up on the latest celeb Instagram stories? If the answer to all of those questions is a resounding no, fear not. Fionnula Jay and Bríd Browne are here to get you up to speed on the watercooler moments everybody is talking about. 

For Halloween, the gals are reviewing horror movies and sharing ghost stories. Their latest episode, Spooky Stories, is sure to send shivers up your spine...

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MK UltraFilm
Hosted by comedian Killian Sundermann and his co-host Mark Byrne, MK UltraFilm is a movie review podcast for cinephiles. Recorded over voice messages between Mark in Berlin and Killian in Dublin, the show measures the duo's reactions to their movie of choice, whether it be a cinematic classic or trending Netflix hit.

For Halloween, the two have posted a Samhain Seance Pod where they review classic horror films including The Omen, Hellraiser, and The Thing.

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Happy Halloween!