IRVINE is getting a two day festival in honour of master of horror and former resident Edgar Allan Poe.

Ravenfest will be held on October 29 and 30 this year – Covid regulations permitting – in the town centre.

Ayrshire’s Poetic Justice Productions say it is a small taster for a three day festival to be held in 2022. And this year, all the events will be free of charge.

Poe attended Irvine’s grammar school around 1815, when he was six years old.

He was brought over from America by his foster family, the Allans, who originally came from Irvine.

Ravenfest 2022 will feature Poe dramatisations and readings, as well as a history of his life.

There will also be a curated movie night, showing an acclaimed film of Poe’s work, starring Vincent Price, as well as a short story competition (see below).

Saturday will feature child-friendly events centred around the author, including lantern making and mask making workshops before a spooky walk for the kids to the Auld Kirk.

Neil Smith, who formed Poetic Justice with actor Steven Duffy and Helen Aitken, said: “This has been a few years in the planning, but Covid obviously put a halt to everything last year.

“For future years, we have some grand plans for the festival, including new plays based on some of Poe’s work, bringing some well known bands to town, a masked ball, Gothic themed market, bigger movie nights and lots more, but we wanted to have a taster event this year.

“We hope to establish this as a legacy event for Irvine, which will run for many years. It will also, as a far as we can establish, be the first annual Edgar Allan Poe festival in Europe and we believe within a few years it will be bringing fans from around the world to Irvine – and boosting the local economy.”

“We have received excellent support from North Ayrshire Council, who have funded the children’s events for this year as well as from our media sponsors The Irvine Times.”

The proposed schedule is: Friday, October 29, in Townhouse, Irvine

7pm: Introduction to Ravenfest, followed by Poe readings and history of his time in Irvine

7.30pm: Winner of short story competitions revealed, plus readings

8pm: Poe readings and history continues

8.45pm: Glasgow Film Theatre talk on Poe

9pm: Cinema showing of the Pit and the Pendulum

Saturday, October 30

2pm: Lantern making workshop

3pm: Mask making workshop

5.30pm: Day of Dead walk to Auld Kirk/Graveyard Tour