This is not a trick and more like a treat as the Halloween spirit is set to return bigger and better than ever before, with the ‘Halloween in the City’ trail set to be returning this Halloween. Every year for the past seven years, Mancs have been treated to the sights of cartoon-like monsters popping out of the city’s buildings – from huge tentacles to three-eyed monsters peeping out from high above. And this year, those cute-yet-spooky faces are set to grace Manchester once again alongside new monsters commissioned especially for Halloween this year.
Created by Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas from Designs in Air – the huge inflated creations will be put on display across Manchester city centre, and they’ll be available to see for a short time period only, officially creeping up on October 25 before slithering away on October 31 once Halloween is over. Come nightfall, buildings across the city will be turning a ghoulish green and thousands of pumpkin lanterns will once again adorn the city’s streets as the city gets into the spirit of Halloween 2023.
In addition to the Halloween monsters located on rooftops at Manchester Arndale, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Corn Exchange, The Royal Exchange Manchester, New Century Hall and AO Arena, visitors can get up close and personal and find a monster at Manchester’s sky park, Castlefield Viaduct, as a new location for this year.
Back for 2023 is the Monsters Rock! Music Festival, on October 28 and 29, featuring spooky live bands, DJs, rides, circus acts and even monster portaloos, spanning the city’s St Ann’s Square, Market Street and Exchange Square. There’s also a Monsters Rock Procession courtesy of Walk the Plank featuring giant puppet monsters, stilt walkers and a live band, who will be partying their way through Manchester Arndale and Market Street.
Where to find the Manchester Halloween Monsters
1. Manchester Arndale
Exchange Square, Above Next, M4 3AJ
2. Selfridges Exchange Square
Exchange Square, M3 1BD
3. Exchange Square (28 + 29 Oct Only)
Festival Entrance, M3 1BD
4. Exchange Square (28 + 29 Oct Only)
Music Stage, M3 1BD
5. Corn Exchange Manchester – Inside (10.30am-11.30pm)
Exchange Square, M4 3TR
6. Harvey Nichols
New Cathedral Street, M1 1AD
7. New Cathedral Street (28 + 29 Oct Only)
Near Ted Baker, M1 1AD
8. The Royal Exchange Manchester
St Ann’s Square, M2 7DH
9. National Trust – Castlefield Viaduct (10.30am-5.00pm)
Duke Street, M3 4PU
10+11. AO Arena
Victoria Station Approach, Hunts Bank, M3 1AR
12. New Century Hall
Miller Street, M4 4AH
13. New Vic
Corporation Street, M4 4DX
Aytoun Street, M1 3GL
15. The Church
Chorlton Street, M1 3HN
16. Mayfield (6.00am – 7.30pm)
Baring Street, M1 2PY
If you’ve got it, haunt it – families are encouraged to come dressed up in their coolest costumes to take part in the official Halloween in the City Fancy Dress Challenge and unlock VIP experiences, rewards and prizes throughout the weekend. Visitors in costume will be able to claim a free wristband and choose to become part of either Team Trick or Team Treat.
Both teams will be competing to be named the spookiest team, with lots of opportunities to win points for your team during the weekend including dance-offs, costume catwalks, games, screaming competitions and more. Each day, the scariest team will be announced at 4pm, on the Main Stage.
Manchester’s annual pumpkin lanterns should also be making their autumnal return to accompany the Halloween fun, alongside ScareSkate, Manchester’s outdoor ice rink in Cathedral Gardens, which will be opening this October. There, guests will be able to skate to their heart’s content, all the while donning their best Halloween costumes and skating away from a number of monsters who’ll be sliding around the ice.