Spooky season is creeping up on us…
Soon the ghosts will come out to play, cackling witches will take to the skies, blood-craving vampires will be seeking to quench their thirst and skeletal figures will be punching their way out of the dirt. When these supernatural beings roam the streets it can only mean one thing: Halloween is here. Whether you’re adding the final flourishes to a year-in-the-making costume or digging out crooked cat ears from the back of your cupboard, the haunting holiday promises plenty of dastardly fun in the form of ghost tours, candlelit concerts and even a ‘scare skate’ ice rink. Once you’ve sorted your own decor, picked up a pumpkin and done your trick-or-treating duties you might have your heart set on keeping the celebrations going. To help you decide, we’ve rounded up the best things to do in Manchester this Halloween…
Dip your toe into the astral realm on a hair-raising hunt for ghosts around Manchester. Your smartphone will play the role of the guide; supplying clues that, when solved, lead you to some of the most haunted places in the city. On the spooky self-guided tour you’ll uncover stories that will send the shivers down the spine of even the most stoic non-believer and visit historic sites such as Manchester Cathedral, Palace Theatre and Albert Square. Grab your jumpsuits and proton packs, you’re in for a bumpy ride. Grab tickets here.
The ice and chilly air won’t be the only thing making you shudder at Skate Manchester this October. The arena has something spooky up their sleeve, namely some curiously creepy decor and a whole scare of monsters that will be let loose on the rink to put the frighteners on unsuspecting skaters. You can turn the tables on the devious creatures however, as fancy dress is more than encouraged. Make sure you’re the one doing the chasing this Halloween and find out more here.
On October 25th the hallowed halls of Manchester Cathedral will echo with rich harmonies and whistling melodies. A step inside the historic building will reveal a space bathed in the amber glow of candlelight and two figures with instruments at hand, ready to enchant guests with a sequence of classical compositions. The evening will be a celebration of the bewitching and beautiful, featuring a selection of music from iconic composers performed by a violinist and a pianist. As they bring the notes to life you can sink into your seat and soak up the stunning architecture. Find tickets here.
Buckle up your seatbelt and take a deep breath before driving into ScareCity. Taking over Power League Soccer Dome in Trafford, the drive-in experience sets the scene with a scream-inducing scare tunnel plagued by devious live actors, before keeping the mischief going with chilling horror films such as The Ring, The Exorcist, Insidious and Get Out. When you’ve had your fill of jump-scares and knuckle-biting tension, you can satisfy the gnawing hunger in your stomach with gourmet food from a variety of local vendors. Grab tickets here.
If you embark on a walk through the city anytime from the 25th-31st October you’ll likely spy a giant inflatable monster or two. The menagerie of oddly-endearing creatures have been invading the city for the past four years and are set to do it once more. Hide-and-seek doesn’t seem to be their strong suit though, as they are often spotted hunkering down behind Printworks or peering over Piccadilly Place. If you fancy paying them a visit this Halloween you can find out more here.
Ever wondered about the source behind that forever creaking door? Felt an ominous shiver ripple throughout your body? Or spotted your rocking chair in full swing without a soul in sight? This experience seeks to answer those questions that haunt you through a series of paranormal experiments, conducted by you under the cover of darkness. Following the instructions of an audio guide and ghost host you’ll be lead on an unearthly journey and might even discover some long forgotten phenomena. You don’t have to face it alone either, so make sure to gather up your closest confidants and get ready to say hello to the other side. Find tickets here.
If the supernatural doesn’t scare you the stone-cold glare of the Alcotraz prison warden just might. A place where breaking the rules is the only way to survive the night, this experience is not for the lily-livered, in fact a concrete liver is exactly what you’ll need when it comes to the cocktail portion of the night. Once you’ve wiggled into your orange jumpsuits and smuggled in liquor, the next step is indulging in some delicious concoctions made by fellow inmates. If a day of booze-fuelled crime sounds like something that to tick off your bucket list you can grab tickets here.
Step into the devilish world of the dark arts at sensational spooktacular Festival of the Dead. The circus-meets-carnival-meets-club extravaganza celebrates the dark and deadly with heart-thumping fire shows, death-defying acrobatics and speaker-shaking guitar solos. The touring show is Halloween fully unleashed, with monstrous puppets roaming the stage while the thumping bass of rock and metal reverberates throughout the venue and crowds of people decked out in fancy dress swarm the dancefloor. If you are looking to embrace the chaos on November 6th then find out more here.
We all remember when we first heard the famously ominous two-note opener to Jaws, a deep, reverberating sound that successfully strikes fear and dread into your heart. Then there’s the bouncing build to Beetlejuice theme song and the catchy finger-snap-filled Addams Family tune, all masterfully capturing the feel of the film and its characters. At this atmospheric candlelit concert you’ll get to enjoy the iconic scores of some Halloween favourites (including It, The Shining and Psycho) performed by immensely talented musicians. Get tickets here.
10. Stop a ghostly menace on the Haunted Manchester tour
On a fateful (and fictional) day in Manchester a student named Loky met his watery end when he drowned in the icy depths of the canal. The act was not an isolated incident or unfortunate accident but the malicious work of a serial killer who roamed the banks of the canal, his name: The Pusher. On this tour you’ll explore the darker side of the city, solving clues and uncovering stories about the trapped spirits who fell victim to this murderer. Keep your wits about you: everything might not be as it seems…Get tickets here.
11. Halloween at The Blues Kitchen
The Blues Kitchen has got soul (and not the spooky, floating type!). Putting a funky twist on the spookiest weekend of the year, guests will be able to get down to Halloween and voodoo inspired soul and funk on Friday 29th October, with £5 cocktails on offer between 5-7pm. Fancy dress is, of course, encouraged, and you can get on the guestlist here.
12. Día de Muertos at Ducie Street Warehouse
Ducie Street Warehouse is hosting an epic Halloween weekender, with a Day of the Dead theme to celebrate the hair-raising occasion. Enjoy live DJs, mariachi, brass bands and more in the Mexican fiesta-like atmosphere, alongside performers, face-painters and tarot readers who’ll be providing further entertainment. If that wasn’t all, there’ll be plenty of Patron cocktails and Día de Muertos-themed food to chow down on, too, with tons of Mexican heritage injected into the big celebration.
13. Halloween screenings at the King Street Townhouse
Fancy curling up and relaxing in a luxurious setting this Halloween? One of Manchester’s most stunning hotels is hosting an array of wonderful screenings over Halloween weekend, including a couple of family-friendly films to enjoy. Cuddle up with classics such as IT, Hocus Pocus, or A Nightmare on Elm Street, while enjoying popcorn, pick n’ mix, and even a cocktail, mocktail or soft drinks from the Tavern’s wonderful menu. Find out more here.
14. Pumpkin carving at the Pen and Pencil
The Pen and Pencil’s annual pumpkin carving event is back, with plenty of creative fun in store for Mancs to enjoy. Carve up your best design to be in with the chance of winning prizes, and enjoy Kraken Rum cocktails on arrival. Taking place on Wednesday 27th October, tickets are on sale now and you can find out more here.
15. Halloween at Bab
Bab is back with an array of spooktacular events for Halloween, including a fun pumpkin carving session and even Halloween drag bingo. Taking place on October 30th (for both events), guests can enjoy two sessions of pumpkin carving at 12 noon and 3pm, with cocktails and Halloween babs on offer for guests to enjoy while they summon up their creations. By nightfall, Bab’s hilarious Drag Bingo event will begin at 8pm, with tickets costing just £12pp to enjoy all the fun. Find out more here.