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 in Manchester 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 décor, 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…
1. Seek out spirits on this Manchester Ghost Tour
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 with this Manchester Ghost Tour.
2. Go for a ghoulish glide at Skate Manchester
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 décor 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 at Scare Skate.
3. Dare to visit this spooky Halloween takeover at the Trafford Centre
Coming just in time for Halloween, SPOOKFEST will bring an array of activities for all ages to enjoy at the Trafford Centre, with plenty of food and drink also available to accompany. Taking place within the outdoor space at the Manchester shopping centre, SPOOKFEST will kick off on October 14 right up until October 30, bringing the Halloween vibes to town by the bucketload. Guests will be able to enjoy an array of fairground rides, movie screenings as well as fun attractions such as a spooky ghost train, pumpkin tower installation and even a scary haunted house.
4. Listen to a collection of haunting harmonies at Candlelight Halloween
On October 31st the hallowed halls of Manchester Cathedral will echo with rich harmonies and whistling melodies at this Halloween Candlelight performance. 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.
5. Hunt down the giant monsters that have popped up around Manchester
If you embark on a walk through Manchester city centre anytime during Halloween week you’ll likely spy a giant inflatable monster or two. The menagerie of oddly-endearing creatures have been invading the city for the past five years and are set to do it once more. Hide-and-seek doesn’t seem to be their strong suit though, as these pop-up Halloween monsters are often spotted hunkering down behind Printworks or peering over Piccadilly Place.
6. Watch a creepy performance at The Lowry that’s sure to make you jump
One of the first ever ghost stories to combine live theatre and pre-recorded feature film multimedia; Shock Horror, is set to arrive at The Lowry this Halloween. Featuring Alex Moran of War Horse and Emmerdale’s Chloe Proctor, Shock Horror is set in an old cinema and it’s the haunting tale of a fanatic, his film… and the thing that hides inside. Shock Horror takes audiences on a heart pounding journey into the depths of human psyche. Described as Stranger Things meets The Woman In Black, this haunting, cutting-edge ghost story combines multimedia screen action with live stage performance — perfect for Halloween.
7. Sneak drink behind bars at Alcotraz
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 then head to Alcotraz Manchester.
8. Come face to face with a cryptic crystal gazing Fortune Teller
This autumn, the Crystal Maze LIVE Experience is getting ready for a seasonal extravaganza with a brand-new spooky game perfect for those looking for a quirky and unique day out in Manchester this Halloween. From 17th until 31st October, every team that visits The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience at its Manchester venue, will come face to face with a cryptic crystal gazing Fortune Teller, sent by Mumsie to test teams with an unnerving game of high stakes riddles. The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience, based on the popular 90s TV game show, provides an immersive experience, jam-packed with physical and mental challenges played against the clock. Set across four themed zones, the game is all about teamwork, problem-solving, and having fun.
9. Celebrate Howl’Oween with your pooch at Hatch
Manchester’s food, drink and retail destination Hatch is hosting a full weekend of spooktacular fun this Halloween, including its annual alternative celebration – Howl’oween – once again welcoming fabulous dressed pups to its dog-friendly space for Manchester’s Halloween party for Hounds. Bring pooches along to Hatch to party with other four legged friends at this paw-fect free event taking place from 1-4pm on Sunday 30th October, which features a a Doggie Disco and even ‘pawsecco’ on tap. Plus, on Saturday 29th October you can take part in Hatch’s bottomless Halloween brunch with the fancy dress theme being Alice in Wonderland.
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 Haunted Manchester 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…
11. Celebrate Halloween with a spine-chilling schedule of events at GRUB
To celebrate the Spooky Season, GRUB will be hosting a full week of Halloween-themed events running from 26th-30th October. In addition to these events, guests can expect a spookily decorated venue, a special Halloween-themed beer and cocktail menu, street food specials, tunes and lots of candy.
The cocktail menu will include a Blood Orange Margarita, a Pumpkin Spice Old Fashioned and a Witches Spritz. Those enjoying bottomless brunch will have the option of a Pumpkin Spice Apple Mimosa to top it all off and craft beer lovers will find locally sourced specials. From a ‘Frightful Fizzy Quizzy’ and bottomless sing-a-long screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show to family friendly activities like pumpkin carving, costume pageants and cookie decorating, there’s something for everyone at GRUB this Halloween.
12. Prepare to enter a world of horrors at this Zombie experience
The abandoned Camelot Theme Park has opened its doors to the public once more, but it’s not the joy-filled kingdom of fun it once was. A darkness has swept through the land and left a swarm of zombies in its wake, each one burning with an all-consuming hunger for human flesh. This time the screams you’ll hear won’t be from thrill-seekers riding rollercoasters but from pale-faced pedestrians who couldn’t resist a trip back to the nostalgia-inducing amusement park they once visited as a kid. Ever heard of that phrase curiosity killed the cat?…
13. Sit back and watch Halloween screenings at the King Street Townhouse
Fancy curling up and relaxing in a luxurious setting this Halloween? One stunning Manchester hotel, King Street Townhouse, is hosting an array of wonderful screenings over Halloween weekend, including a couple of family-friendly films to enjoy. Cuddle up with spooky classics while enjoying popcorn, pick n’ mix, and even a cocktail, mocktail or soft drinks from the Tavern’s wonderful menu.
14. Get your carve on at this pumpkin and spiced rum event 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 a limited edition bottle of Kraken Rum, and enjoy Kraken Rum cocktails on arrival followed by rum tasters. Taking place on Wednesday 26th October, tickets are on sale now.
15. Tuck into this Skullduggery Brunch at Tattu
Tattu Manchester will be hosting a spooktacular Halloween brunch event soundtracked by the finest DJs and fuelled by the Bloodiest of Bloody Mary’s. Tattu’s exclusive Skullduggery Brunch will take place on Saturday 29th October 12-3pm and, for one day only, will serve up a four-wave menu of unique Asian-fusion dishes with terrifyingly good cocktail specials. For just £45 per person, diners can tuck into the likes of autumnal pumpkin bao buns with a red Thai curry filling, crispy duck pancakes and a dessert with white chocolate, blood orange, and hazelnut, a seasonal twist on Tattu’s famous Cherry Blossom dessert.
16. Make a run for it and head to this Halloween trail at Chester Zoo
This October, escape Manchester and head to Chester Zoo where it will be running a new free interactive Halloween trail set to give you the creeps and allow you to get to know these curious creatures better. Visitors can take a wander along the zoo’s indoor trail where they will encounter interesting species like the Komodo Dragon, Gaboon Viper, Poison Dart Frogs, Blue Komodo Viper, Tarantula and the upside-down Jellyfish.
Plus, Chester Zoo is also running a Halloween-themed bus tour where guests are driven to each of the six locations on the trail before the zoo opens, as well as stopping off at the Fruit Bat Forest to see the bats in the light before the lights go down.
17. Make your move at Motley’s Halloween mixer party
YOTEL Manchester Deansgate’s stylish bar and restaurant is playing host to a special Halloween mixer party, named ‘Make Your Move at MOTLEY’, on Thursday 27 October. In partnership with the UK’s leading speed dating experts Original Dating, MOTLEY will invite guests to meet new people and find that special someone at the super sociable event with up to 60 guests. Offering guests the chance to meet up and mingle in a relaxed setting, tickets cost £20 and include a welcome cocktail from local Manchester brand Didsbury Gin.
18. Face your fears this Halloween as you enter this live-action horror maze in Manchester
Nominated for best new horror attraction at ScareCon, Fear Factory Live returns for Halloween this year even bigger, better and more terrifying than ever. Taking place at Ena Mill in Atherton, this horror experience with a walk-through maze is sure to give you a fright. With two new blood-curdling mazes, scare zones, themed cocktail bar, axe throwing and delicious smokehouse BBQ food; Fear Factory Live 2022 is one you don’t want to miss this October.