Halloween seems to have crept up behind us and become another big day in the calendar. It’s believed by some religions to be the time of year when the veil between this world and the spirit world is at its thinnest and the spirits of the dead can most readily mingle with the living once again.
If the thought of staying in this Halloween send shivers down your spine fear not, because whether you’re looking for an All Hallows Eve night out, family friendly activities, or something a little scarier, Manchester is jam-packed with events to keep you entertained. And as luck would have it, this year Halloween falls on a Saturday so there’s no shortage of places to party. So forget about the tricks. Why not try some of the Halloween treats from our list compiled by Beth Dawson…
1. House of the Dead
Not one for the faint hearted! Step into the horror movies with the ‘House of the Dead’. This fully immersive walk-through horror experience will take you through horror movie sets and sinister scenarios where monsters could be lurking around any corner.
Great Northern Warehouse, 1st-31st October
2. Day of the Dead Weekender
The Day of the Dead is a holiday celebrated throughout Mexico so why not go Mexican this Halloween? On Saturday, El Capo are offering a fire show from the Psychedelic Pirates, big cash prizes on offer for the best fancy dress, speciality cocktails for £5 and free face painting to celebrate the night away. On Sunday there’s a half price food and drinks deals if you want a bit of hair-of-the-dog to help you get over Saturday’s shenanigans.
El Capo, 12 Tariff Street, 31st October – 1st November
The Black Dog Ballroom has resurrected its Botanical Cinema Club for a night of horror movies on 28th October. The large HD screen on the roof terrace will be transformed into an eerie, cobweb-adorned lair complete with Halloween-themed cocktails and four cult horror movies will be shown through the night. To add to the suspense, the films are being kept secret until the night itself. And on Halloween they are are teaming up with El Jimador tequila to celebrate the Day of the Dead with cocktails and potions all night plus lots of giveaways. Free.
Black Dog Ballroom, 11-13 New Wakefield St, Manchester M1 5NP
4. Trick or Street
Halloween comes to the nation’s favourite soap. Explore the more frightening side of the street with special guided tours of some of the show’s most memorable crime scenes. Children (and adults) can also take part in trick or treating and discover whether a pleasant surprise or gruesome scare is waiting behind doors of the well-known houses.
Coronation Street The Tour, Atherton St, Manchester M3 3GS, 26th-31st October
5. Brick or Treat
Visit three giant haunted castles, where zombies, skeletons and ghosts roam the halls – all in brick form, of course. For the young (and young at heart) there is a mess-free alternative to pumpkin carving where you can create your own unique Lego version and a Halloween Hunt to complete around the attraction with prizes on offer. And don’t forget, if you visit on 31st October, under 11’s in fancy dress enter free of charge!
LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, The Trafford Centre, 1st October – 1st November
6. The Printworks
Halloween lovers are in for a truly terrifying All Hallows Week at The Printworks. All ghosts, goblins, and ghouls are invited, fake blood and all, to a full week of events culminating on Sunday 1st November when zombies from all over Manchester are invited to assemble for a mass Zombie Reunion. The free event will be supported by the NHS Blood and Transplant who will be holding a horror hospital where attendees can register to be a blood donor and find out how to give blood.
The Printworks, 27 Withy Grove, Manchester M4 2BS
7. Manchester Museum Spooky Bat Tours
See different types of bats with the help of local experts from the South Lancashire Bat Group who will be hosting family-friendly talk, so visitors of all ages can learn about the animal that’s became a symbol of the season. There’s also the chance for kids to get crafty and make their own paper bat to take away.
Manchester Museum, 29th October, 5pm-7.30pm
8. The Milton Club
Head over to The Milton Club this Halloween for a sophisticated night with no fancy dress – just a classy evening for those who want to celebrate the traditional night in style. For the themed night, The Milton will be pulling out all the stops with two limited edition cocktails to try – the Midnight Martini and the Dead Red Zombie. The evening starts around 11pm with usual resident DJs Justin Fry, Vinnie B and Lemmi playing RNB & classics to keep everyone dancing all the way until 4am.
244 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4BQ
9. Manchester Lockdown
Well-known local faces including local superhero Captain Manchester will be locked in the original underground vaults beneath the Palace Hotel in the company of local ghosthunter Stuart Marshall, trying to find out what is behind the recent spate of unexplained bumps in the night in this city centre location. “Manchester has a very unique ghostly history and The Palace certainly has its fair share of stories,” says Stuart. “There is clearly something worth investigating and we are excited to have been brought on board and find out what’s been going on.” You can help free your favourite ghost hunter by making a donation to www.forevermanchester.com, the charity that funds and supports thousands of community projects across Manchester.
10. Darkness and Light: Exploring the Gothic
Discover the gothic traditions, architecture and literature that have contributed the creation of the most iconic monsters and symbols that have come to be synonymous with Halloween. ‘Darkness and Light’ is your chance to examine historic texts in the wonderfully gothic setting of the John Rylands Library.
John Rylands Library, Deansgate, 16 July -30 December, 10am-5pm
11. Paws Spooktacular
Furry friends don’t have to miss out of Halloween celebrations with Paws’ sponsored 5km dog walk. There are treats for four and two-legged attendees with demonstrations from the Northern Bytes Flyball Team, the chance to try agility training and street food stands to refuel after your walk.
Heaton Park, 31st October, 11am onwards
12. Ghostly Tales in the Vaults
It’s not just filmmakers that can weave tales to send shivers down your spine this Halloween! Grab a pint, take a seat and enjoy spooky, eerie and gruesome tales from local writers and performers.
The King’s Arms, Bloom Street, 31st October, 8pm
13. Illuminaughty Lost City
Bowlers Exhibition Centre will be transformed into a Lost City packed full of performances spread across themed areas like ‘The Temple’, ‘Atlantis’ and the ‘Oasis’ with each area featuring its own music style: electro, drum and bass, and dub are just some of the musical tastes catered to and this huge indoor festival. But it’s not just about the music, acrobats, a craft fair, and graffiti and arts exhibitions also descend on the Lost City this Halloween.
Bowlers Exhibition Centre, Longbridge Road, Trafford Park, 31st October, 8pm
14. The Fitzgerald
A very special Night of the Bone Shakers Halloween spectacular with DJ Tobin Lochrie, a special Halloween electric swing and dance set and fantastic horror movie visuals. Spooky cocktails and concoctions are on offer at 2 for £10, entry is free, plus free ‘brain haemorrhage.’
11 Stevenson Square, Manchester M1 1DB
15. Rave From The Grave
You’re invited for Creepy Cocktails & Spooky Shooters at Solomons Café Bar in Withington this All Hallow’s Eve with their special RAVE FROM THE GRAVE event. They’re giving away a £50 bar tab for best dressed and downstairs; hip hop and old school house.
Sometimes the scariest things come from below… Join in if you dare.
447-449 Wilmslow Road, Withington M20 4AN
Saturday 31St October, 7pm – 2am