Whether you want to call it ‘creepy Christmas’ or just an opportunity to party, there is no denying that Halloween in the city is getting bigger and bigger.

Apparently, more people wear fancy dress for Halloween in Manchester than anywhere else. Considering that the UK is set spend £6.9 billion on Halloween, why not push the boat out?

Halloween in the City is a signature example of why Manchester makes Halloween extra special. Organised by Manchester BID across a whole host of city centre spaces and retailers, this is a wicked series of events on 27th and 28th October 2018 – including a packed main stage in Exchange Square, buildings glowing green, a trick or treat trail and plenty of offers.

The decorations go up before the weekend too (you might have seen the pumpkin lanterns already) and there’s even the chance to get involved in a world record attempt on Saturday 27th October to gather the most ‘bedsheet ghosts’ in one place. Register online to take part.

Here at I Love MCR, we’ve gone on our own spooky search for the best offers, events and parties to celebrate. Feast your eyes on this little lot.

Halloween in the City

A petrifyingly packed series of events and offers to celebrate Halloween. Not only are there pop-up events throughout the month, but 27-28 October sees the city centre taken over with a spooky selection of things to enjoy. Junkyard Golf Club will be bringing their ‘Fun of the FEARground’ golf course to Market Street, there will be a roaming performance of ‘The Strolling Bones’ by Walk the Plank and plenty more. Exchange Square will be home to a main stage packed with free events, including The Spooky Pooch Costume Show, CBeebies and CBBC Spooky Specials and The Freaky Festival featuring live band Baked Ala Ska. Over in St Ann’s Square you’ll find The Enchanted Forest, a Magic School and even a Pumpkin Patch play zone. These are just some examples of a huge selection, with many family friendly features and offers.

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Halloween at Selfridges Exchange Square

A makeup session from an expert – with a spooky twist! Join Selfridges Exchange Square for a frighteningly good evening in-store with Manchester make-up artist Samantha Helen, who will share her tips and tricks for creating Spooktacular Halloween beauty looks. Enjoy welcome drinks and sweet treats with a terrifyingly terrific twist too. Tickets are available online.

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The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience this Halloween

The blood baron is coming to Crystal Maze! This creepy addition is coming to the Manchester maze for Halloween night (31st October) during the 8pm to 9.15pm shows. So get booked in at this Old Granada Studios attraction and be involved! During these special shows the Blood Baron will be lurking in the shadows of the maze and creeping up behind you when you least expect it, plus an even more challenging gaming experience. Dare you take it on? This is all in addition to the challenges within the Maze’s Aztec, Medieval, Industrial and Futuristic themed zones. All visits must be booked in advance by visiting the website.

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Halloween G&T Trees at The Living Room

Enjoy a seasonal tipple at The LIving Room this Halloween. The team have tweaked their signature cocktail trees for the spooky season and are offering a limited edition Halloween tree from now up to 31st. Costing £55, treat yourself to 9 pumpkin, poison apple and blackcurrant flavoured G&Ts.

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Saved by the ‘90s Halloween Party

Naughty ‘90s tunes, themed décor, devilish drinks – including cocktail specials – and even a ‘Zombierobics’ session – celebrate Halloween early with a Saved by the ‘90s Halloween Party on Friday 26th October at Manchester’s historic venue The Deaf Institute, 11pm-3am. There will be ‘90s tunes spinning all night including the likes of The Spice Girls, Britney, Beastie Boys, Whitney Houston and much more, plus the inspiring Manchester fitness instructor Fiona Ledgard will be leading a unique ‘zombierobics’ dance session from 11.30pm – midnight. Get into fancy dress and get your freak on!

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Horror-filled escape rooms at Breakout

If you’re more into tricks than treats on Halloween, Breakout’s horror-themed escape rooms should serve you well. There are four to choose from: the creepy SAW-inspired room ‘Captured’, ‘Disturbed’ where you are a SWAT team investigating the disappearance of a police officer at a seemingly abandoned hospital, Vacancy – with creepy motel vibes are reminiscent of the Enfield Haunting series, and Forsaken – the hardest room at Breakout – which channels Cabin in the Woods vibes and comes complete with a ouija board.

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Scary cellar screenings at King Street Townhouse

Film fans can head to King Street Townhouse’s converted underground cellar screening room this month to catch seriously intimate showings of some classic scary films over Halloween. Alongside timeless Halloween showings of IT and The Shining, catch a special 40th-anniversary screening of Halloween plus animated, family-friendly screenings of Coco, Monster House and Hotel Transylvania.

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Halloween at intu Trafford Centre

The Wicked cast members will be making a special appearance on The Orient stage for shoppers over Halloween weekend

It’s a huge Halloween spectacular at intu Trafford Centre, which will be transformed with decorations, deals and activities. The annual intu Trick or Treat family event is taking place on Thursday 25th October 10am-2pm and Friday 26th October 10am-2pm when children can pick up their free special Halloween bucket and explore the centre for specially decorated pumpkins with treats up for grabs. And that’s not all! WICKED cast members will appear on the main stage in The Orient to perform a selection of songs at various times over the weekend of Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th October, whilst costumes from the show will be on display in the Main Dome from Sunday 28th October for three weeks. Shoppers are in for a frightful treat too, as certain stores will be offering great deals at specific times throughout the holidays. See their website for more details. The intu Trafford is also home to a number of top visitor attractions, for example LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre, which is getting into the Halloween spirit with a Brick or Treat event including new spooky activities from 20th October – 4th November, with free entry to all children who attend the event in Halloween costume. The whole family can also explore the scary seas with a visit to Ascarium at SEA LIFE running from 20th October – 4th November, and Paradise Island Adventure Golf’s annual Pumpkin Hunt will be running between October 22nd – 31st October.

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Halloween at Virtual Hideout

Virtual Hideout has a range of immersive horror experiences on offer for those looking to give themselves a good fright this Halloween. Game options include the Exorcist, Paranormal Activity and Face Your Fears amongst others, allowing players a chance to test their limits. Not for the faint-hearted, these games are immersive and can feel highly realistic.

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Wolf of Wall Street party at Impossible

Impossible Manchester are throwing not one but two parties this Halloween. On 31st, they will team up with Viper kick off their new stock market themed night, The Trading Floor, complete with drinks prices that change throughout the night and, when the market crashes, it’s party time! Manchester’s seen nothing like this before. Get down from 6pm on the 31st October as the ghosts of Wall Street come out to play on Peter Street.

And on Saturday 27th, they are putting on a Casa Loca Halloween Special. Prepare to be shocked and scared with full stage shows, live performances set to terrify you and immersive acts hiding around every corner. This Halloween they’ve transformed the Theatre Club into a Nightmare on Peter Street and are encouraging full fancy dress – the scarier the better.

Halloween at Flip Out Manchester

Manchester’s massive trampoline attraction Flip Out is putting on two special events for Halloween, on the evening of the 31st October. Their ‘Pumpkin Party’ is a brilliant family-friendly two hour bounce from 5pm – 7pm for £15, which includes a free blood slush, themed fun and games in the party room and a free monthly pass awarded for best costume – ideal for guests aged 7 and under. Plus, for older visitors (aged 8+ recommended) there is even more fear factor thanks to the ‘Flip Out Freak Out’ which is a two-hour bounce from 7pm – 9pm for £15, which includes a free blood slush, plenty of themed fun and games and a free monthly pass for the best costume too. Availability is limited so book now to avoid disappointment.

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Halloween Spooktacular

From the team behind The Mirror Ball comes Halloween Spooktacular – the ultimate glamorous Halloween party where fancy dress is compulsory. This extravagant and eerie event takes place in the atmospheric basement of the Abode Hotel in the city centre on Wednesday 31st October – with all the money raised going to Forever Manchester. Masks, makeup and flamboyant dress are expected. It’s worth looking the part too, as previous events have seen a celebrity guest list bring their best from Helen Flanagan as Tinkerbell to Faye Brookes as a zombie and Gareth Gates as a pumpkin! The event will start at 8pm running until 1am. Tickets are £10 plus booking fee and can be bought online.

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20 stories of terror

Things are set to get spooky at no.1 Spinningfields 20 stories on 28th October with a special four-course black out dinner curated by Aiden Byrne. Guests will have just candlelight and the glow of the Manchester skyline to guide them through. Come Halloween itself,  the sky-high restaurant and bar will host a themed party featuring a giant pumpkin patch on their terrace and a live band playing spooky covers. The team will also be serving up a special Halloween cocktail, Killing Me Sloe-ly, made with Sloe gin, Solerno blood orange liqueur, apple liqueur, black walnut bitters, blood orange puree and vanilla foam with dehydrated raspberry powder.

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Filmfear 2018

HOME and Film4 present the third annual FilmFear season of horror films, extreme cinema, cult classics and special guest appearances running from Friday 26 – Wednesday 31 October at HOME itself. This includes the much-talked-about film Border – co-written by the author of Let the Right One In- kicking off the season on 26 October. The six-day event will feature eight new films in total, as well as a massive range of others. With new films including Videoman, Let the Corpses Tan and One Cut of the Dead as well as classics such as They Live and The Evil Dead, this is an event horror film fans will love. See the HOME website for screening times and details.

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Halloween experience at Victoria Baths

Watch creepy classic films inside the historic location of Manchester’s Grade II listed Victoria Baths. Events company The Village Screen are bringing showings of Jaws, The Lost Boys and The Witches to this beautiful former bath house – with Jaws on Thursday 25 (doors at 6.30pm, ages 16+), vampire thriller The Lost Boys on the 26 (doors at 6.30pm, ages 16+), and on Saturday 27 a showing of family-friendly (but equally freaky), The Witches, earlier in the day with doors at 4.30pm. Fancy dress is encouraged and ahead of the screenings The Village Screen’s DJ will be spinning top Halloween classics. Plus there will be street food offerings from local vendors and a bustling bar. Tickets can be booked in advance – highly recommended as this is set to be popular!

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Day of the dead party (and feasting menu) at Wahaca

Thomasina Miers will be cooking a very special supper club on Friday 2nd Nov in celebration of Mexican festival Day of the Dead at Wahaca Manchester. Expect a five-course feast including passion fruit cured trout ceviche, a very special seasonal game picadillo, and chargrilled Riverford Organic squash. Can’t make it? Wahaca are also running a special feasting menu in the restaurant for one week only.

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Snazaroo face painting and more at Waterstones Deansgate

Fun and freaky face painting plus spooky tales for all the family! The nation’s leading face paint brand Snazaroo has teamed up with Waterstones to get families in the Halloween spirit with a free, spooktacular event taking place in Waterstones Manchester Deansgate on Saturday 27th October, 11am – 4pm. This will include an array of colourful activities from fun face painting thanks to the Snazaroo experts to classic Halloween stories and a series of readings. For those wanting to guarantee a place at a particular story reading, they can pre-register online.

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Halloween at Treetop Adventure Golf

The ultimate indoor city centre golf course – Treetop Golf – is putting on a Halloween spook-tacular. From 22nd October, get along to this great attraction on the second floor of The Printworks and feast your eyes on their haunted jungle décor as the Amazon rainforest interior sees some spooky additions. Plus there’s free face painting every afternoon from Monday – Friday, free Halloween themed arts and crafts, mystery goody bags containing tricks or treats for all visitors – and throughout half term week it will open an hour earlier, from 10am. You can also enjoy Treetop’s own Amazon village market bar and café, featuring some Halloween special drinks too – Blackberry Beetlejuice cocktail with rum, cranberry, blackberry and lime, or the Vampire Crush mocktail with Sprite, ginger beer and grenadine.

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Stockport’s first ever Halloween Dog Show

On Saturday 27th October from 11am – 4pm, families and dogs are encouraged to wear their best Halloween attire as Stockport’s Merseyway shopping centre will be hosting a special Halloween Dog Show. This will include 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes awarded live on stage for Spookiest Costume, Gruesome Twosome (best costume for dog and owner), Trick for a Treat (best dog trick) and Hubble Bubble get into Trouble (cheekiest dog). Visitors can also catch exciting shows from Britain’s Got Talent finalists Lucy Heath and her dog Trip Hazard throughout the day, plus there are plenty of Halloween workshops, dog-themed freebies, shopping opportunities and even a Halloween trail. Those who wish to take part must register online – so hurry, as places are limited.

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4-course pumpkin and whiskey tasting dinner at Asha’s

Asha’s head chef Ashwani has taken the iconic Jack-O-Lantern fruit and bubbled, toiled and troubled to create a masterpiece 4-course taster menu to celebrate the spooky season. Paired with Chivas Regal whisky and pumpkin cocktails like Beetlejuice and Nightmare on Peter Street, this accomplished tasting menu is available for one night only as part of a special Halloween dinner, taking place on Wednesday 31st October. Tickets cost £30 per person and include 4 courses and 2 cocktails.

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A ‘Ginema’ experience at Wood

Wood Manchester, the award-winning First Street restaurant owned by Masterchef winner Simon Wood, is offering an exciting dining experience this Halloween which is extra ideal for gin fans as they team up with Didsbury Gin once again to create a first-class Ginema experience. This means on the 31st October, ticket holders can enjoy an evening with lots of delicious food, gin and a private screening of the original Ghostbusters film in the private dining room. Highlights include being welcomed with a Didsbury Gin & Tonic and canapés, a main course from Simon Wood’s new seasonal menu, plus coffee and petit fours after the film. The event will start at 6.30pm and tickets are available for £39 per person by emailing reservations@woodmanchester.com

Shoryu Ramen

Shoryu Ramen is celebrating Halloween with a spooktacular three course Halloween-themed menu, just £20 when dining in at the Japanese Restaurant in Piccadilly from Monday 29th October. This includes a choice of Shoryu’s ‘Ghost’ bun (classic char siu BBQ pork belly or the petrifying Pumpkin Croquette fillings available), plus ‘Dracula’s Ramen’ for main and a dessert of Witch’s Hat Ice Cream. If that wasn’t enough, there’s a brand-new cocktail menu for autumn too, featuring seasonal Japanese ingredients, with delightfully-named drinks like ‘Tokyo Fall’ featuring a winning coffee and rye whiskey combo.

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Gothic Glamour Party at The Anthologist

If you’re on the hunt for a glamorous and Gothic Halloween party to hit up this year, look no further than The Anthologist on St Peter’s Square. They’ve teamed up with champagne dons Veuve Clicquot, so expect the bubbly to be free-flowing. The first 100 people to RSVP get a complimentary glass on arrival, and the first 10 groups who book an area for 10 or more will get a bottle thrown in for free.

Curious concoctions at The Malmaison

Malmaison Manchester has created some curious cocktail specials in honour of the spooky season. For a limited time only, you can quench your thirst with a special ‘Black’ Margarita (made with Olmeca Tequila, Blue Curaçao, Chambord and lime juice), Corpse Reviver #0 (Beefeater 24 Gin, Lillet Blanc and a dash of Absinthe), or Mezcal Asylum (Calvados brandy, Mezcal, Chartreuse and lashings of dry ice). Available 24th October to 7th November.

The Green

Book in to play golf with yourself and three mates at The Green between Monday, October 29th and Friday, November 2nd and get a free Halloween Goodie Bag and sharing platter. Simply call their booking team on 0161 228 0681 to book your group in, or send an email.

Day of the Dead Party at The Refinery

On Friday 2nd November, head to The Refinery for Day of the Dead inspired cocktails, treats and live music. Gather your headdresses and glam up with paint ready to party into the night.

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The Footage

The Footage, the  popular drinking den on Grosvenor Street in Manchester, is conjuring up a ‘Perfect Storm’ ahead of this year’s Halloween Screamfest 2.0 – as it will transform itself into a house of horrors for a special ‘Hallo-week’. There will be special drinks including a Kraken Black Spiced Rum cocktail, plus a Halloween party atmosphere on the weekends before and after the Halloween date (fancy dress is encouraged, of course). Their Halloween is super-hot though – literally – as on the 31st October hellishly-hot wings will be just 25p each, courtesy of the aptly named, Hallo-wing Wednesday.

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