The days are getting shorter, the leaves are falling, and pretty soon monsters will be appearing across the Manchester skyline. That can only mean one thing: Halloween is almost upon us.
So dust off your broomstick and witch’s hat, rinse those vampire fangs and start practising your make-up skills for this year’s spooktacular line-up of things to do in Manchester for Halloween.
Ascarium at Sealife Manchester
October 12th-November 3rd
Popular family attraction Sealife Centre will be hosting a range of frightfully exciting events throughout October including the arrival of the attraction’s creepiest residents to date. Getting kids in the Halloween spirit early, they are inviting the brave to explore the ocean depths and discover spooky creatures lurking beneath the surface. Help the resident Sea Witch protect all the attractions creatures from a terrible curse and watch spell-binding performances from mermaids and giant sea turtles. Mermaid Scaretacular is a new family-friendly event for Halloween 2019. Tickets are £12pp and must be booked in advance online.
The Exorcist at Manchester Opera House
Widely considered one of the scariest movies of all time, The Exorcist saw audiences petrified to the point of passing out when it was released in 1973 and went on to become one of the top ten highest grossing films of all time. Fans of the film now have the chance to see if it’s as scary in the theatre as it is on film with this new stage production direct from London’s West End featuring the voice of Sir Ian McKellen as the demon.
For the Love of Horror
For the Love of Horror is a scare attraction and convention at Manchester’s Bowlers Exhibition Centre which features the biggest ever reunion of the cast of The Lost Boys with autograph and photograph opportunities available. You can also enjoy live Q&A panels, terrifying scare attractions, a funfair, prosthetic makeup demonstrations, horror film set builds and a mad monster after party. Tickets start from £25.
Ghost Hunt at Antwerp Mansion
Ever fancied a real life ghost hunt? Former nightclub Antwerp Mansion was featured on Most Haunted earlier this year. Unexplained flashes of light, eerie noises, smashing glass, tapping and humming are just some of the creepy experiences reported by staff over the years. Dare to find out for yourself? This neo-gothic building in Rusholme is hosting a ghost hunt for fright-seekers between 25th October and 31st October. Tickets cost £25 and include hot drinks. Guests are welcome to bring their own cameras or ghost hunting equipment.
Halloween Screenings at Victoria Baths
25th October-1st November
The Village Screen is transforming Manchester’s old Victorian water palace Victoria Baths into a scary hollow of ghosts and ghouls with a selection of spooky favorites and creepy horrors. On 31st October, they will be showing The Conjuring, a terrifying paranormal horror film based on a true story. And on Friday 1st November, they will be showing something a little more light hearted – the classic 80s film Beetlejuice. Tickets start from £16.
Halloween in the City
A giant rooftop monster invasion, Trick or Treat trail and a skeleton parade. Spooky screenings, a mad science castle, creepy carnival and a poisonous maze should have you quaking in your boots through the month of October. Head into Manchester if you dare for a weekend celebration filled with frights and delights across the city. With the spookiest line up to date, Manchester will be filled with horrifyingly fun activities the whole family can enjoy.
The mind-bending inflatable monster, courtesy of Bristol-based artist Filthy Luker, will return from Friday 25th October. Be on the lookout and beware as they peep from windows, hide in trees and even climb buildings.
Mad Science Castle
Meet Manchester’s mad-for-it scientist, Dr Graphena Mancenstein and her monster Liam in the ruins of their exploded Mad Science Castle. Don’t be afraid to take a walk through the grounds and explore the poisonous maze, where you can expect creeping vines, enchanted statues, monstrous creatures and deadly, walking, talking bushes too.
Grimm Rita’s Creepy Carnival
Try not to tremor with terror as Grimm Rita’s Carnival takes spectral twists and turns along New Cathedral Street. This family-friendly freak show will be bursting with ghoulish delights including street performers, sideshow stalls and a traditional Helter Skelter.
Trick or Treat Trail
Prepare to scream with excitement on the Trick or Treat Trail as you discover trick or treat houses scatter across the city, with a monster in each waiting to greet you.
The Strolling Bones
Dont miss out on the bone-jangling performance with The Strolling Bones featuring skeleton puppets, stilt walkers, unicycle performers and a five piece band with dancers led by the terrifying Grimm Rita.
Howl’oween at Hatch
Looking for an alternative Halloween party where you can bring your pooch? Hatch have got you covered. For the second year running, they will be hosting a Halloween party for hounds over in its fabulous dog-friendly space. The award winning food, drink and retail destination is inviting you to bring your furry friend between 12pm – 6pm on Sunday 27th October. Fancy dress is, of course, essential – and there will be a Spooky Pooch competition when the best dressed dog will be crowned and win a stay at dog-friendly hotel The Principal.
Spooky Pooch Show Spinningfields
Because one fancy dress show for pooches just isn’t enough, dogs and their owners will get to show off their spookiest attire again over at The Oast House in Spinningfields. Lucky winners will be awarded all kinds of goodies including a £75 Spinningfields gift card, £50 bar tab at The Oast House, and pupcakes from Hey Little Cupcake. Register your pooch to be in with a chance of winning or if you just fancy going to see some adorable furries in frocks, get down to Spinningfields on 27th October.
FilmFear at HOME
29th October-3rd November
Nothing beats a good scary movie around Halloween and HOME is certainly making that happen. This Halloween partnership between HOME and Film4 combines exciting new talent, horror classics and offbeat cult gems to offer a mouth-watering range of thrills and chills including screenings of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, Come to Daddy starring Elijah Wood and Daniel Isn’t Real starring Patrick Schwarzenegger as an imaginary friend. Tickets start from £9.
Halloween Flip Out
Manchester’s massive trampoline attraction Flip Out is putting on two special events for Halloween – a Spooky Circus for younger ghouls from 5pm-7pm followed by a Carnival of Chaos from 7pm-9pm for big kids. (12+). Both sessions include a free Halloween-themed slush drink. A perfect, family friendly way to spend the scariest night of the year.
Manchester River Cruise – Halloween Special
Let Manchester River Cruises whish you down the waterways on Hallows Eve with a spooktacular event “The Great River Show”. Enjoy a night of your favourite show tunes from The Greatest Showman to Mamma Mia and everything in between. And cruise crooner Josh Hindle will be channelling his inner Frankenstein and belting out some of your Halloween favourites to get you rocking the boat as the city slides by. Tickets cost £30 and include a glass of prosecco on arrival and canapes during the show. There is a fully stocked bar on board and table service throughout the evening.
Spooktacular weekend at East Lancashire Railway
31st October-2nd November
Do you dare face the East Lancashire Railways ghost trains? Climb aboard for a journey you and your little monsters will never forget and prepare for 90 minutes of frights and fun. Solve the chilling mystery of The Golden Leg and meet the Scream Team – Veronica the Witch, Zombie Bob and Count Brian the train vampire. Every child on board will receive a free gruesome goody bag. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
Bongo’s Bingo – Halloween Special
Dust off the cobwebs and get your best bingo dabber at the ready as Bongo’s Bingo come through with a massive Halloween special this autumn. Go and rave, wave and misbehave as the Albert Hall, one of Manchester’s oldest and spookiest venues, opens its doors for not one but two nights of Halloween madness. The first date sold out in just one day but tickets are still available for 1st November. Expect spooky surprises, themed prizes and of course a good ol game of bingo all mixed into one at the spectacular Freak Show. Fancy dress is highly encouraged.
Maloween Party Night at Malmaison
Friday 1st November
Celebrate Halloween at Manchester’s Malmaison Maloween Party. Enjoy a devilishly delicious grand buffet, arrival drink, DJ and dancing until late. Fancy dress is optional but, as always, highly encouraged. Tickets are £30 per person.
Warehouse Project19 Halloween Special
Celebrate Halloween at The Warehouse Project in the company of some of dance music’s finest names. BBC Radio 1 Dj Annie Mac is returning to WHP19 to curate a Halloween party with some of her favourite artists. Over in the new location at Mayfield Depot you can expect performances from Green Velvet, Denis Sulta, Rebuke, Nite Fleit, Jossy Mitsu just to name a few.