It’s that time of the year again when the leaves change colour, the weather gets colder, and every other student has a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte in their hand. Halloween is just around the corner and, whether or not you have your costume ready (you can find some face paint ideas here), there’s plenty to do around Manchester this spooky season.
1. Scare City Experience (30th September-6th November)
For thrill-seekers, this 2-hour experience at the abandoned Camelot theme park will get your heart racing. Explore Knightmare Alley, the Forest of Fears and the Medieval Murder Zone while being chased around by live actors. Try to survive this outdoor attraction and book your tickets here (selling fast!).
2. SPOOKFEST @The Trafford Centre (14th-30th October)
Feel like getting the hair scared off of your chest? Perfect! Manchester’s very own Trafford Centre has come through yet again with SPOOKFEST after the success of Summer Daze this year. Packed full of carnival rides, ghost trains, movie screenings and more, this is the perfect place to get the fright of your life. Not only that, but you can book tickets for an exclusive circus show for just £9.99.
NOTE: This is a very popular event, so pre-booking is advised to avoid disappointment.
3. The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience With the Cryptic Fortune Teller (17th-31st October)
Are you a problem-solver? Take part in this Halloween-themed high-stake riddle-solving game run by the Crystal Maze LIVE Experience. If you win before time runs out, you and your time will get your very own pumpkin crystal. This game requires teamwork, so be sure to bring along your friends to beat the clock. Click here to book your tickets.
4. Halloween Wooonderwalk through Manchester (26th October)
At 4 pm on the 26th of October, the University of Manchester will host its very own spooky city tour. The tour guides of Invisible City will lead you around, showcasing the historical monuments and social projects in Manchester, focusing particularly on its famous music scene. Prices start at £3.00 and you can purchase one for yourself from the University of Manchester’s student union website.
5. Haunted Manchester Tour (throughout October)
Take a tour around Manchester while solving the case of Loky, a Manchester student that was drowned in the canal by the mysterious “Pusher”. As a ghost, Loky has left 13 clues to help you put together the circumstances of his death. Solve the case and help other Manchester residents evade the Pusher while exploring the creepiest parts of the city. You can book your tickets here for £9.99.
6. Halloween in the City (25th-30th October)
Skate Manchester (21st-31st October)
With prices from £12.50, you can take part in Manchester’s very own fancy-dress skating session at Cathedral Gardens. You can buy your tickets here from visitmanchester.com to grab a place on the “spooky skate path” and face a terrifying (but probably not that terrifying) monster. This event is taking place from the 21st-31st of October between 11 am and 8 pm. If you’re looking for something to do this Halloween and you don’t drink, this could be the perfect thing for you!
MCR Monsters (25th-31st October)
This year, the Manchester Monsters will return to Manchester city centre. There’ll be 14 of them scattered around buildings for you to find, and you can share pictures of them online with #MCRMonsters. Luckily for students and frugal money-savers, this event is completely free (considering it’s more of a display than an actual event). Take your friends around the city and explore while searching for all the inflatables. For freshers, this year it’s the perfect opportunity for you to take a trip around Manchester outside of the university campus.
Dr Dee’s Portal to Another World (28th-30th October)
Studiotech and Treacle Studio have partnered up this year to bring you a supernatural light show. St Ann’s Square will be transformed into a light festival for you to celebrate Halloween this year. Dr Dee, the court scientist and magician of Queen Elizabeth I, will lead you around this interactive light display. You can find the opening times here to take part.
Monsters Rock! Music Festival (29th-30th October)
The Monsters Rock Music Festival is chock-full of stuff to do, from face painting to carnival rides, all alongside live performances. If you’re in the mood for some ghostly tunes or to take part in a costume contest, this event is for you. You can find more information about specific details (such as the screaming competition and Bat Out of Hell air guitar contest) here.
Fancy Dress Challenge (29th-30th October)
Another event taking place as part of Halloween in the City is the Team Trick vs Team Treat costume contest. You can get your wristband from Market Street, Exchange Street or Exchange Square to take part. This is a part of the Monsters Rock Music festival, so with a wristband, you’ll be able to join in with dance-offs, costume catwalks and more. At the end of each day, there’s a glow-in-the-dark disco taking place in Exchange Square which you also have access to as a part of this competition.
Monsters Rock! Party Procession (29th-30th October)
Walk the Plank, an arts organisation based in Salford, is putting on its annual parade of monsters. Both Saturday and Sunday, at 12 pm, 2 pm, and 3 pm, the procession will roam the streets of Manchester, complete with stilt walkers, a five-piece band and monster puppets. The best part? It’s free! You can see the parade for yourself on Market Street and around Manchester Arndale.
7. Cargo’s Trick or Treat Takeover (31st October)
From anywhere between £4-£10, depending on your ticket type, you can have the fright of your life at Cargo’s Trick or Treat Takeover on the 31st of October. You can purchase your tickets from Fatsoma here. Prepare for live performances from celebrity guest stars and a night of cheap drinks with your mates (from just £2), perfect for students especially.
Well, that’s it! There’s our list of the best Halloween events in Manchester this year. If any of these events sounds creepy enough to you, why not try them? Make sure you have your costume ready and bring along a couple of friends to celebrate with this spooky season.