Overwhelmed by the options for this year's Halloween? Let us help! Here are the most spooktacular events on offer in Edinburgh and Glasgow
Dying to dress up in costumes and party, explore the cities' ghost stories, watch the best horror films or introduce the traditions to the little ones? Both Edinburgh and Glasgow have plenty of events to choose from, the only question is whether or not you dare to take them on …
The Edinburgh Horror Festival is already running with over a dozen of book, music, and comedy-related events as well as storytelling sessions. Highlights include an SFX skills workshop to ensure your Halloween make-up is extra gruesome, Rayna Destruction's solo drag show Scream, Queen and the Edinburgh Horror Show, a variety night at Scotland's Most Haunted Pub. Feeling even more adventurous? The annual Samhuinn Fire Festival (Thu 31 Oct) celebrates Celtic New Year with fire displays, acrobatics and lashings of body paint. Head up to Calton Hill to witness the forces of Summer and Winter do battle.
What better way to celebrate the freakiest night of the year than to descend underground and listen to scary stories, and maybe even face some ghosts yourself? Mercat Tours' Halloween Underground edition runs multiple times over three days between Thu 31 Oct and Sat 2 Nov and uncovers Edinburgh's most haunted vaults. Are you ready to relive the horrors of the past? If you are up for something even more frightening there is also a series of midnight special tours beginning at 11pm running each night. Walk through the Blair Street Underground expecting to hear the goriest stories. This show is strictly for adults only.
Looking for an Edinburgh tour that is suitable for kids? Halloween Tales at Trinity House has got you covered from Wed 30–Thu 31 Oct. Discover the mysterious and historical Trinity House and make your way through the sixteenth century vaults. The tours beginning at 4.30pm are specifically kid-friendly; they are suitable for anyone aged over five. The sessions running from 7pm are for a more mature audience with the age restriction set at 12 years.
The Botanics in Edinburgh also host a Halloween Trail for children between Mon 28 Oct and Thu 31 Oct. A fun and moderately spooky walking tour where kids can look for a good garden witch or a friendly cat hiding in the garden.
Glasgow people, fear not as we have haunted tours for you, too. Make your way to the Glasgow Cathedral by 7pm between Wed 30 Oct and Sat 2 Nov to explore the dark side of the city. This spooky yet highly informative walking tour will invite you to step back into the past and learn all about the most notorious criminals Glasgow has ever seen.
On Halloween itself Silk Thursdays & Dirty Disko team up at Liquid Room for Haunted Church and Hectors annual All Hallows' Eve shindig moves to Mash House with sets from Brame & Hamo, Astro and HWTS. Over at the Bongo Club Midnight Bass are hosting a Halloween Jungle & DnB Special for the third year in a row. Guests include Mrs Magoo, Anikonik and Keep It Rolling.
Glasgow's O2 Academy celebrate hard dance at their Hardstyle Superhero Party featuring Brennan Heart, Darren Style and Sub Zero Project (Fri 1 Nov) while Classic Grand is strictly Reggaeton music all night (Fri 1 Nov). SWG3 hosts a Maximum Pressure Halloween special with Helena Hauff, Paula Temple, Ryan Elliott and SLAM on Fri 1 Nov. Stereo's Stranger Things homage, Stranger Sounds, offers up the best of the 80s plus electric sounds from the past to the present with lights and lasers. Hopefully the Mind Flayer isn't on the guest list.
Don't feel like walking, exploring or dancing but still want to take advantage of the spooky season? Why not go and see a show? Edinburgh Dungeon has a brand new show, The White Lady: Bloody Revenge running every day until Sun 3 Nov. Or laugh in the face of fear at Gilded Balloon Basement's Halloween Special with Evelyn Mok and Liam Withnail (Fri 1 & Sat 2 Nov).
But if you are specifically looking for something more Halloween-appropriate, head to the Edinburgh Playhouse to catch the final dates of the The Rocky Horror Show 2019 UK tour between Mon 28 Oct and Sat 2 Nov or visit the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall, Glasgow for a drag retelling of Hocus Pocus. The Vesta Girls: Hocus Bogus is on stage on Thu 31 Oct. At the Traverse, The Monstrous Heart is a thrilling and bloody play that takes direct influence from Frankenstein, and you can catch it until Sat 2 Nov.
What better way to spend a frightening night than sitting in complete darkness and getting lost in the world of horror? Edinburgh Filmhouse screens Der Golem on Thu 31 Oct, while in Glasgow you can catch The Wicker Man (Thu 31 Oct) at GFT and Mandy (Fri 1 Nov). Over at ROST Point, explore the queer subversive potential of horror in Point Body (Wed 30 Oct). The night features short films exploring body horror, subversion, transgression and eroticism. Meanwhile, check out Northern Ballet's take on the dark tale of the blood-thirsty count in their performance of Dracula, in cinemas for one night only on Thu 31 Oct.
Hosted by Beltane Fire Society, the Samhuinn Fire Festival celebrates the Celtic New Year, marking the end of summer and welcoming the onset of winter. The change of seasons is brought to life through wild drumming, fire-dancing, acrobatics, and vibrant costumes.
Bram Stoker's timeless Gothic thriller embodies the struggle to break taboos, resist temptation and stop the unknown outside becoming the enemy within. Choreographed by David Nixon to music by Schnittke, Rachmaninov, Pärt and Daugherty, and presented by Northern Ballet.
Don’t feel like giving your sweeties to some kids who’ve just cut eye holes out of a sheet? Hate bobbing for apples? Can’t be bothered trying to papier maché a last minute costume? Well then we have the weekend for you! No tricks here, only a whole load of treats. This Halloween weekend we’ve got Liam Withnail, Evelyn…
A Drag retelling of a Halloween Classic. The Anderston Sisters were accused and executed for witchcraft and 300 years later they are brought back by a virgin (it took 300 years to find one on the Trongate) for one Halloween night. Full cast details coming soon. Doors open: 7pm Show Starts: 8pm Tickets: Limited Early Bird…
In light of updated Scottish Government advice regarding Coronavirus we have taken the decision to close public access to our staffed properties and our events have been postponed until further notice. If you would like to keep up to date about our events please sign up to our newsletter. Discover the darker side of…