Where to get your ghoul on when 31 October rolls round
Of all the inventive and entertaining events on offer across central Scotland to coincide with Halloween this year, the opportunity to ‘dress as a plague victim’ at Night of the Black Death (Almond Valley, Livingston, Fri 31 Oct) is surely one of the most enticing. Described as part guessing game, part murder mystery and part game of tig, it’s a role play event for families with older children. There will also be further scary outdoor events going on at Fright Night (Linlithgow Palace, Fri 24 & Sat 25 Oct and Fri 31 Oct & Sat 1 Nov) and at Ghosts of Traquair (Traquair House, Innerleithen, Fri 24 & Sat 25 Oct and Fri 31 Oct & Sat 1 Nov), both ghost tours which play upon the history of their locations.
In the cities, meanwhile, the traditional pagan celebration of the Samhuinn Fire Festival (Calton Hill, Edinburgh, Fri 31 Oct) will be as impressively theatrical as ever, while Close Fest 2014 (Mary King’s Close, Edinburgh, Fri 31 Oct--Sat 8 Nov) will see one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city hosting a variety of talks and themed events. There will also be a Burke & Hare-themed Halloween tour at Edinburgh Dungeon until Sun 2 Nov.
In the west, a special youth event called Trick or Treat? (Tramway, Glasgow, Thu 30 Oct) precedes that evening’s performance of Dracula – learning the ‘Thriller’ dance is inclusive, apparently – and a Mexican-style Day of the Dead Glesga (Stereo, Glasgow, Sat 1 Nov) party features tequila, face painting and Latin-flavoured sounds. Elsewhere look out for the Scottish Paranormal Festival (Stirling, Thu 30 Oct--Sun 2 Nov) and the Conflux-designed Bloody Boyds (Dean Castle, Kilmarnock, Fri 31 Oct--Sun 2 Nov). (David Pollock)
Scary stories have far more bite when they're based on true events. Meet some of the past residents of Traquair House on this guided tour, followed by a glass of mulled wine to steady your nerves. Ages 8+.
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.
Slip into some fresh facepaint and practice your spooky dance – it's Día de los Muertos! Expect a Mexican fiesta with live Mariachi music courtesy of Rapido Mariachi, DJs Tigerbeat and Jill Mingo spinning Latin beats and dance floor bangers, choreographed dance from burlesque troupe the Femme Fatales and of course mucho…
Halloween festival based in Stirling that has its 'serious face' on during the day, with talks, lectures, discussion and investigations into all things paranormal, then becomes more light-hearted – but, simultaneously, spooky – in the evening, with films, ghost hunts and psychic medium shows.
Historic characters from Dean Castle's rich history come to life, with everyone from King Robert the Bruce to Jacobite William Boyd putting in an appearance. Expect macabre tales, live performances and perhaps even the odd wee fright. Event designed and delivered by CONFLUX.