The Ultimate Guide to Halloween in Manchester 2019

Including trick or treating on Coronation Street, Zombies in a Wigan Shopping Mall, the cast of The Lost Boys, and loads more...

Zombie Escape in a Shopping Mall
From 18th October
That’s right – the ultimate zombie experience is coming to the Marketgate Shopping Centre in Wigan. Basically there’s a massive section of it that’s abandoned so someone who has watched Dawn of the Dead has put 2 and 2 together and come up with what looks like it’s going to be a very exciting event. I presume you have to run away from zombies and try to get out. I also presume that it’s going to be super scary.

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For The Love of Horror
Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th October
The clue is in the name – this is for all lovers of horror as pretty much the entire cast of 1985’s The Lost Boys come to town. Yep, that means you’ll get the chance to meet Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric, Alex Winters and the rest – take some pictures and perhaps just ask them how they made those motion pictures. There’s about a thousand other things going on too – so you won’t be bored at all.

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The Exorcist @ the Opera House
From Tuesday 22nd October
Experience The Exorcist live, featuring the voice of Ian McKellen as the Demon in this spine-tingling new stage production direct from London’s West End. You all know the story by now, girl gets possessed, mother is worried, bed gets ruined, priests turn up, shit goes west. Prepared to be scared!

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Halloween in the City 2019
From Saturday 26th October
Taking over the full city for Halloween are massive crawling monsters, trick or treat trails, a monstrous Poisonous Maze, a parade of Strolling Bones and even a Creepy Carnival. This massive event is the best one to take the kids too. There’s even a separate CBBC and CBeebies section of spooky screenings, creepy photo booths and plenty of the TV’s characters. Here’s what’s on…

Trick or Treat Trail
Get your spook on courtesy of this creepy trail around the city centre. Dress up and pick up a map from the information point in Exchange Square to discover trick or treat houses scattered across the city – there’s a different character at each, waiting to greet you. Check off each point and collect a special treat.

Dr Mancenstein’s Mad Science Castle
Meet Manchester’s mad-for-it scientist, Dr. Graphena Mancenstein (and her monster, Liam) in the ruins of their exploded castle (St Ann’s Square). Expect science, slime and more in an unmissable street theatre experience.

Poisonous Maze
Survived Dr. Mancenstein? Then take a walk through the grounds of her castle. It’s a real hedge maze that’s been taken over by creeping vines, enchanted statues and monstrous creatures – oh, and deadly, walking, talking bushes, too…

Creepy Carnival
Don’t look now: Grimm Rita’s Creepy Carnival takes spectral twists and turns along New Cathedral Street – a family-friendly freakshow bursting with street performers, sideshow stalls and a traditional Helter-skelter. Don’t miss the Strolling Bones parade, led by Grimm Rita herself, as it moves between the Carnival and Dr. Mancenstein’s Castle.

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Coronation Street Trick or Treating
Saturday 26th October
Yep, that’s right. You can go trick or treating on probably the most famous street in the UK (after Downing Street and Quality Street). This Halloween they’re giving the tour down at Media City a spooky makeover complete with pumpkins, eerie lighting and none other than Richard Hillman himself. Serial killer and leather gloves wearer Richard will be scaring the pants of anyone and everyone – just like he did to Gail all those years ago.

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Family Pumpkin Carving at Royal Exchange Theatre
Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th October
Give the kids some knives this Halloween and let them go crazy on a big vegetable. Or is it a fruit? I don’t know. What I do know is that pumpkin carving is HARD so if you’re a responsible adult you should probably make sure you don’t leave the kids to their own devices. This Pumpkin Carving Workshop at the Royal Exchange will provide everything you need to make your very own lantern.

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The Mystery of the Raddlesham Mumps @ Z-Arts
Saturday 26th October
In this brand-new show, celebrated poet Murray Lachlan Young mixes compelling storytelling and poetry with a brilliant score, a healthy dose of physical theatre and a touch of silliness. After the windswept double funeral of his parents, 7-year-old Crispin (real name Crispin de Quincy de Faversham Clumps) inherits his ancestral home – Raddlesham Mumps. He finds himself in a huge empty house with only the ancient butler Kenilworth for company. And when Kenilworth begins to tell him about the bizarre and hilarious deaths of his eccentric ancestors, the story takes flight on darkly comic wings.

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Rocky Horror Boat Party
Saturday 26th October
There’s a chance that you’ll freeze your corseted tits off on this one but who cares when you’re having a bloody good time with a very odd Halloween combination – Rocky Horror and boats. Getting picked up in the city, this Rocky Horror Boat Party is a 3 hour trip complete with loads of Rocky Horror tunes, booze and of course, plenty of suspenders.

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‘Howl-oween!’ at Hatch
Sunday 27th October
Someone over in the Pun Department of Hatch deserve a raise because this spooky season sees them put on a Howl-oween event – a chance for people to dress up their dogs, bring them down and win a prize for the Best Dressed Dog in Manchester. The prize? An overnight stay in the Principal Hotel. How bloody good is that!!? There will also be pop-up partners including Milly & Ruby’s DOg Bakery and Ernie & Theo Dog Accessories. It’s free to attend and dog costume judging will be at 4pm.

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Spooky Pooch Show at The Oast House
Sunday 27th October
There’s another ‘spooky’ dog show on Sunday 27th – this time over in Spinningfields at The Oast House. Winners will be awarded some pretty decent prizes with the winner of Best Dog & Owner combo bagging themselves a £17 Spinningfields Gift Card. To add to all of the dog-ness they’ll be showing 101 Dalmatians on the big screen at 12pm too.

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FilmFear 2019 at HOME
From Tuesday 29th October
Returning to HOME for the fourth year is the iconic FilmFear. The line-up is filled with horror, dark fantasy, eerie thrillers and uncanny tales. Something for everyone with PG films and 18 films for those of you who can hack it (absolutely definitely not me). There’s The Witches, The Lighthouse, Doctor Sleep, The Wicker Man, Nosferatu and LOADS more…

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Breakout’s Horror Rooms
If you’re looking to have a scary, horrifying experience this Halloween and don’t feel like heading over to your grandma’s house for tea then cruise on down to Breakout who have some cracking horror-themed escape rooms try and get out of. They’ve got a Saw themed one (Captured), one set in an abandoned hotel (Disturbed), a creepy motel (Vacancy) and by far their hardest – Forsaken – a creepy cabin in the woods that comes complete with the most frightening prop ever – a Ouija board.

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Quingo: Stranger Things Halloween Special at Electrik
Tuesday 29th October
Recent years has seen Stranger Things take over many a Halloween-themed event and this year Electrik are jumping on the bandwagon with this special version of their brilliant bingo & quiz mash-up – Quingo. There’ll be plenty of Stranger Things related questions, some Stranger Things related prizes and probably some Stranger Things related outfits flying around – all of which I’m perfectly happy with. So, get Netflix fired up and get swotting away!

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Pop-up Puppet Cinema at Fab Cafe
Tuesday 29th October
This might sound batshit crazy but stick with me – it’s actually bloody brilliant. Cult movie themed bar Fab Cafe will be hosting a Pop-up Puppet Cinema Double Bill this Halloween, featuring two of the greatest horror films of all time – A Nightmare on Elm Street and The Thing. What is a pop-up puppet cinema? Well, it’s like Punch & Judy but with films and much, much better. Tickets are only 3 quid too!

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Monster Mash: A Halloween Dance Spectacular at Dancehouse
Wednesday 30th October
Taking place in the brilliant Dancehouse down on Oxford Road, this Dance Spectacular will feature a variety of dancing styles – from ballet and musical theatre to contemporary. There’ll be loads of costumes, make-up and errrr… dancing for you to sit and enjoy. Organised by Dr Emma Liggins she’ll provide a short introduction that will outline the links between dance and the Gothic, drawing on her research on nineteenth-century Gothic and performance.

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Flecky Bennett’s Ghost Walks
Wednesday 30th October
If you’re a native Mancunian, you’ve probably seen Flecky Bennett knocking about at some point: he’s the guy who dresses like a dead pirate and is usually being followed by a bunch of people. Well, this interesting fellow is the bloke who hosts most of the spooky ghost walks in Manchester- and what a better time to learn about the ghostly past of our city, than at Halloween? Seeing as though this is basically peak season for Flecky, he’s running loads of walk throughout October including his ‘Original’ Manchester Ghost Walk – which is bloody brilliant. Check out his walks below…

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Pumpkin Carving & Rum Tasting at BAB
Wednesday 30th October
Carving pumpkins is pretty much synonymous with Halloween – they go together like peas and carrots – and so BAB in the Northern Quarter have decided to dedicate a full evening to it. They’ve decided to throw some rum into the mix too though – almost as if they think pairing alcohol with sharp stabbing implements is a good idea. There’s rum tasting, cocktails and even a competition for the best pumpkin carved – so get practising now and you might just win a lovely bit of prize-age.

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The Wicker Man at Odeon
Wednesday 30th October
One of the most terrifying films of all time – The Wicker Man manages to get right under your skin and keep on digging until you just want to turn it off and put Toy Story on instead. Set on the remote Scottish island of SummerIsle, Edward Woodward is a copper who’s bit off more than he can chew when he meets the freaky-weird locals. On the big screen it’s even better.

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The Village Screen Halloween at Victoria Baths
Thursday 31st October
This Halloween sees the Village Screen gang take over Victoria Baths with two rather frightening films. Starting on Halloween night they’ll be screening modern classic The Conjuring – which is all about the Amityville house and is as scary as shit. The night after they’ll be showing 80’s horror-comedy Beetlejuice – probably one of the best films ever and also one of the creepiest. Alongside the films there’ll be street food traders, a pop-up bar and a DJ spinning some tunes – hopefully ‘The Monster Mash’ at some point.

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Halloween Freakout One Deck with Rhys Webb (The Horrors) at Electrik
Wednesday 31st October
With the perfect bit of planning, Electrik will be welcoming The Horrors to their One Deck Wednesday on Halloween. The Horrors… geddit?! They promise a night of devil worship, sacrifices and boiling cauldrons but in reality, it will be Rhys Webb from The Horrors turning up with his record collection, bashing out some top tunes while everyone drinks cocktails, eats pizzas and dances to the Monster Mash. Oh yeah and it’s FREE!

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Baked A La Ska Halloween Special at Band on the Wall
Thursday 31st October
This sounds bloody brilliant. A Ska night on Halloween down at Band on the Wall. Hosted by Baked A La Ska (nice one), they claim to be the “heavy heavy sound” of Manchester, a super charged 11-headed ska monster on a rampage through the dance floors of the UK leaving a trail of skanked out bodies in their wake. They’ll be celebrating the release of their new album ‘Skalloween’… okay that’s enough puns for now thank you.

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Halloween Ghost Hunt at Antwerp Mansion
Thursday 31st October
I think it’s pretty much guaranteed that a big long list of horrifying, disgusting and traumatising things have happened in Antwerp Mansion in the past. Mainly while it was hosting parties a few years back. But I’ve been informed that there are also many actual ghost sightings and spooky occurrences that have happened in and around the building, with it even being investigated by EastEnders extra Yvette Fielding for the trash TV show Most Haunted. Well, this Halloween feel free to go have a look around and see if you can catch (or bust) some ghosts yourself.

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HIT & RUN Halloween at Mint Lounge
Thursday 31st October
The Hit & Run crew always put on a bloody good show on Halloween and this year will not be any different. They’ve got a packed evening of some of the biggest and best talents including Samba b2b Taiko b2b Sir Hiss (for the first time ever), Particle, Pete Cannon, Imajika and more. It’s going to be a messy one and if you want to get dressed up – the two best costumes win a year’s pass to all Hit & Run events in Manchester. Good innit!

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Over Under…world Halloween Spectacular
Thursday 31st October
Cafe in the day time, Bar in the night time – Over Under – will be hosting a Halloween ‘Demonic Disco’ takeover this year, complete with themed cocktails (Night of the Dead Negroni’s, Ghoulish Gin and Evil Espresso Martinis), fancy dress and DJ.

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East Lancashire Railway Halloween Ghost Trains
Thursday 31st October – Saturday 2nd November
I’m pretty sure you all know by now that the East Lancashire Railway is haunted. What? You didn’t know that? Well, it is. Like, proper haunted. That means that it’s the perfect place to spend a bit of time this Halloween – with a host of spooky characters, scary stories and all manner of jumps and stuff. It’s a great thing to do if you have kids. I don’t so probably won’t bother. If you don’t either – just read this instead: Haunted Manchester: East Lancashire Railway

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Make A Scene Film Club Halloween Special – Knife + Heart at Cultureplex
Friday 1st November
It’s great to hear that Make A Scene Film Club have found a permanent home in Cultureplex – that, of course, means that we get much more of their brilliant immersive screenings of cult classics. This Halloween they’ll be screening Yann Gonzalez’s horror thriller Knife + Heart – a queer horror experience that’s just perfect for a few jump scares. Set in the summer of 1979, Paris-based filmmaker Anne is a producer of third-rate gay porn movie. After her editor and lover Lois leaves her, she tries to win her back by shooting her most ambitious film yet but when one of her actors is brutally murdered by a masked killer targeting gay porn stars, Anne gets dragged into a hypnotic investigation.

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The Cher Witch Project Halloween Disco at Night People
Friday 1st November
We’re still firmly in terrible Halloween pun territory here as Night People present The Cher Witch Project – a mash-up of Cher and Halloween that actually sounds like it’ll be brilliant. Dance the night away to all of Cher’s biggest hits as well as a few curve balls in the guise of some of her contemporaries – Madonna, Whitney Houston, Prince etc. Oh and a bit of Lisa Scott-Lee and Rachel Stevens too. Obviously.

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Ultimate Power Bat Out of Hell-o-ween at The Ritz
Friday 1st November
Ultimate Power is one of the best nights ever and their Halloween version is the best one they do all year. Okay, so the soundtrack is pretty much exactly the same – all of the best power ballads known to man – but EVERYONE gets dressed up and proper makes an effort. I once managed to scrounge together a brilliant Mad Max outfit one year, making it about 25 minutes before setting off, and nothing is more satisfying than wrapping your arms around Teen Wolf and Rowdy Roddy Piper and singing to Africa by Toto at the top of your lungs.

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90’s BABY Halloween at Albert Hall Manchester
Saturday 2nd November
This event has piss-all to do with Halloween, except for the fact that it’s taking place near it on the calendar – but it doesn’t really matter when it’s THIS good really does it. A night that’s packed to the rafters with some of the biggest 90’s dance acts performing LIVE including NTRANCE, Phats & Small, Sonique, Baby D, K Klass and the always impressive Urban Cookie Collective. Mega.

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Halloween-Land: Manchester’s’ Halloween Festival
Saturday 2nd November
This event promises to be “Manchester’s Biggest Halloween Festival” and looking at the line-up of what they’ve got going on – they might be right. There’s a Festival of the Dead Circus Show, Fairground Rides, Haunted Houses and even an Oktoberfest Grotto – which I don’t think is haunted but should keep you well lubricated with lager throughout it all. For the ticket price you’ll also get to watch some cult horror films, visit a Witches’ Grotto and generally run around being an idiot.

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The Warehouse Project 19 – Annie Mac Presents Halloween Spectacular
Saturday 2nd November
Annie Mac returns to WHP over Halloween this year and even though there’s probably not much going on in terms of Halloween-related fun, it promises to be a huge night (with a similarly huge line-up). There’s too many people knocking about for me to just list here but you can expect Green Velvet, Denis Sultra, Mella Dee, Special Request, DJ Boring, Nightmares on Wax and plenty more alongside Annie on the night – there should still be a few tickets knocking about too.

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