The Best Things to Do for Halloween in Manchester 2021

Including: Halloween in the City, Festivals, Cinema Screenings, Specials and more...

Halloween in the City
Saturday 30th & Sunday 31st October
Taking over the city once again with a range of family-friendly events and happenings, from a monster procession through the city to the welcome return of the Manchester inflatable monsters. Here’s what’s on…

MCR Monsters
The #MCRMonsters are back again this year, perched upon rooftops and hanging from buildings you’ll find eight friendly inflatable monsters. Created by artists Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas, miss them at your peril.
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Monsters Welcome Procession
An unmissable roaming performance from Walk the Plank – the creative minds behind the city’s Manchester Day parade. This is a parade with a difference, designed to welcome this year’s visiting monsters. Expect a crazy procession of monster puppets, stilt walkers, and five-piece band.

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Dr Mancenstein’s Castle & Gardens
Welcome to the home of Manchester’s mad-for-it scientist, Dr. Mancenstein, in the ruins of her exploded castle – which along with her garden and cemetery are host to a menagerie of creepy characters. Encounter dragons, giant marauding crows, Mr Arsenic the castle butler and eerie groundskeepers to name a few (oh, and watch out for the man-eating plants).

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The Monster Lab
Head to Exchange Square for a very special laboratory. Learn more about monsters, get up close to Scary Garry (one of our massive inflatables), make your own mini monsters and welcome banners, and conduct your own monstrous experiments – with the help of Dr. Mancenstein’s radioactive lab assistants.

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Carnival of Monsters
Run for the hills! A Carnival of Monsters tumbles onto New Cathedral Street – a family-friendly freak show with roaming circus monsters, sideshow stalls, a kids’ carousel and a traditional helter-skelter. You’ll also be able to get up close to one of the inflatable monsters – Creepy Annie, whose terrifying tentacles reach out between giant skeletons and freak show-style posters.

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Halloween in the City Photo Trail
Get your spook on courtesy of this creepy photo trail. Dress up as your favourite monster or Halloween character, and head to one of eight photo backdrops scattered across the city centre.

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Monster DJ Truck
DJ Ghostman (who hides his identity with a bed sheet) plays all the Halloween hits and monster bops from the Monster DJ Truck parked up on Market Street. Expect a mix of chart favourites and spooky favourites.

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The Scare City Drive-Thru Cinema & ‘Scare Tunnel’
Until Sunday 31st October
Down near the Trafford Centre you’ll find ScareCity, an immersive drive-in cinema experience that’s showing a tonne of the best Halloween and scary movies each week in the run up to Halloween. Even better is the fact that they hire a love of live actors to get dressed up and scare the shit out of you in a ‘Scare Tunnel’ and while you’re watching it. Not for the faint hearted.

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Scare Skate Ice Skating at Cathedral Gardens
Friday 22nd – Sunday 31st October
There’s going to be a Halloween themed outdoor ice rink over at Cathedral Gardens this Halloween, complete with spooky music, lighting and a gang of ghoulish skating monsters joining skaters on the ice every hour. Once Halloween is over, the rink will then be transformed into a Christmas rink, and will be staying there until the 3rd January.

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An Alternative Halloween Party for Hounds (& Owners) @ Hatch
Sunday 31st October
Now in its fourth year, Hatch’s Halloween celebration of dogs and their owners is set to take place on Sunday 31st October from 12pm. Fancy dress is essential, as this year’s Howl’oween will feature a ‘Spooky Pooch’ competition where the ‘Best Dressed Dog’s will be crowned. There are also other categories to compete in, plus a ‘Doggie Disco’ and a pop-up doggie market with dog-themed stalls.

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The Halloween Special Gourmet Kebabs at BAB
Thursday 28th – Sunday 31st October
Every year you can always rely on BAB to release a few Halloween specials, and this year is no exception. They’ve got three absolute bangers on offer, with a Lamb Meatball, Sprat Fish and Fried Okra on offer – and each one is pretty banging! Personally I thoroughly enjoyed the Lamb Meatball one, but the deep-fried Sprat Fish one was excellent also – on a bed of couscous and topped with a sublime home-made spicy mint sauce.

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Girls on Film Halloween Throwback Party at Escape to Freight Island
Saturday 30th October
Hattie Pearson is getting the band back together with a return of Girls on Film on Saturday 30th October over at Escape to Freight Island. Expect the very best in 80s, 90s and 00s tunes, plus a horror fancy dress and a silent disco to boot. Book your table below…

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For The Love of Horror 2021
Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th October
There’s always a massive long list of mad guests at these ‘For The Love of Horror’ events, usually featuring a whole host of random actors and actresses who’ve appeared as ‘Psycho Killer #3’ in Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors. This year is no exception to this, except there are a few really, really good guests including the absolute legend that is: Tim Curry. It’s a Rocky Horror extravaganza, with loads of stars from the film, plus that fella with the flat top from Walking Dead (Michael Cudlitz), Matthew Lillard (from Scream) and LOADS more.

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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow @ Oldham Coliseum
Tuesday 26th – Saturday 30th October
Classic horror story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is coming to the Oldham Coliseum as a heart-pounding and thrilling stage production. It stars Cilla Battersby and Charlie Stubbs out of Corrie and will be running from Tuesday 26th – Saturday 30th October. Watch as The Headless Horseman is terrifyingly brought to life with jaw-dropping illusions by Filipe J. Carvalho.

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Hit & Run Halloween Special @ Hidden
Friday 29th October
Already traditionally one of their biggest shows of the year – and certainly the maddest – this is Hit & Run’s biggest ever Halloween line-up, across all 3 floors of Hidden. IMANU will be making their Manchester debut, alongside SKYLARK, STRATEGY, LATESLEEPER< MONUMAN, STAY C and loads more.

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Habitat presents Hollywood Nightmares at Off The Square
Saturday 30th October
Future beats, trap, afrobeat, funky, dancehall and garage at Off The Square on Halloween weekend, courtesy of the team from Habitat – who have created ‘Hollywood Nightmares’ a celebrity themed party. ‘Dead List to Z List’ is the vibe – with fancy dress compulsory – so get picking your favourite (dead) celebrity and head on down to this NQ shindig.

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Europe’s Biggest touring Halloween Show: Festival of The Dead
Saturday 6th November
After 2 years of no celebrations, Europe’s biggest touring Halloween show returns with its high octane mash up of circus, clubbing and carnival set to a blazing live soundtrack spanning rock, metal and the dark side of dnb and electronic music. Festival of the Dead will feature world-class fire & aerialist performers, huge fire shows, breath-taking circus performers, giant skeleton puppets and 3000 guests in impressive fancy dress.

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Halloween Screen at King Street Townhouse
Friday 29th – Sunday 31st October
This Halloween, King Street Townhouse is offering up the ultimate scary movie experience with a selection of Halloween films showing on their in-house cinema. There’s Beetlejuice, Hocus Pocus, A Nightmare on Elm Street and IT being shown over the course of a couple of days. Included in your ticket price is Pick’n’Mix, popcorn and a choice of cocktail. Click below for more info…

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Dia de Muertos @ Ducie Street Warehouse
Saturday 30th October
A FREE party down at Ducie Street Warehouse, celebrating the Day of the Dead with live mariachi and brass bands, alongside live DJs and the “best carnival atmosphere this side of Mexico City”. Should be a big one – so book your free tickets below to avoid disappointment…

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FilmFear 2021 at HOME
Thursday 28th – Sunday 31st October
You won’t find your usual Hocus Pocus-es at HOME’s Halloween film festival, these scary films are a little bit more… niche. Filled with horror, dark fairy-tales, eerie thrillers and chilling tales, you can catch some pretty mad films here, including the UK premiere of The Scary of Sixty-First, a creepy tale of haunting and possession set against the real-world backdrop of the crimes of Jeffrey Epstein.

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Bongo’s Bingo with B*Witched
Sunday 31st October
Bongo’s Bingo return to Albert Hall at the end of October with the legends that are B*Witched playing a gig at the end of all the bingo madness. You know all of their songs, and just how bloody catchy they are, and there’s a seriously tenuous link to Halloween in there too. It’ll be mega though – as Bongo’s Bingo always is – and hopefully you’ll win some prizes.

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60+ Artists, Five Spaces, Three Days: Salford’s Fat Out Fest
Friday 29th – Sunday 31st October
With 60+ artists performing across five spaces in Regents Trading Estate, The White Hotel and The Old Pint Pot, Fat Out Festival will be bringing all the noise, queer energy and mayhem to Salford over Halloween weekend. The festival will include the likes of Body Horror, Bollox, Box Records, Brave Exhibitions Festival, Counterflows Festival, Creatures of Catharsis, Gross Indecency and Upset the Rhythm, all bringing a collaborative celebration of the obscure, the legendary, and the surprising creators of music and visual arts.

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Amapiano v Afrobeats: Halloween Edition @ Bowlers
Sunday 31st October
Live DJs, performances, fancy dress, dancers, entertainment and loads more as Pie Radio presents the Amapiano v Afrobeats Day Party this Halloween. Featuring the following DJs – B00GZ, CHIEF, TOOJ, MANIACO17, DJ SKAY, G2, DJ SAMMY V, SSKES, JESSETHEDJ, MIXRMOE, TOOTS, DJ FISTOZ, PMMP, ARTIST LEBO PLUS MORE.

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Pumpkin Carving at The Pen & Pencil
Wednesday 27th October
In collaboration with Kraken Spiced Rum, The Pen & Pencil are bringing back their annual Pumpkin Carving event, where you can get chopping and slashing away at some pumpkins, whilst enjoying a load of rum cocktails while you do it. Tickets are £15 and can be booked by calling 0161 660 3303.

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SpookFest at the Trafford Centre
Until Sunday 31st October
A spooky spectacle of hair-raising horrors and lots of tasty treats (and tricks!) coming to the Trafford Centre this Halloween. Creep into the haunted hay bale maze, take a ride on the ghastly ghost train and marvel at the Halloween Spooktacular big top show. Independent food and drink brands will be serving deliciously devilish dishes, including Epic Pizza, Old School Dogs and Cha Cha Chai, and thrill seekers will love the frightful selection of rides, including ghost train, escape rooms, hook a pumpkin and spooky hay bale maze for all the family.

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Halloween Ghost Train on the East Lancashire Railway
28th, 29th & 30th October
The classic East Lancashire Railway will be hosting a bunch of Halloween Ghost Trains this October, featuring “family-friendly ghouls, horrible heroes, and loads of spooktacular fun”. Considering the fact that everyone says that the railway is actually haunted, well – that makes things a whole lot more interesting too!

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Baked A La Ska Halloween Special
Sunday 31st October
Baked A La Ska are 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’re hosting a Halloween Special at The Yard in Cheetham Hill this Sunday 31st October.

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GrimmFest Japanese Horror at Stockport Plaza
Saturday 31st October
Part of BFI’s 100 Years of Japanese Cinema season, Stockport Plaza will be showing four absolute classics this Halloween, including the phenomenal ‘One Cut of the Dead’ which I only managed to watch a couple of weeks ago and was bowled over by its creativity and ability to keep you guessing throughout. Also on the docket is the terrifying Dark Water, Audition and metal fetishist body horror film TETSUO: THE IRON MAN.

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Halloween At The Warehouse Project
Friday 29th & Saturday 30th October
Naturally, WHP have a couple of shows on the Halloween weekend, with an absolutely rammed line-up headlined by Solardo on the Friday and Annie Mac and Skream on the Saturday. There’s only tickets left for the Friday event at the moment, but if you really want to go on Saturday I’m sure you’ll be able to find some tickets somewhere. Just don’t get ripped off and only pay face value.

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Animal Crossing x You&Me: The Fairytale of Halloween
Saturday 30th October
Manchester’s underground pioneers Animal Crossing and You&Me have announced their highly anticipated first collaboration together – The Fairytale of Halloween taking place on Saturday 30th October. The event will feature none other than Parisian legend and Appollonia frontman Dyed Soundorom, showcasing the deep grooves that made his Summer Of Love appearance so spectacular. Plus Sweely, The Ghost, Josh Baker and more.

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Do Not Sleep @ Albert Hall
Saturday 30th October
A biggie over at the Albert Hall as Do Not Sleep return for a Halloween party with Deborah De Luca, Dense & Pika, Frazi.er & Marco Faraone.

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Bollox Halloween Mince @ The Deaf Institute
Saturday 30th October
Come and get minced at the outlandish Bollox Halloween party sprawled across all three floors of Manchester’s Deaf Institute featuring DJ’s, pop-up drag shows, dance troupes, artists, gross decor and makeover stations. 11pm until 6am.

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Flecky Bennet’s Stockport Ghost Walk
Friday 5th November
Allow Flecky Bennett to welcome you onto his award winning Stockport Ghost Walk, a firm favourite with locals, tourists and weirdos since 2018. With a bunch of stories based upon well-documented accounts, witness statements and Flecky’s own personal experiences, this tour featuring everything from Mad Hatters to Haunted Taverns, Devils, Dancehalls and Dungeons, will delight, inform and frighten in equal measure.

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Me Gusta Halloween Special @ YES
Saturday 30th October
This Halloween Me Gusta are back at YES with an afro-dance & percussive drum showcase, delivering eclectic rhythms reaching from South America to Africa and Asia. There’ll be live afro dance from Afro King & Steadman and percussive drums from Djé Býngï Xh’ulū & Obeka.

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Gandeys Circus ‘Spooktacular’
Friday 15th – Sunday 31st October
Gandeys Circus returns with a brand-new action-packed legendary Halloween Spooktacular Big Top show for all the family. There’s loads of rides, games and attractions at The Trafford Centre, as well as a circus show featuring performers, dancers and death-defying acts that’ll leave you feeling pretty anxious throughout.

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A Spooky Brunch Social @ Flight Club
Saturday 30th & Sunday 31st October
The Brunch Socials at Flight Club are always excellent, with a bottle of Prosecco per person, 2 hours of endless pizza and (of course) darts. This Halloween special also includes a cocktail on arrival and there’ll be loads of people in fancy dress. So grab your cat ears and fake blood and get booked in.

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