The Ultimate Guide to Halloween in Manchester 2018

Hallelujah! Halloween is upon us, which means watching loads of horror films, dressing as strippers and generally scaring the shit out of ourselves. Sigh... It really is the best time of year.

Unsurprisingly, Manchester is all for the celebration and has dedicated October to Halloween; hosting spookier events than I could count (literally). So if you’re ready to embrace the horror, get yourself to these mint events and make the most of what our brill city has to offer!

Halloween in the City
Seems like someone down at the council is probably a vampire because in recent years they’ve spared no expense in bringing Halloween celebrations to the city’s streets. Last year there was that massive tentacle thing on top of Kendals, but this year promises to be bigger and better with a giant rooftop monster invasion alongside a spooky Trick or Treat Trail, a World Record attempt and even a big stage in Exchange Square complete with bands and DJs. It’s all family friendly and will be kicking off from the weekend of the 27th and 28th.

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Flecky Bennett’s Ghost Walks
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, ‘The Gates of Hell’ Didsbury walk and the ‘Chorlton Chiller’ walk too.

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FilmFear 2018 at HOME
If you’re a horror film junkie like me, this next event will be of interest to you, because it’s a unique event that’ll screen cult favourites, extreme cinema, Halloween horror and dark disturbing tales from the 26th to the 31st October at HOME. In partnership with Film4 (it must be good then), head to the big screen and enjoy six nights of seriously scary films that will definitely keep you up at night, including the brilliant new Nic Cage blood-a-thon – Mandy.

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The Lowry Hotel Halloween Afternoon Tea
To celebrate old Hallows Eve, it wouldn’t be very proper for the highly luxurious Lowry Hotel to start flinging old cobwebs and spiders about so they’ve decided to give a little twist to one of their classics and create a Halloween Afternoon Tea. As well as the usual classics there’ll also find an Apple & salted caramel Zombie doughnut, an oozing eyeball with white chocolate & raspberry mousse, a devil’s food cake and of course – pumpkin pie.

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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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Séance at Royal Exchange Theatre
From Friday 19th October
Taking place entirely within a shipping container, 20 people will spend 20 minutes experiencing an intense sonic performance that aims to explore the group’s psychology. Guests will be bombarded with suggestible material in the disorientating darkness, pondering views on superstition and belief in this inventive and unnerving exercise. It’s on loads of times throughout the day from the 19th October right up until Halloween Day proper.

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For The Love of Horror
Saturday 20th – Sunday 21st October
If you like theme parks, scary attractions and would love to meet some of the best names in Horror, get down to the Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Trafford Park on the 20th and 21st of October, for their Horror Halloween Special. The two-day event will include a fun fair, Haunted Cantina, Ghost Hunt, Cosplay Groups, Zoo, Mad Monster After Party and loads more amazing attractions. But blowing all of those things out of the water has to be the appearance of none other than Hollywood legend Danny Trejo, Machete himself (as well as the go-to guy for ‘Mexican Baddie #1’). Weekend tickets are £35.20 for adults and £11 for children, but tickets are selling out quick so don’t miss out!

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Pumpkin Carving & Bottomless Brunch at the Pen & Pencil
Thursday 25th October
There’s a couple of things going on over at the Pen & Pencil in the NQ for old Hallow’s Eve including a quaint bit of Pumpkin carving which has been pimped up with rum and an All Day Halloween Party including everyone’s favourite brunch – a bottomless one. On Thursday 25th October you can head down and start hacking away at some orange fruits while drinking cheap El Dorado Rum cocktails, while Saturday 29th will offer 12 hours of Halloween fun with a Disco Bottomless Brunch starting at 2pm, which will then move onto a mucky disco with DJ Marco Giannini, taking a break from running a successful restaurant in Eastenders to get on the decks until 2am.

The Pen And Pencil, Fourways House, 57 Hilton St, Manchester M1 2EJ
thepenandpencilnq.co.uk

 

Saved By The 90’s – Halloween Party at The Deaf Institute
Friday 26th October
For many there’s nothing scarier than the 90’s – especially if you were growing up in them. The internet was atrocious, packed with AOL CD’s, Netscape Navigator chugging along on a 56k modem and some rather sinister chat rooms down in the underbelly of Yahoo! But the music was pretty good, and the range of confectionery in the local corner shop was unparalleled compared to today’s slim and boring offerings. This all links to Halloween in no way whatsoever except for the fact that The Deaf Institute are having a spooky special for their brilliant Saved by the 90’s night.

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The Lost Boys @ Victoria Baths
Friday 26th October
Probably the best vampire film ever made, certainly the best one in the 80’s, The Lost Boys features the great vampire killing partnership of Corey Feldman and Corey Haim, alongside a blonde slick-haired Kiefer Sutherland in all of his pointy toothed glory. They’ll be screening the film at the Victoria Baths this Halloween and although the pool seats have sold out – there’s still some left on the balcony bit. Just don’t eat any noodles.

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Ultimate Power Bat Out of Hell-o-ween @ The Ritz
Friday 26th October
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 that 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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Ghostbusters Screening at The Range
Friday 26th October
If you are looking to escape the sticky fingers of the trick-or-treaters this Halloween, then you are going to want to join The Range for their private screening of Ghostbusters (the original, of course). After all, we don’t want all the childhood charm of Halloween to die completely now, do we? When you book, you and your friends will get an entire booth to yourselves to watch the film in as well as a bottle of Crystal Head Vodka and all the mixers you could possibly dream of. Tickets cost £150 per simulator (or £15per person for a group of 10) which will allow you to watch this classic movie in the lap of pure luxury.

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Halloween Ghost Trains
From Friday 26th October
Are you feeling brave enough to board a haunted Ghost Train? On the 26th and 27th October, passengers can hop on a haunted stream train and ride to Rawtenstall, passing through dark tunnels and abandoned lonely platforms along the way. Riders can enjoy on-board entertainment, and are also encouraged to take part in the fancy dress competition before a digging in to a station buffet and treats at the end of the evening. So if you’re ready to test your nerves, hop on the steam and get ready to scream!

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Ghostbusters 80’s Halloween Party at The Ruby Lounge
Friday 26th October
Ghostbusters is my most favourite film of all time, and has been since I was around the age of 4 and got scared to death by the ghost librarian at the very beginning. Never ones to shy away from a themed party, The Ruby Lounge will be going all Zuul crazy this Halloween with a packed evening of 80’s bangers as well as more ectoplasm than a Roman orgy, a photo booth, free sweets and of course – Ghostbusters up on the wall. Grab a proton pack made out of old Rice Crispy boxes and get busting!

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Rocky Horror Boat Party
Saturday 27th 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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Halloween House of Pain at Dive NQ
Saturday 27th October
This isn’t the usual ‘House of Pain’ that you’re thinking of. No, there won’t be any shackles or whips in the back and there will be very few Madame’s walking about with someone’s husband in a headlock. What you will find down the steps at Dive NQ though is a party complete with free glitter and body paint, fancy dress, trick or treat shots for £2 and DJ’s until 5am. They’ll be transforming the whole place into a big haunted house – which should make you feel at home if you’re a bit of a slob.

Dive NQ, 12 Tib St, Manchester M4 1SH
divenq.co.uk

 

Halloween Screamings at Tattu
Sunday 28th October
Transforming their private dining room into a spine chilling cinema, Tattu will be screening 3 classic horror movies alongside a special 3 course Halloween menu. Sunday 28th October will see them screen ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer‘, ‘Jeepers Creepers‘ and ‘Nightmare on Elm Street‘, and although only one of them is actually a classic – it’s safe to say that there’s a fair few scares there. Each screening will begin with a cocktail, which will then be followed by a bespoke 3 course menu – all for £35 per person. Nice.

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3 Course Halloween Set Meal @ Shoryu Ramen
From Monday 29th October
That lovely Japanese Ramen place on Piccadilly Gardens – Shoryu – are offering a 3 course Halloween Menu this October featuring some ‘scary’ food that’s not actually that scary because nobody would want to eat it. They’ve switched up their bao buns and turned them into ‘Ghost’ buns with a choice of classic Char Siu BBQ Pork, or a Pumpkin Croquette number for the veggies. Their ramen has been given a spruce up too, as well as their Green Matcha Ice Cream made to look like the baddies out of the Wizard of Oz. It’s only £20 and will be available from Monday 29th October.

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Halloween Spooktacular at Brasserie Abode
Wednesday 31st October
The Mirror Ball lot are holding a massive Halloween party over at Brasserie Abode this October and it looks like it’s going to be pretty special. They insist that fancy dress is a MUST as you partake in some great drinks deals, DJs and dancing downstairs in their basement bar. Just grab your dad’s black suit and go as a Blues Brother if you’re struggling to find something to wear. Oh and every penny raised goes to Forever Manchester charity, supporting communities across the whole Greater Manchester.

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Halloween at Electrik with The Horrors
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 this record collection, bashing out some top tunes while everyone drinks cocktails, eats kebabs and dances to the Monster Mash. Oh yeah and it’s FREE!

Electrik, 559a Wilbraham Road, Chorlton, M21 0AE
http://www.electrikbar.co.uk/

 

A Night of Japanese Horror at Cottonopolis
Wednesday 31st October
The culture that created Ringu and that creepy suicide forest just outside Tokyo is the perfect place to mine some scares this Halloween, and luckily for Cottonopolis – the work is already halfway done. As a permanent testament to everything Japanese, Cottons will be banging out some truly terrifying Japanese Horror movies, a special Satanic menu and tunes from Jamie Groovement from 7pm on Wednesday 31st October. Prepare to get a few more grey hairs.

Cottonopolis Food & Liquor, 16 Newton St, Manchester M1 2AE
https://www.cottonopolis-nq.com/

 

Sugarfina Candies at Harvey Nichols
Saturday 27th – Wednesday 31st October
Halloween treats so good, it’s scary. Discover the ultimate in trick-or treat candy with Sugarfina’s Halloween candy collection. Enjoy scarily good sweets such as pumpkin gummies, skeleton sugar skulls and candy zombie brains in our special Halloween candy pop up bar on the Ground Floor. Whilst stocking up on Sugarfina treats, discover complimentary Halloween beauty looks with Fenty Beauty, Stila and many more.

Harvey Nichols Manchester, 21 New Cathedral Street, Manchester, M1 1AD
www.harveynichols.com

 

Stranger Things at The Liars Club
Wednesday 31st October
As far as Halloween themes go – you can’t go wrong with Stranger Things. Not only does it give everyone an easy ride when it comes to costumes, but it also means that the soundtrack for the night can be electro-esque 80’s tunes and everyone will love it. This special bash at The Liars Club will feature some welcome drinks offers, as well as some specially designed Stranger Things bevvies.

The Liars Club, 19A Back Bridge St, Manchester M3 2PB
theliarsclub.co.uk

 

Spiritualism and the Supernatural
Wednesday 31st October
There’s something creepy about the Victorian and Edwardian times. I mean, they used to have family photo shoots with DEAD members of their family – does it get any weirder than that? Now is your chance to hear the truth about this supernatural period, by listening to Dr Tatiana Kontou and Dr Rachael Ironside talk about spiritualism and communication with child spirits, during these inquisitive and somewhat bizarre eras. Are you allured by the prospect of the supernatural? Well it seems you and the Victorians have something in common!

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Serial Killer of a Cruise
Wednesday 31st October
Anyone who knows me knows that I have an (unhealthy) obsession with serial killers – so much so, I’ve actually attended two lectures hosted by the creator of this genius event- ex-FBI Criminal Profiler, Paul Harrison. Whilst the events I went to took place on dry land, this Halloween special will take part on the Exclusive Ghost Ship Elleswake on the 31st October, and will feature an amazing lecture on supernatural & black magic murders and his encounter with Ronald DeFeo, aka the man who slaughtered his entire family in the Amityville murder house! All ticket holders will receive a delicious Murder Mocktail or Killer Cocktail, if you’re not sold on this already!

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Homerpalooza – Treehouse of Horror Special at Soup Kitchen
Wednesday 31st October 2018
Nothing says Halloween like Treehouse of Horror and Thirsty Girls are bringing a celebration of this to the Soup Kitchen basement on October 31st. Expect to hear music from the show throughout the night, whether that’s your favourite original songs or tracks by bands that have appeared on the show. From Barry White to The White Stripes, if they’ve sound tracked The Simpsons in any way, they’ll play it!

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Junkyard Frat Club at Junkyard Golf
Wednesday 31st October
As if that big scary fucking clown face isn’t enough, Junkyard will be going all out this Halloween with a big Frat Club party on Wednesday 31st October. From 7pm you can expect all sorts of odd shenanigans, mostly involving metal sticks, balls and holes. But they’ll also be unveiling two new Halloween cocktails, the Basic Witch with rum, Jägermeister, ginger beer and pumpkin spiced syrup, and The Death of Dr Pepper – with Disaronno, cherry Lambrini, Coke and lemon.

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Paint it Black at Science & Industry
Wednesday 31st October
Drink alchemists and MFDF Bar of the Year Winners Science & Industry are putting on a nice little Halloween bash on Wednesday 31st October with a night of 70’s rock, mezcal and special all-black cocktails. That sounds like the perfect night – once you get over the all black drinks that is. I suppose it will only take a little bit of mezcal to stop worrying about anything all together and have a jolly good time.

Science And Industry, 49, 51 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1NA
caneandgrain.co.uk/science-industry/

 

Halloween Carnival – A Twisted Circus
Wednesday 31st October
Halloween was always the best time for student house parties when I was at Uni, but since the invention of Facebook, and those mental gatherings where around 5,000 turned up to a decrepit terraced house in Fallowfield – there just aren’t as many of them anymore. Not that I’d ever get invited nowadays mind, I’m far too old for that malarkey. Instead of dying in an overstuffed house, students can instead head to the Halloween Carnival at the Man Uni Students Union with 3 arenas, packed with 2,500 students all dressed up like zombies and probably acting like them too.

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Zombies at Cane & Grain
Wednesday 31st October
Everyone loves a zombie. Except from Rick Grimes. Oh and Cillian Murphy in 28 Days Later. And maybe Shaun from Shaun of the Dead. Actually, nobody likes a zombie – unless it’s the mega strong and mega tasty cocktail that is always festooned with more fire than a dragon’s sneeze. To celebrate Halloween Cane & Grain will be offering their brilliant Zombie for only £6 for anyone dressed as a zombie. Don’t be offended if your attempts at being sexy with your makeup end up getting you 6 quid drinks though.

Cane & Grain, 49 -51 Thomas Street, Manchester M4 1NA
caneandgrain.co.uk/

 

Halloween at Zouk
Wednesday 31st October
Never ones to shy away from a party, Zouk will be celebrating Halloween with a night of live music, themed cocktails and spicy curries. They’ll be offering two courses and two drinks for only £20 on Wednesday 31st October, alongside a DJ, a Sax Man and some rather special Halloween themed cocktails that will wash down some of their fantastic Indian dishes. Should be a top night all round really.

Zouk Tea Bar & Grill, 5, The Quadrangle, Chester Street, M1 5QS
zoukteabar.co.uk

 

‘Howl-oween!’ at Hatch
Wednesday 31st October
Someone over in the Pun Department of Hatch deserve a raise because this spooky seasons 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 Betty and Butch – a bespoke boutique for pooches and purveyors of everything your doggie could ever dream of. It’s free to attend and dog costume judging will be at 7.30pm.

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Day of the Dead at Wahaca
Friday 2nd November
Although it’s not very often that I frequent anywhere near the Corn Exchange, that may change this Friday 2nd November as Wahaca host a massive Day of the Dead party which includes a massive 5 course feast cooked by top chef Thomasina Miers alongside tequila, mescal and loads of Margaritas. They’ve also teamed up with Frog Flowers to deck the place out with a massive floral display. It’s not strictly a Halloween event but it’s close enough that you can still get dressed up and enjoy yourself.

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