The best Halloween events and film screenings in Edinburgh and Glasgow

The best Hallowe'en events and film screenings in Edinburgh and Glasgow

Zombie Walks, screenings of Saw 3D, Halloween and Evil Dead II

The first feature-length version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella was a 1920 adaptation starring John Barrymore in the dual role as the misguided scientist and his maniacal alter-ego. For Halloween the Usher Hall is bringing this silent classic to life with a live organ score from Donald MacKenzie. ‘I don’t know quite what it is but the organ lends itself very well to accompanying horror films,’ says MacKenzie. ‘Live music adds another dimension to the whole experience.’ The organ’s gothic sounds should suit the film and the grand surrounds of the Usher Hall perfectly, with MacKenzie’s score enhancing the action on screen: ‘I pick a few themes for characters but a lot of it is improvised, so I watch the film and improvise with the mood of the film.’ They’re also asking patrons to embrace the Halloween spirit by dressing in 1920s fashion to make the screening feel even more authentic, with live music in the bar before and after the performance. ‘It should be a great night out, they’ll see a restored print of the film and be able to enjoy a unique score because none of my performances are the same twice,’ says MacKenzie.
Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Sat 30 Oct.

Premiering at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Colin Edwards’ adaptation of the HP Lovecraft tale of Cthulu is a sound-only journey into horror that lets your mind fill in the gaps with your own evil imaginings.
Grosvenor, Glasgow, Sun 31 Oct.

The ultimate horror comedy, director Sam Raimi is a visual genius splashing the screen with buckets of blood and big belly laughs. Everything you could ever want from a horror film: demons, a haunted forest and Bruce Campbell. ‘Groovy’.
Cameo, Edinburgh, Sat 30 Oct.

Many cite 1974’s Black Christmas as the first true slasher film, but it was John Carpenter’s 1979 low-budget masterpiece that took the genre to the masses. A sharp and terrifying slice-and-dice classic as Michael Myers hacks a bloody swathe though small-town America.
GFT, Glasgow, Fri 29 Oct.

The Sawjuggernaut grinds to a stop as the seventh instalment brings the most successful horror franchise of all time to a suitably bloody conclusion. This final entry promises to bring the gore right into the audience in terrifying 3D. We’ll miss you Jigsaw.
General release.

Halloween à La Carte (Ramshorn Theatre, Glasgow, Sun 31 Oct, 2pm) is the latest in the Ramshorn Theatre’s ‘à La Carte’ series, in which you can choose from a ‘menu’ of short, spookily-themed performances that are then performed at your table. If you’d rather get up and about (after a fashion), the Glasgow Zombie Walk (Kelvingrove Park, Sun 31 Oct, 3pm) was such a shuffling success last year that it’s risen again, along with the gruesomely glamorous Zombie Ball (Sloan’s, Glasgow, Sat 30 Oct, 7pm). Not to be outdone, Edinburgh has its own Zombie Walk (Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh, Sun 31 Oct, 7.30pm), which is included under the cobwebbed umbrella of Death Weekend (Roxy Art House, Edinburgh, Fri 29–Sun 31 Oct), a selection of morbidly themed cult films, literary events, live music and more. The Edinburgh City of the Dead walking tour (daily, call 0131 225 9044 or visit for details) has its own take on stalking around town in a deathly state of mind – and since it’s Halloween, they’re promising to be extra-special scary. The more light-hearted and indoorsy Trashy Halloween (Boda Bar, Edinburgh, Sun 24, Sat 30 & Sun 31 Oct) teaches you how to recycle your old rubbish into spooky accessories, and will – bizarrely – also feature a bra auction.

The pagan daddy of the Halloween festive period is Samhuinn (their spelling) (Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Sun 31 Oct, 7.30pm), hosted by the same pyromaniacal mischief-makers who give us Beltane every year. There’ll be tribal drummers, symbolic costumery, and no doubt some fire-play as well. For a less urban Samhain experience, you could attend the Spooks and Sacrifice event (Crannog Centre, Kenmore, Sun 31 Oct, 6pm) on the beautiful banks of Loch Tay; bring along your own flaming branch and enjoy a torch-lit procession, storytelling, apple-dookin’, hot soup, and of course, the obligatory fire shows (including the burning of a wicker ram).

The Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn

  • 5 stars
  • 1987
  • US
  • 1h 24min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Sam Raimi
  • Written by: Sam Raimi, Scott Spiegel
  • Cast: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry

Bruce 'fastest axe in the West' Campbell and another selection of hardy citizens gird their loins and set their chainsaws running for another ding-dong battle with the evil forces in the woods.


  • 5 stars
  • 1978
  • US
  • 1h 31min
  • 18
  • Directed by: John Carpenter
  • Written by: John Carpenter, Debra Hill
  • Cast: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, PJ Soles, Nancy Loomis

The first and best of the series – and one of the best of all slasher movies. Escaped psycho Michael Myers returns to the town where he killed his sister several years before and picks up where he left off with remarkable ease. Pleasence is the obsessive psychiatrist on his trail, convinced he is to blame for the escape.

Nalle, Adam Stafford and Two Wings

Nalle are a psychedelic folk duo, playing guitar and bouzouki. 'Part of Death Weekend'.

Samhuinn Afterparty

Celtic celebration of summer's pass into winter at this afterparty from the Beltane Fire Society.

Glasgow Zombie Walk

Dress as a member of the undead then stumble down Byres Road, arms outstretched. We're not sure why, but it sounds like fun. Starts from the Park Road/Eldon Street entrance to Kelvingrove Park.

Edinburgh Zombie Walk

Join a pack of assorted freaks, ghouls and under-employed art school students to shuffle through the streets of the city infecting passers-by and walking in a mildly disconcerting manner. Meet at Banshee Labyrinth on Niddry Street for the start of the walk. It finishes up at the Roxy Art House for some sort of undead…

Death Weekend

In a somewhat macabre manoeuvre, the Roxy Art House is giving over the weekend to a celebration of death in all its glorious (artistic, we presume) forms. Featuring live music, literary events, art happenings and cult film showings, the weekend culminates in a zombie party, for which fancy dress is advised-nay, demanded.

Real Dave & The People, Hiva Oa, Port Nawak and The Woo

Dark ambient acoustica. 'Part of Death Weekend'.

Boo Station

Special Halloween installment of live music, art, video, audio and DJ sets from musicians, artists and amateurs. 'Part of Death Weekend'.

Death Weekend Closing Party

Rock'n'roll trash, garage bands, performance, art and B-movie madness promising 'all killer, no 'Thriller'', as the Roxy's weekend of doom comes to a close. Re-enforcements from the Edinburgh Zombie Walk will be arriving from 10pm.

Saw 3D

  • 2010
  • US
  • 1h 29min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Kevin Greutert
  • Cast: Tobin Bell, Cary Elwes, Costas Mandylor

The seventh and supposedly final installment of the series that defined 'torture porn'. Expect blood, guts and more intricate terror traps as Jigsaw (Bell) reeks his final revenge from beyond the grave in goretastic 3D.

Samhuinn Fire Parade 2021

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.