Best Halloween events in Edinburgh and Glasgow
Get spirited away with film screenings, ghost hunts and a host of activities for tiny terrors
Do the monster mash: it’s a graveyard smash and it’s about to get its yearly outing. We’ve rounded up events in Edinburgh and Glasgow where you can don your fancy dress, binge-watch scary flicks and hunt some ghosts, all in the name of Halloween.
Fans of horror films can attend All Night Horror Madness at Glasgow’s Grosvenor (Sat 10 Oct) or Edinburgh’s Cameo (Sat 17 Oct) for back-to-back screenings featuring blood, guts and other nasties throughout the night. If you can’t handle that much popcorn, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is showing at the Cameo (Mon 19 Oct), while GFT has John Carpenter's Halloween (Fri 30 Oct), the first and best in that slasher franchise. Glasgow’s Panopticon is hosting a Horror Classic Film Night (Sat 31 Oct) with a silent movie set to live music and sound effects by Gladstone's Bag.
If you’re looking to entertain tiny terrors, Edinburgh Zoo is home to Zombie Zoo (Sat 31 Oct). Don’t worry, there are no undead meerkats, instead you can help make Halloween-themed items to go in the animals’ enclosures and watch how they interact with their new toys. The Panopticon is hosting a family-friendly Halloween Cabaret (Sat 31 Oct) with spooky song, dance and comedy while Children’s Classic Concerts: Magic and Monsters offers a Halloween special featuring the RSNO Junior Chorus and a guest appearance by James Mackenzie of CBBC’s Raven. Catch it at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall (Sat 31 Oct) and Edinburgh’s Usher Hall (Sun 1 Nov).
The capital offers plenty of chances to get your fright on in tourist attractions. Join the Mary King’s Close Ghost Hunt (Fri 30 Oct) or Halloween Terror at the Edinburgh Vaults (Sat 31 Oct) and try to detect paranormal activity under the city. If you don’t fancy giving up your whole evening to ghost hunting, Edinburgh Dungeon extends its opening times until 10pm on Halloween, perfect for some scares before a night out. Back up on street level, the Samhuinn Fire Festival (Sat 31 Oct) celebrates the Celtic New Year, welcoming the onset of winter with a torchlit procession down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile featuring acrobatics, fireworks, performances and beautiful costumes.
If you want to dress up in Edinburgh on Sat 31 Oct, Betamax’s night of mutant disco, post punk and new wave occurs at Studio 24, while the Liquid Rooms hosts Madchester, a celebration of late 80s and early 90s alt.rock with discounted entry for costume wearers. Or you can go even more retro with VEGAS! at the Voodoo Rooms, a swinging night of jumping jive where you can play roulette while Nikki Nevada & the Vegas Showgirls shake their tail-feathers.
For those looking to ghoul up and bust out their best ‘Thriller’ impression in Glasgow, Classic Grand hosts Monster-A-Gogo: Halloween Party, a night of live music, monsters, drag, burlesque and party games with a DJ set from The Cave's Jambug. Over at O2 Academy, there’s the iconic Club Noir: Halloween Masked Ball. Billed as the biggest Halloween night in the country, some 2000 revellers enjoy two burlesque shows depicting gory fantasies featuring aerial artists, striptease, pole dance, escapology and live music from the Shiverin’ Sheiks.