Halloween events this October to make you wee your pants with fear AND excitement
October marks the end of bare-leg season and the start of tactical layering, stout drinking and heavy Netflix marathons under blankets. Most importantly, it is the glorious month of horror, providing an excellent excuse to release your inner goth.
Here’s 10 different ways to celebrate it throughout the month, from meme parties to gothic festivals...
Full on Fear - Throughout October
Visitors - sorry, ‘victims’ - of the Yorkshire Scare Grounds Scream Park are advised to be prepared to be subjected to ‘disorienting and distracting senses’ using special effects and be ready to run, bend, jump or crawl through sections of the haunted attraction.
The interactive event features thrilling live actors, specially created sets and moving props. Designed around five different unique attractions in one place that each have their own theme, including ‘The Slaughter House’ and ‘Hotel Hell’, this is not for the faint hearted.
Yorkshire Scare Grounds Scream Park, Horse Race End, Hell Ln, Heath, Wakefield WF1 5SG. £20
Hallowscream - Throughout October
We all have that one friend who brags about how unwaveringly brave and unsqueamish they are, and multiple efforts to catch so much of a flinch while watching even the most brutral horror films have failed miserably. Why not surprise them with a trip to Hallowscream for a real test of their nerves?
Expect chainsaw wielding clowns, gas-masked lunatics, and screaming, restless souls throughout the five live-action haunted house attractions. Don’t forget to pick up the secret camera photos of their terrified reactions and totally ruin their tough rep for good.
York Maze, Elvington Lane, York YO19 5LT. From £20
The Unquiet Dead - Thursday 12 October
Local storyteller Matthew Bellwood uses an old school approach to scaring the shit out of whoever dares go to Leeds Library, proving it’s not all about CGI monsters and fake blood. Telling spooky tales from the golden age of the ghost story and set to traditional English ghost ballads, Matthew reveals the eerie spots and mysterious corners of one of the city’s most beautiful Victorian buildings.
Leeds Library, Calverley St, Leeds LS1 3AB. Pay as you feel.
Leeds Festival of Gothica - Saturday 14 October
Spend a day in the dark world of gothica at Leeds City Museum, exploring related literature, fashion and music. Installations will be on display inspired by the theme, as well as stalls from the likes of Jumbo Records, Ultimate Skin Tattoo and the West Yorkshire Playhouse Costume Department
NYX Cosmetics will be on hand displaying gothic-esque make-up tutorials and Hyde Park Picture House have helped to create a pop-up cinema playing gothic shorts, silent film, and ridiculously entertaining stop-motion animation horror ‘Spook Train’ by Lee Hardcastle.
Leeds City Museum, Millennium Square, Leeds LS2 8BH. Free Entry.
Strangest Things Halloween Party - Friday 20 October
The clubnight influenced by the Netflix sci-fi horror series ‘Stranger Things’ is coming to The Faversham, bringing atmospheric 80’s nostalgia to Leeds. Soundtracked by vinyl records alone, the playlist is carefully picked to feature all the best stuff from the likes of Joy Division, The Human League, Depeche Mode, David Bowie and The Smiths.
Prizes awarded for the best dressed, so make like Hellraiser and stick pins in your head (not literally, please) or cover yourself in goo, attach some wings on your back and buzz around like The Fly, the more ridiculous the better.
The Faversham, 1-5 Springfield Mount, Leeds LS2 9NG
Day of The Dead Fiesta - Friday 27 & Saturday 28 October
The Day of The Dead themed Fiesta takes place in the medieval surroundings of Kirkstall Abbey and is full of colourful live acts, music and performances, a giant Skull Parade and outdoor cinema. Locally sourced Latin American Street Food stalls, a tequila bar with themed cocktails and independant themed retailers will all be available throughout the weekend.
Kirkstall Abbey, Abbey Road, Leeds LS5 3EH. From £12
The Home of Halloween - Saturday 28 & Tuesday 31 October
Delve into the city’s history at the York Dungeon, which brings together theatrical actors based on infamous characters from the past, special effects and a chilling walk-through experience. The Dungeon is open throughout most of the year, however they up the game for October with special events, including an 18+ late night, hiding extra gruesome actors and adding more scare factor to the shows, trick or treat walking tours, city bus tours and a ghost cruise revealing ghastly stories whilst sailing on the River Ouse.
York Dungeon, 12 Clifford St, York YO1 9RD. From £10.50
Nightmare on Sheaf St - Saturday 28 October
Independant cafe Sheaf Street are putting on a triple bill of terror, featuring two classics ‘Nightmare On Elm Street’, ‘Evil Dead 2’ and the more recent ‘Get Out’. Fancy dress is optional but who can resist an opportunity to channel their inner Freddy Krueger and rock up in black and red stripes. A Halloween punch will be on offer and Grub and Grog will be serving up food until 9pm and taking reservations for anything after then. Tickets include one free drink token to help settle your nerves for the frightful films ahead...
Sheaf Street Cafeteria, 3 Sheaf Street, Leeds LS10 1HD. £4
Hallomeme Party - Saturday 28 October
Instead of killing time at your desk, monotonously tagging memes back and forth with your friends, head to Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen and celebrate them in the manner they deserve. Meme’s and videos will be projected on the walls and party tunes played throughout the night. A £200 cash prize along with a big bag of cans will be awarded for the best costume, so get thinking of a hilariously clever way of wearing your favourite meme or come as as one of internet's many viral megastars. Not so much spooky, but why shouldn’t Belgrave do Halloween their way, because as they put it, ‘life has no meaning without memes.’
Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen, 1-1A Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds LS2 8JP. Free entry
Spooky start to a day of archive film at the Town Hall: Caligari with organ accompaniment #shiver #spooky #silentfilm #LIFF29
A post shared by @leedsfilmfest on
Fanomenon Film Marathons - 4 & 10 November
Just missing the October mark but still worth a mention, Fanomenon’s film marathons celebrate horror and fantasy in the form of Day of The Dead at Leeds Town Hall and Night of The Dead, at the atmospheric Hyde Park Picture House.
The Fanomenon events have been going since 1999 and run as part of Leeds International Film Festival, featuring some rarely shown films from around the World and exclusive previews. This year’s standout films include the Spanish ‘Veronica’, based on real-life possession and the UK premiere of French comedy-horror ‘The Mansion and Downrange’, full details are released on the 11th October.
Day of The Dead, Saturday 4 November, Leeds Town Hall, The Headrow, LS1 3AD
Night of The Dead, Friday 10 November, Hyde Park Picture House, 73 Brudenell Rd, Leeds LS6 1JD