Things to do in Manchester this Halloween
October is finally here, which means we can start planning for one of the biggest events of the year - Halloween. While many associate the tradition with trick or treating and pumpkin carving, there's also plenty of new pastimes to get involved in across Greater Manchester this October. From eerie live-action events, to frightening film festivals and chilling Halloween ice skating, there's something for everyone to enjoy this spooky season.
And let's not forget there will also be some ghoulish inflatable monsters doing the rounds this month, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for those. Below you'll find some Halloween inspiration to get stuck into in and around Manchester this festive season. Read more: Where to go pumpkin picking in and around Greater Manchester for Halloween 2022
Halloween Ghost Hunt at Ordsall Hall(Image: Western Daily press)
Let's start with a disclaimer: this one is not for the faint hearted. If you're of the opinion - or rather the firm conviction - that ghosts do exist, a trip to Ordsall Hall is the one for you. This historic hall is home to stories including the death of Lady Margaret Radclyffe who died, broken-hearted, in 1599 after the death of her beloved brother Alexander.
Previously guests have reported being touched or pushed and some have said they felt someone touching their face when nobody was apparently present. Personally, I don't want to take that risk, but if you feel brave enough the next ghost hunt is being held on Saturday, October 29, and tickets can be purchased here . Halloween Farm Fun at Reddish Vale(Image: Manchester Evening News)
Not content with merely pumpkin picking, Reddish Vale Farm is rolling out the orange and black carpet for families this October with a range of Spooktacular events.
As well as The Spooky Express tractor ride at GBP2 a pop, there's also vampire archery, witches Hat Hoopla and the opportunity to meet some small animals. The farm also features outdoor adventure play including air bouncers and zip wires, plus there will be prizes for the best fancy dress. Taking place from Saturday, October 8 to Wednesday, November 30, there's plenty of time to head down.
Grab your tickets here . Halloween at The Warehouse Project For others, Halloween actually means one big night out, and fortunately The Warehouse Project will be in full swing by the time it rolls around.
Its annual Halloween rave has been known for its massive names and this year is no different, with Annie Mac headlining what is sure to be one of the best club events of the season. The line-up also features Patrick Topping, Jaguar, LF System and Ewan Mcvicar, plus some special guests across all three rooms at Depot Mayfield. The event takes place on Saturday, October 29.
Spookfest at Trafford Centre(Image: The Trafford Centre)
From mid-October Spookfest at the Trafford Centre is back complete with hair-raising rides and lots of tasty treats - and tricks of course. The funfair, which was last in action as part of the mall's Summer Daze event, will be back with everything from the ghost train and haunted house, to the popular Rock Rage and cruise ship rides. A big part of the annual event is Gandeys action-packed legendary Halloween Spooktacular Big Top show.
The circus returns this year with a specially selected international cast of skeletons, vampires, Jack o'lanterns and not forgetting circus artistes, who will of course be on hand to keep audiences on the edge of their seats with their stunts. All the excitement can certainly whip up an appetite, luckily a host of independent food and drink operators will be serving up delicious fishes and tars treats. Tickets can be purchased here .
Candlelight Halloween: A Haunted Evening of Classical Compositions If you're after something a little different, the Candlelight series might be for you. A magical candlelit concert will take place within the Cathedral this Halloween and span classic tunes from Thriller to Phantom of the Opera, as well as movie favourites like the Ghostbusters theme.
Bringing the magic of live, multi-sensory musical experiences to Manchester, the concert, led by violinist Matt Glossop and pianist Tom Abel, lasts 65 minutes and prices range from GBP18-38 for different seating options . Backyard CinemaThe unique cinema experience lands in Manchester this autumn (Image: Backyard Cinema)
Occupying a former train platform at Depot Mayfield, Backyard Cinema - a purpose-built 330-capacity winter cinema - will be giving cinema-goers the chance to immerse themselves in an enchanted forest set as they watch a variety of festive films. The cinema experience will transport visitors through tunnels of trees and magical doors, heading towards an Enchanted Forest and home of the Lost Theatre, while the screening room meanwhile, will be filled with custom-made giant bean bags for seating, with ushers offering table service complete with seasonal cocktails and sweet treats.
This October, they'll be showing classics including Hocus Pocus on Saturday, October 22 as well as Addams Family Values and Beetlejuice on Saturday, October 29. Tickets can be purchased here . Scare Skate(Image: Skate Manchester)
Cathedral Gardens is preparing to play host to Scare Skate - an invasion of ice-skating spooks on its biggest ever outdoor ice rink.
The Spooktacular rink will be complete with Halloween-themed music and lighting, while a band of ghoulish skating monsters will also join skaters on the ice every hour. The venue will be nearly double the size of previous Christmas rinks at the site, which means even more space to show off your skating skills. Running from October 22 to 31, visitors will be able to skate by starlight but stay sheltered from the rain as it's all undercover.
Tickets for Scare Skate are available now, with prices starting at GBP13 for adults and GBP11 for children, with discounted family and season tickets also available. Visit skatemanchester.com to book. Ghost Hunt at Antwerp MansionThe mansion is closed, but the nights live on (Image: Manchester Evening News)
An overnight ghost hunt at the haunted Antwerp Mansion in Manchester is destined to be a night that you will certainly never forget.
This hunt gives you a chance to investigate different rooms like the old ballroom, scullery and bedrooms, and not forgetting the dark and sinister cellars. This ghost hunt is an opportunity for those brave enough to spend the night, as you work with the their team as they attempt to make contact with the ghostly spirits that for whatever reason refuse to leave here. If you're brave enough, book your spot here.
Pumpkin picking(Image: Manchester Evening News)
Perhaps one of the best Halloween traditions is heading out to select your very own pumpkin. Festivals and events are running at various sites in and around Greater Manchester where children and adults can pick their own to take home - and enjoy a host of other activities too. We've selected some of from across the region from Dunham Massey's Pumpkin Patch to Grange Farm's Pumpkin Festival here .
Scare City(Image: Manchester Evening News)
If you wish to spend your Halloween scared out of your mind, this drive-in horror experience might just be the ticket. Including a horror film and a drive-thru chilling scare tunnel with live actors and unexpected surprises, they'll be showing films like The Grudge, Into The Woods and The Exorcist - that is if you can concentrate. Less chilling?
The range of food and drink trucks placed around the site. Tickets can be purchased here . Aliens, Zombies and Monster Hunt - Z-arts
It appears Z-arts has been invaded by life-sized aliens, zombies and monsters - fortunately they're friendly. This interactive and immersive exploration takes visitors into the mind of popular children's author and illustrator Aaaron Blecha who loves to draw all things zombies and slime, and as part of the hunt, the venue will be filled with life-sized monsters ready to mingle with visitors of all ages. Kids can also climb aboard the alien spaceship and have their photo taken amongst the monsters and zombies.
You can book your ticket here . Halloween in the City(Image: PA)
The giant inflatable monsters are back! Prepare to see some familiar, albeit scary faces, taking residence on Manchester's most well-known buildings this October as Halloween in the City returns.
The family friendly art trail will feature monsters around every corner as well as live entertainment and activities across the Halloween weekend The MCR Monsters will be back in the city from 25-31 October, and this year's invasion has been designed by artists Created by artists Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas. Previously, the monsters have appeared in locations including the Arndale, Printworks, and Kampus.
New for this year is Monsters Rock! Music Festival, featuring monster bands, scary DJs, a glow in the dark dance party, plus Halloween vogue balls and a pumpkin patch chill out zone, spanning the city's St Ann's Square, Market Street and Exchange Square. There will also be a Monsters Rock Procession courtesy of Walk the Plank, the team behind the Manchester Day Parade.
VR Haunted Hayride One of the cheapest - and potentially most fun - activities taking place this Halloween. For just a fiver you can climb aboard this virtual reality haunted hayride, which will take you on a spine-tingling journey where you may just encounter some ghastly ghouls, petrifying pumpkins and startling scarecrows.
It's all fun and games but organisers do advise anyone who suffers from car sickness to maybe give this one a miss, and parental discretion is advised for children under the age of 7 as there are parts where they will need to jump. Terms and conditions out the way, you can book on here . Stab Film Fest(Image: Anthony Moss | Manchester Evening News)
Situated within the award-winning events space GRUB, Chapeltown Picture House is an independent cinema dedicated to celebrating the best in cult cinema, TV, videogames and more on the big screen.
And this Halloween audiences can expect the best horror offering in the city. Kicking off its new annual film season, cinema-goers can expect a number of British zombie classics, several feminist heroines, and a Halloween edition of Manchester Amateur Gaming League. Both single and season passes are available in line with CHP's other events, to help people during the cost of living crisis.
50 Red Bank, Manchester, England, M4 4HF, United Kingdom Pumpkin Carving at The Pen and Pencil Fancy yourself a dab hand at pumpkin carving?
No, me neither, however it is just a bit of fun, so why not head down to Manchester bar and restaurant Pen & Pencil this Halloween. Tickets include a rum cocktail on arrival, tasters from Kraken Rum and a raft of goodies from the rum brand. If you are quite adept at carving pumpkins, there will be a competition - plus prizes - for the best one.
The event takes place Thursday, October 24.
57 Hilton Street, Northern Quarter, M1 2EJ. GrimmFest at Great NorthernGreat Northern, Manchester (Image: Manchester Evening News)
It's been giving Goosebumps since 2009, and now Grimmfest will return to Manchester's Odeon cinema at Great Northern with an extravaganza of scares, SFX, and state-of-the-art filmmaking. The opening night will see the UK premiere of the darkly comic 'The Loneliest Boy in The World, where director Martin Owen and stars of the film Max Harwood and Ben Miller will be in attendance.
On Saturday 8 October, AJ Bowen will present the screening of his latest film which he co-wrote as well as starring in - Night Sky, a splicing of sun-bleached Desert Noir, freewheeling 70s road movie, and paranoid Science Fiction conspiracy thriller. Lions Den, situated on Deansgate Mews at Great Northern Warehouse, will also be offering 20% off drinks for Grimmfest pass holders throughout the four days. Grab your tickets here .