PUMPKINS are taking over the fruit and veg aisles, rubber masks are staring at you every way you turn, and you face a battle with fake cobwebs every time you enter a room.
There’s no escaping it: Hallowe’en is coming.
And while you are busy trying to rustle up the best creation possible for your offspring – which in reality will be ditched in favour of the “classic” ghost costume – don’t forget that Hallowe’en can be a fun celebration for adults too. Or at least provide an excuse for a bad hair day.
So embrace the celebration of all things ghoulish and ghostly and pick out some spooky events to thrill all the family.
FOR THE LITTLE ONES
Lauriston Castle (today and tomorrow from 10am to 1pm) offers a morning of spooky fun and adventure with woodland ghostly trails and craft classes to create ghoulish globes and window decorations.
Venture into Almond Valley in Livingston to take part in a trail of terror. Each day until November 2, visitors will be able to take part in creepy crafts and gruesome games and collect a reward at the end for their bravery.
On October 29 from 4-7pm, the Mini Monsters and Silly Screams event focuses on Hallowe’en for the under- eights with ghostly games, tales of terror, dressing up, dooking for apples and some silly surprises. Screams and smiles promised for the children and their families. And on Hallowe’en night, from 6-9pm, Almond Valley promises a festival of gore and unpleasant surprises, ghost trains, night rides to oblivion, and a meeting with your darkest nightmare. Not suitable for very young children.
Edinburgh Leisure has organised Hallowe’en parties for young ones at its soft play centres. Scrambles at the Edinburgh Indoor Climbing Arena at Ratho is hosting mask-making and messy play at its party on October 31 from 2.30-4.30pm. Animal handling and a “ghoulishly good disco” will entertain little ones at Clambers at the Royal Commonwealth Pool on October 30 from 4-6pm. And at Tumbles in Portobello, children will be spooked by an eerily brilliant magician on Hallowe’en from 3-5pm.
Throughout this weekend and next, East Links Family Park in Dunbar will be transformed into a haven for Hallowe’en lovers. Dare you enter the haunted house filled with frights and scares? And are you brave enough to take a ride on the ghost train? Fun activities include a pumpkin hunt, face painting while apple dooking will also take place.
FOR THE BIG ONES
If you enjoy being scared then Linlithgow Palace is the place for you. Visit the palace after dark tonight and on Hallowe’en and November 1 to take a tour with a difference. Hear chilling tales and meet some of the less pleasant characters from its history along the way. Not recommended for young children.
The spectacularly spooky surroundings of the Ghillie Dhu will play host to the Dance of the Damned on Hallowe’en night, from 7pm to 3am. Promising to be a “night to dismember”, the evening consists of a Hallowe’en dinner package followed by a ceilidh, with The Norman Mackay Monster Ceilidh Band.
If being frightened is not your thing, you can still get into the spirit of Hallowe’en – in a much more civilised manner. Hop on board the Royal Yacht Britannia to celebrate in style. Carved pumpkins will adorn the Royal Deck Tea Room and of course, pumpkin soup and pumpkin cup cakes will be on the menu.
Renowned Royal Mile storyteller, Calum Lykan, will capture some gruesome and spooky moments from Auld Reekie’s past and present in the atmospheric setting of the Museum of Edinburgh on Hallowe’en itself from 2-3pm. For adults and young adults.
You can’t talk about Hallowe’en in Edinburgh without thinking of one of the city’s eeriest attractions – The Real Mary King’s Close.
Kicking off on Hallowe’en and running until November 8, the underground streets will come alive once again as part of this year’s Close Fest programme. The Dark Truth Hour sees a journey into the darker side of Edinburgh’s underground history, and runs at 9pm, 9.20pm, 9.40pm and 10pm on Hallowe’en.
For some scary fun, head to the Edinburgh Dungeons for some terrifying tales after hours. The special adults-only Hallowe’en special events are guaranteed to have visitors on the edge of their seats.
Edinburgh Zombie Club and The Southern Tenant are presenting two classic cinematic chillers at Summerhall. David Cronenberg’s horrific psychic sci-fi flick Scanners plus Jacques Tourneur’s 1957 demonic death curse movie Night Of The Demon will be screened on October 31. Doors open at 7.30pm.
Edinburgh’s community libraries will be open for a number of spooky events including a 1950s classic horror double bill of ‘The Fly’ and ‘Invaders from Mars’ at the Drumbrae Library Hub, which will also be hosting a 1950s-themed fancy dress competition.
Kicking off at 9pm on Hallowe’en, the Samhuinn Fire Festival is a Celtic celebration which marks the divide between this world and the next. The festival begins on the Royal Mile and is followed by a procession down The Mound.