Halloween events 2019: 8 spooky events taking place in Scotland this October
Halloween means different things to different people.
For students, it's a night to make yourself sick by doing too many shots while dressed up like a Batman villain. For kids, its a night to make yourself sick by eating far too many sweets while dressed up like Batman.
The film fans might want to take in a classic horror movie while the history buffs might want to learn a little about how we terrified each other back in the good old days.
Whatever your speed, Halloween in Scotland has something for you. Here’s our pick of the best spooky events around the country.
Paisley Halloween Festival Paisley Abbey, Friday 25 October and Saturday 26 OctoberThis year, the Paisley Halloween Festival has promised to come back bigger and badder than ever before. For 2019, the whole city centre will find itself transformed into a Dark Circus, complete with death-defying aerial performers and all manner of street theatre. As the music begins to play, the night will come alive with giant puppets, voodoo acrobats, fire artists and more. To add a final unnerving touch, this year adds a Spooky Silent Disco into the mix as well.
Edinburgh Horror Festival The Banshee Labyrinth and Lauriston Castle, Thursday 24 October to Sunday 3 November)Edinburgh's annual horror festival contains a little bit of everything: movies, games, stand up comedy, magic and more. Whatever you're in the mood for this Halloween, you'll find it in Scotland's capital. Split between The Banshee Labyrinth and Lauriston Castle, this year's festival is as varied as ever, with a spooky drag show, a Rocky Horror night, a lesson in how to be a psychic conman and a Halloween séance. Whether you want to spend the spooky season doubled over in laughter or scared out of your mind, you'll find something at Edinburgh Horror Festival to satisfy your craving.
CarnEVIL III Aberdeen Beach, Friday 18 October to Saturday 2 NovemberReturning for its third year, Codona's CarnEVIL has firmly established itself as one of Aberdeen's best Halloween events. The night begins with a haunted walk through the freaky carnival itself, where all manner of nasty things are ready to jump out of the shadows. If you make it through in one piece, you'll be rewarded with unlimited access to the carnival’s rides (including adult dodgems!) as well as a zombie-themed game of laser tag. Tickets also include a round of outdoor adventure golf, which may or may not be frightening.
QuarantineKelburn Castle, Thursday 24 October to Sunday 3 NovemberThe world is in crisis. Cars lie abandoned where they crashed. Bloody footprints and body parts line the paths. The whole of civilisation is relying on you but your only hope is on the other side of a deep, dark forest. A horde of undead beings stands between you and the cure for all humanity – are you brave enough to battle your way towards it? Kelburn Castle's Quarantine lets you get as close to a real-life Walking Dead experience as you would ever want to be. Maybe even a little closer...
Condemned Witchcraft Tour(Mary King's Close, Edinburgh, Until 31 October)Beneath Edinburgh's tourist-friendly surface, Scotland's capital is rife with unnerving urban legends and dark secrets. The enthusiasm with which our ancestors pursued witch hunting is one of the most macabre chapters in Scottish history, and few places felt the effects of it more than the residents of Mary King's Close. The Condemned Witchcraft Tour teaches visitors all about how the witch-hunting craze took over the country and what the consequences were for those who fell foul of it. A history lesson with a sinister twist.
Glasgow's Britannia Panopticon Britannia Panopticon, Glasgow, Saturday 26 and Wednesday 30 OctoberThe Trongate's Panopticon theatre has long been the home of all things off-beat, over-the-top and a little out there. Naturally, it comes into its own at the time of year when the rest of the world starts acting strange. This year's Halloween line-up begins with a Witch Market (Saturday 26 October) where you can pick up all the supplies you'll need to curse your enemies and cure what ails you. That night also brings Ghost Stories from Around the World, in case you've ever wondered how people across the world terrify their friends during sleepovers. The scary season is rounded off with silent horror classic The Phantom of the Opera (Wednesday 30 October), complete with a live score performed by Gladstone's Bag.
Samhuinn Fire FestivalCalton Hill, Edinburgh, Thursday 31 OctoberLong before we were donning Ghostface masks or yelling “trick or treat”, people have been celebrating the changing of the seasons in all kinds of spectacular ways. The Celts swore in the darker half of the year with a festival of fire, drumming and dance. As the nights got darker, the border between our world and the next was believed to get thinner. The pounding music and dancing flames would lead the way for visitors from the underworld and provided protection from the cold night to come for the community that gathered round them. This annual festival at Calton Hill allows visitors to celebrate the way their countrymen did hundreds of years ago.
HallowildBlair Drummond Safari Park, Saturday 12 October to Sunday 27 OctoberFor those looking for something a little more adventurous than themed costumes or haunted houses, head to where the wild things really are – Blair Drummond Safari Park. This year's Hallowild experience features a creepy tomb filled with mummies and frightening 3D effects. For the younger ones, there's also a slime-making event and an outdoor trick or treat trail. For aspiring influencers, the giant hay bale spiders make perfect selfie companions whereas those who would prefer to reconnect with nature can pick their own pumpkin from Blair Drummond's patch.