Stuck for what to get up to this Halloween? Fear not, we’ve got the most spooktacular Halloween events in Scotland to keep you on the edge of your seat. Happy haunting!
Halloween Events Scotland
Samhuinn Fire Festival, Edinburgh
31st October 2018, 8pm
If ghosts and grim reapers aren’t your thing, head to Calton Hill in Edinburgh and enjoy the spectacular sights of Samhainn, an ancient Celtic fire festival which celebrates the transition from summer to winter. Expect a visual feast of colourful costumes, acrobatics, wild drumming and fire-dancing – you won’t be disappointed!
Tickets: £6, Children under 5 go free, buy here.
St Andrews Ghost Tours, Fife
All year round with tours daily at 4pm, 5.30pm, 7.30pm and 9pm
With apparently over 200 haunted locations, St Andrews has much more to offer than golf! Known for its ghostly history, the town makes for a perfect destination for a spooky Halloween-themed night out. Book onto one of the ghost tours, which start at Church Square, where you will hear spine-tingling tales of folklore, phantoms and witches whilst you wander through dark streets and lanes loaded with paranormal history.
Adults: £12, Children: £8. Booking essential (no walk-ups), book here.
Paisley Halloween Festival, Paisley
26th and 27th October 2018
Throw on your witch’s cloak and get into the spirit of things at Paisley Halloween Festival, where a 500-strong parade of gruesome characters and floats will make their way through the dark streets to the town centre. Afterwards, head to the town hall for the ‘Flying Witches’ finale – an eerie aerial performance which will be followed by a screening of some classic horror flicks. Also be sure to check out the pyrotechnics at the Fire Stage and visit the County Square funfair for some more hair-raising thrills!
Visit paisley.is to secure your seat at a free horror film screening.
Peterhead Prison Museum Halloween Tour, Peterhead, Aberdeenshire
25th – 27th and 29th – 31st October 2018
If you’re feeling brave enough, dare to wander darkened cell blocks and corridors as part of the popular Halloween-themed tour at the former Victorian prison in Peterhead. Being in a creepy old prison at night is blood-curdling enough, let alone when the witching hour descends – this tour is certainly not for the faint-hearted! Tickets are selling fast, so prompt booking is recommended.
Tickets: £21.55, 18+ only, buy here.
GlasGLOW, Botanic Gardens, Glasgow
27th October – 11th November 2018
This Halloween season, Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens will be transformed into an other-worldly, full-on sensory experience, with a magical light and sound show – plus gourmet food stalls, hot toddies and fire pits for roasting marshmallows. Described as ‘Stranger Things met Games of Thrones in a beautiful Glasgow garden’, it’s impossible not to be curious about what this magical event has to offer.
Adults: from £14, Children: from £9 (under 3s go free), buy here.
Hallowild, Blair Drummond Safari Park, near Stirling
13th – 28th October 2018
A perfect Halloween outing for families, Hallowild at Blair Drummond Safari Park promises enchanting Alice in Wonderland-inspired ‘Fright Rooms’ with special effects and illusions, a slime making workshop and a ‘Safari Spook Tent’ where you can get up close and personal with all creatures weird and wonderful.
Adults: £16.25, Children: £13.25, buy here.
Ness Islands Halloween Show, Inverness
27th and 28th October 2018
Looking to put your costume skills to good use? Get on your best ghoulish getup and join thousands of other spook-tators at this year’s Ness Islands Halloween Show for some supernatural fun fit for all the family. The free event will be hosted on the Instagrammable Ness islands: a beautiful park made up of islands on River Ness connected by footbridges, all of which will be transformed by vivid lighting and performance. Don’t forget your camera!
Spirits of Scone, Scone Palace, Perthshire
25th – 31st October 2018
If it’s a gothic affair you’re after, there’s no place better to visit than Scone Palace, where you’ll be in for a night full of spooktastic surprises. Explore its transformed grounds, including the Maze of Nightmares – if you dare – where you may find some unearthly characters lurking in the shadows. Gather round the Victorian kitchen for some ghostly storytelling, before washing it all down with burgers and toasted marshmallows at the Fright Night Café.
Adults: £12.50, Child: £6.25, buy here.
Pick a pumpkin
If you haven’t already got one, why not pick your own pumpkin this year? Visiting a pumpkin patch can be great autumnal fun for families – particularly the part where you return home armed with your prized produce, ready for carving, or turning into delicious pumpkin pie! Scotland has some great pumpkin farms including Arnprior Farm near Stirling, Udny Pumpkins near Aberdeen and Craigie’s Farm Shop and Café (near Edinburgh) – which is even whipping up its own Pumpkin Spice Lattes!
‘Condemned’, The Real Mary King’s Close, Edinburgh
23rd, 25th – 27th October 2018
Buried deep beneath Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, the underground street of Mary’s King Close has no shortage of grisly stories to share. Don’t miss its special Halloween tour, ‘Condemned’, where you will find yourself transported back to 18th Century Edinburgh, learning all about the capital’s dark history of witchcraft and witch hunting. If you enjoy your Halloween with a hefty side of history, be sure to check this out.
Tickets: £16.95, buy here.
Visit a haunted Scottish pub
Looking for something low-key, yet still with a Halloween theme? You don’t need to book an organised event; simply visit a haunted pub and enjoy a few warming tipples to counteract any spine chills. Scotland is known worldwide to be home to many haunted bars; including Scotia bar (Glasgow), Ma Cameron’s (Aberdeen), The Banshee Labyrinth (Edinburgh) and The Drovers Inn (near Loch Lomond).
JellyBaby: Halloween, SWG3, Glasgow
31st October 2018, 10pm – 2am
If ghost stories and spooky tours don’t float your boat, you may be looking for a club night where you can shamelessly don those sparkly devil horns that have been lingering in your drawer since yesteryear. With fancy dress encouraged, it’s time to vamp it up in your most glam Halloween ensemble whilst you dance the night away in SWG3, Glasgow’s coolest warehouse space.
Tickets: £11.25, buy here.
A walk to the Fairy Tree, Doon Hill, Aberfoyle
A walk through woodland to the colourful, ribbon-clad Fairy Tree at the summit of Doon Hill makes for a perfect alternative Halloween activity. The mystical trail will lead you past the graveyard where Robert Kirk is buried – a Reverend who, fascinated by local folklore, wrote a famous book revealing the secrets of faeries. Legend has it that this angered the faeries of Doon Hill, who trapped his soul in a Scots pine tree at the top of the hill, near to where his body was mysteriously found in 1692.
Copy: Carmen Haigh