It’s time for the scariest night of the year, and our round-up of the best Halloween events in Leeds should help you get your plans sorted.
This year, Halloween falls on a Tuesday but the weekend leading up to the big night is packed full of creepy, unnerving and downright gruesome events. So whether you’re looking for horror-themed clubnights, gory fun for all the family, or the finest scary flicks around, you’ll be absolutely spoilt for choice.
Halloween Nights Out
From spooky nights in old museums to dressing up for some of the biggest clubnights of the year, these Halloween nights out aren’t to be missed.
The Old Workhouse Ghost Hunt
Halloween is the perfect time of year to test your resolve and go on a ghost hunt. There are two special events to make the most of in Leeds this year – Fright Nights run the first and Haunted Happenings run the second, both at Thackray Medical Museum. The former Union Workhouse and East Leeds Hospital is known for its ghoulish goings-on. There have been sightings of a woman dressed in 18th century garments and of the ghost of a man in a white coat, as well as reports of the sounds of footsteps, knocks and bangs. Spend the night seeking them out on this creepy ghost hunt.
The Old Workhouse Ghost Hunt is at Thackray Medical Museum on Friday 27th October and Saturday 4th November 2017.
The Pendle Witch
This debut one-woman performance from Lexi Wolfe will get you right in the spirit of Halloween. It tells the story of a woman who finds herself locked up in The Witches’ Tower at Lancaster Castle in 1636, alongside a woman who tells you the story of the Witchcraft Trial which put her there 24 years earlier. She wasn’t one of the accused, she was one of the witnesses against the Witches of Pendle, including her own mother, sister and brother. So how has she ended up here? Lexi will reveal all in this chilling tale.
The Pendle Witch is at HEART, Headingley on Friday 27th October 2017.
The Leeds Day of the Dead Fiesta
Sneaky Experience have created one of the best Halloween events in Leeds. They’re turning Kirkstall Abbey into The Leeds Day of the Dead Fiesta. At its heart is the cinema, and they’re screening The Lost Boys on Friday night and Dusk Till Dawn on Saturday night. There’s much more to it than just films – there will be a Skull Parade, voodoo craft workshops, live UV art and chilling dance performances. There’s also Latin American street food, themed cocktails and a tequila bar to make the most of – don’t forget to dress up either.
The Leeds Day of the Dead Fiesta is at Kirkstall Abbey from Friday 27th until Sunday 29th October 2017.
Fright For Your Right to Party
Subterranean favourite Sela Bar is going all spooky ahead of Halloween with a free party until the early hours. Get dressed up in your scariest fancy dress and head downstairs for a chilling set from DJ Spooky Tunes, who’ll be spinning the most terrifying tunes he can find. They’ll also be doing trick or treating, so make sure you’ve left a bit of room for a few special grown-up treats.
Fright For Your Right to Party is at Sela Bar on Saturday 28th October 2017.
Projekt are going all out for Halloween, with not one, but two events in Leeds. The first is on Saturday night, for the weekend crowd, while the second is on Halloween itself, for all those lucky enough to have Wednesday off. Gruesome outfits are encouraged, and they’ll be pulling out all the stops with guest DJs coming to O2 Academy Leeds alongside resident tune spinners PBH and Harley Sanders. Expect pyrotechnics and confetti cannons to top it all off.
Projekt Halloween is at O2 Academy Leeds on Saturday 28th and Tuesday 31st October 2017.
Inzombifest Halloween All-Nighter
Mission has one of the best Halloween events in Leeds if you want to party into the night. Inzombifest is back promising a 10-hour house music festival with 17 different DJs spread across four rooms. Don’t miss a special live performance from Karen Harding, before DJ sets from the likes of Tom Garnett, Ryan James, Dale Castell, Josh Weeks and Luke Tibble. Expect Halloween horror shows and live scare actors with trick or treating to boot.
Inzombifest Halloween All-Nighter is at Mission on Saturday 28th October 2017.
This Halloween isn’t all about being as scary as possible – although you are told to head to Mint Club dressed up if you so wish. It also provides you with the chance to witness some of the finest techno talents in the world as System’s Halloween party takes over Mint Club. Richie Hawton is one of the most influential DJs around and this is an incredibly intimate venue to see him in. He’s joined by Berlin-based DJ Nicolas Lutz and Leeds-based favourite Annie Errez for what promises to be a special night.
System Halloween is at Mint Club on Saturday 28th October 2017.
Inspired by Japanese ghost stories and horror movies, Kwaiden is a terrifying piece of Halloween theatre that you can see at The HUB. Using life-sized puppets, humanettes, shadows and live performances, it tells the story of Haru, a young woman who returns to the abandoned family home after years away. Unexplainable things start to occur in the house, which is inhabited by spirits and ghosts. When Haru remembers a terrible event from her past, her world collapses around her.
Kwaiden is at The HUB on Sunday 29th October 2017.
Riders to the Sea
Leodian Concert Orchestra will perform a semi-staged version of Vaughan Williams’ classic opera Riders to the Sea, which will be complemented by Annabeth Robinson’s audiovisual genius. Expect spooky apparitions and spine-tingling music in a unique production that will showcase soloists from Leeds College of Music. They’ve moved the story from Ireland to Yorkshire. It follows Maurya, a woman who’s lost her husband, father-in-law and all but one of her sons to the sea – when her final son sets sail, she has a fatal premonition, will it come true?
Riders to the Sea is at The Venue, Leeds College of Music on Tuesday 31st October 2017.
Flux Halloween Party
Flux loves Halloween and their annual party at Beaver Works is going to be one hell of a night, with music spanning across the electronic spectrum. Leading the line-up is German icon Roman Flügal, who effortlessly blends, Italo-disco with electronica and leftfield techno with acid house. Also on the bill is Desert Sound Colony, Jennifer Cardini, Fort Romeau and Wallauer.
Flux Halloween Party is at Beaver Works on Tuesday 31st October 2017.
Halloween seems like the perfect time to revisit one of Greek mythology’s scariest figures. Innovative storytellers Proper Job Theatre Company have teamed up with award-winning writer Helen Mort to re-tell this classic myth from Medusa’s standpoint. It’s a new adaptation that plonks her in the modern world, showing a softer side to someone we usually think of as a monster.
Medusa is at Carriageworks on Tuesday 31st October 2017.
Family Halloween Events
There’s loads for the family to enjoy this Halloween in Leeds, whether it’s ghost tours around Royal Armouries or a day of tracking down the scarecrows in Calverley.
Head to Temple Newsam this Halloween where you can get up close and personal with life-sized animatronic dinosaurs. Jurassic Kingdom runs up until the weekend before Halloween and it’s the perfect chance to see the UK’s first ever outdoor dinosaur experience. You’ll get to go on an hour-long trail of Temple Newsam, spotting the 30 dinos along the way – look out for wagging tails and moving eyes. There’s also dino documentaries to watch and a visual reality experience to have a go at.
Jurassic Kingdom is at Kirkstall Abbey from Friday 13th until Sunday 29th October 2017.
The Halloween Adventure
Stockeld Park are going the whole hog this year. The Halloween Adventure features an Illuminated Enchanted Forest and a spooky woodland trail which you explore on Nordic skis. There’s more – they’re putting on two special events this year, Eerie Science and Witches in the Forest. For kids over 12, Fright Nights will send a shiver down your spine with three chilling haunted house activities – are you brave enough to take on The Farm House, The Cabin or A Dead End?
The Halloween Adventure is at Stockeld Park from Friday 20th until Tuesday 31st October 2017.
Every year, Calverley holds a festival to show its scarecrows – and it’s free to explore. The Scareycrows Festival sees a whole host of different scarecrows dotted around the village, along with carved pumpkins – why not see how many you can spot. They also put on a pumpkin growing competition and scarecrow making workshops that everyone can get involved in.
Scareycrows Festival is across Calverley from Saturday 21st until Tuesday 31st October 2017.
Spooky Scarecrow Trail
A longtime Halloween favourite in Leeds, the Spooky Scarecrow Trail is back at Lotherton Hall this year. You’ve got two weeks to rock up to the country house, where you’ll be given a pile of clues which will lead you around the house and grounds, meeting an array of different scarecrows along the way. There’s also the Witches’ Cottage to visit, and on the weekend before Halloween itself, they encourage the kids to turn up as their favourite Halloween characters.
Spooky Scarecrow Trail is at Lotherton Hall from Saturday 21st October until Sunday 5th November 2017.
Blood, Guts and Ghosts
Royal Armouries are going all out with their Halloween events. Blood, Guts and Ghosts promises a week of gruesome tales and gory activities. You’ll join the ghost hunters to help save the museum from the forces of darkness, before taking part in pumpkin carving and animation workshops. There’s also the chance to join The Surgeon as he performs operations or take the little ones to pumpkin paper crafts.
Blood, Guts and Ghosts is at Royal Armouries from Tuesday 24th October until Wednesday 1st November 2017.
Spooky Tour and Beastly Beasts
Leeds Discovery Centre is giving you the perfect opportunity to get ready for Halloween. The Spooky Tour and Beastly Beasts day starts with a fun family workshop, before you head out on a tour of the centre, using battery-powered candles to investigate the weird world of museum monsters. You don’t have to dress up, but it’s always encouraged, especially on Halloween.
Spooky Tour and Beastly Beasts is at Leeds Discovery Centre on Wednesday 25th October 2017.
What’s My Afterlife?
Enjoy an evening of Halloween games with the kids at Royal Armouries in What’s My Afterlife? It’s an interactive family game show with a difference as you try to work out which ancient god the lost warrior’s soul belongs to. The latter has died in an untimely fashion and will be trapped until you help them figure out where they’re meant to be – can you do it?
What’s My Afterlife? is at Royal Armouries on Friday 27th October 2017.
Horrifying Halloween Lego
Get creative with the little ones on Halloween by preparing for trick or treating with a trip to Moor Allerton Library. They’re hosting a one-off Lego building day that’s themed around the scariest night of the year. Will you build a bloodthirsty vampire? Perhaps a ghoulish ghost? Or maybe even a wicked witch?
Horrifying Halloween Lego is at Moor Allerton Library on Tuesday 31st October 2017.
Halloween and cinema go hand in hand, so look out for Sneaky Experience’s frightening events at Kirkstall Abbey, cult screenings at Hyde Park Picture House and more…
Kick off the weekend before Halloween at The HUB, as Sing-Along-A-Wicker-Man returns to Leeds four years since its sell-out evening at the same venue. It’s the ultimate night out for fans of The Wicker Man and it kicks off with live music, audience sing-a-longs and a rare screening of 8-bit comedy The Weakerman. You’ll be given a goody bag to use during the film, and a Pagan Hymn book. At the witching hour, The Wicker Man will be screened in all its glory, with plenty of audience participation.
Sing-Along-A-Wicker-Man is at The HUB on Friday 27th October 2017.
A proper family classic, don’t miss your chance to see Hocus Pocus in Leeds this Halloween. Three witches from the Salem Witch Trials are mistakenly resurrected and want to continue sucking the souls out of all Salem’s children. Do they succeed? You’ll have to wait and see as Sneaky Experience put on a screening to remember. Dress up as witches, wizards, ghouls and ghosts with a mayhem conjured up by Winnie herself.
Hocus Pocus is at Kirkstall Abbey on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th October 2017.
A Pixar favourite is the perfect way to get the little ones warmed up for Halloween. Follow Sully and Mike Wazowski as they go about their business at the largest scare factory in the world. Even though they scare children, they believe that kids are toxic to them, so chaos ensues when one of the children ends up in their factory. It’s a classic and one the whole family can enjoy.
Monsters Inc. is at Hyde Park Picture House on Saturday 28th October 2017.
Creatures of the Night
There are two Creatures of the Night screenings at Hyde Park Picture House the weekend before Halloween. The famous Leeds cinema kicks things off with the PG-rated Young Frankenstein, a 1974 classic starring Gene Wilder that is a hilarious take on Mary Shelley’s gothic novel. That’s followed by an evening of chilling short films by some of the most exciting female directors in cinema. The Final Girls present We Are The Weirdos and it will delve deep into the darkest human desires, exploring the connections between feminism and horror films.
Creatures of the Night is at Hyde Park Picture House on Saturday 28th October 2017.
As ever, Thackray Medical Museum like to make an effort for Halloween and this year, they’re hosting a Horror Film Night, with a screening of It Follows. From 8pm, ticket holders will get the opportunity to view and handle some of the lesser seen objects from their collection. Then at 9pm, you’ll sit down in the Hannah Dyson Gallery to follow Jay, an innocent teenager whose world is turned upside down after a sexual encounter leads to untold horrors. This is the perfect event to ease yourself into the Halloween spirit.
It Follows is at Thackray Medical Museum on Saturday 28th October 2017.
Spend Halloween night at Hyde Park Picture House as they put on cult thriller Perfect Blue. The Japanese animated picture, directed by Satoshi Son, was released back in 1997 and follows Mima Kirigoe, one third of a chart-topping pop group. When Mima decides to leave and pursue her dreams of acting, her fans quickly make her realise it’s no easy transition, and leave her fearing for her own safety.
Perfect Blue is at Hyde Park Picture House on Tuesday 31st October 2017.