From ghost tours to Grimmfest and killer brunches, we’ve got frights and delights galore

Ghouls and zombies have nothing on the horrors that 2020 has thrown up. But, while the pandemic has managed to wreak havoc on our daily lives, it’s not stopped Manchester putting on some All Hallows happenings for all to enjoy. Be excited, affrighted and delighted with our handy guide… 


Trees sporting pumpkin lanterns can only mean one thing…Manchester’s favourite spooky shindig is back, and this year it’s besieging the city-region from 26th October - 1st November. Expect all the usual family fun, from inflatable monster invasions to ghostly green illuminations, plus the more grown-up likes of Halloween parties and Gothic tales. Beyond the city, you’ll encounter everything from drive-in cinemas to murder mysteries, while those staying home can enjoy a wicked week of film thanks to Grimmfest virtual. 


Confidentials’ Jonathan Schofield kicks off a plethora of paranormal activity with the city’s only nocturnal ghost tours (various dates from 9th October - 1st November), all concluding underground in a dark and ancient space - spooks guaranteed. Elsewhere, Impossible bar and club promises a ghostly night of immersive theatre in Smoke and Mirrors, on Halloween itself, and Antwerp Mansion is getting into the (literal) spirit early with a ‘modern take on a Victorian ghost show’ (8th October). The Fallowfield mansion -once a clubbing landmark, now an events venue - will also be hosting a paranormal investigation on 24th October, streamed live on Facebook.

Zombies more your deathly delight? Then check out Breakout's Zombie Lab, its newest in a range of creepy escape rooms.

2020 10 05 Jonathan Schofield Ghost Tour
Uncover the darker side of Manchester on Jonathan Schofield’s ghost tour


Darts and dining institution Flight Club returns with a Halloween special this year; giving its Social Brunch a ‘killer’ makeover featuring eerie prizes, devilish arrival cocktail and spine-tingling soundtrack. Hotel Football, meanwhile, is hosting a bottomless rooftop brunch with themed decorations and a cauldron for your group (presumably containing drink but we’re not sure).  

2020 10 05 Killer Brunch Flight Club
Flight Club returns with its Halloween special


Upside Down House, the country’s only topsy-turvy attraction, will be creaking open its doors for a haunted house experience at the Trafford Centre from 19th October to 1st November - having undergone a terrible transformation indeed. Also in Trafford, Dobbies returns with its Halloween Spooktacular from 29th October to 1st November, while homeless tour pioneer Invisible Cities is providing some virtual family fun with its online Halloween Party (and it's a smashing cause too). 

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You are absolutely right - the scariest time of the year is HALLOWEEN! We are so excited to finally share the big news with you - this Halloween all 4 of our houses will be decorated in spooky style from 19th October to 1st November 2020 🕸️🕷️👻🕸️🕷️👻🕸️🕷️👻🕸️🕷️👻 Better yet, if you can take the most impressive photo you could win a £50 Amazon voucher 😱🤩🙃 For a chance to be entered into our Halloween prize draw all you need to do is: 1. Take a spooky photo at your nearest Upside Down House 2. Share it on Facebook or Instagram with the #UDHSpooky2020 and tag us @udhouseuk 3. Follow Upside Down House on Instagram and Facebook @udhouseuk The winners will be announced on 2nd November 2020 🤩 . . . . . #UDHSpooky2020 #upsidedownhouse #upsidedownhouseuk #halloween #halloween2020 #spooky #scary #scarytime #visitbrighton #visitmanchester #visitbristol #visitessex #visitlakeside #intutrafford #intulakeside #cribbscauseway
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As for cinema, HOME’s (not so family-friendly) annual FilmFear returns for 2020 with a provocative programme that mixes thrills and chills with plenty to think about; tickets go on sale from Tuesday 6th October. 

After even more to do this month? See our October listings