From Heels of Hell to The Exorcist live and even a burlesque fest, we’ve got All Hallows’ covered
Unsure what to do for Halloween? You won't be after this. We've got Beetlejuice in an empty swimming pool, drag queen royalty, Ian McKellen as a demon - and that’s just for starters.
From films to festivals, performance to parties, behold our frightful highlights...
FILM AND PERFORMANCE
HOME’s Film Fear season is back with dark fantasy, eerie thrillers and uncanny tales; as well as a glob of good old-fashioned horror from 29th October - 6th November. And events company The Village Green (or should that be Village Scream?) again takes over Victoria Baths, screening hits like Beetlejuice in the Grade II* listed water palace’s empty swimming pool. Joining these scary staples is newcomer Cultureplex, whose 38-seat ‘Mini Cini’ will show everything from Young Frankenstein to Hocus Pocus, and Frights and Fizz; four nights of immersive screenings in a secret underground bunker.
Horror film fanatics should also catch Grimmfest: more in our festivals section below.
As for live performance, expect chilling and thrilling tales by English ghost story master M R James at The Lowry with Dead Men’s Eyes (Saturday 26th October) and the fiercest Heels of Hell tour yet at O2 Ritz, featuring drag royalty like Sharon Needles and Courtney Act (Tuesday 29th October). After something really bone-chilling? Then how about The Exorcist, which plays the Opera House from 22nd - 26th October. Featuring the voice of Ian McKellen as the demon, it’s not for those with a nervous disposition…
GIGS AND PARTIES
For vintage vibes, head to The Deaf Institute’s Saved by the Nineties (Friday 25th October) or Retro Bar’s Salt Sweat Sugaaah! (Saturday 2nd November). House and techno fiend? Try Push Presents at Gorilla, with a live line-up spanning Casey Spillman to Carl Stussy (Friday 1st November), or Annie Mac’s Halloween Spectacular at the Warehouse Project (Saturday 2nd November). Classic lovers, meanwhile, should enjoy Manchester Camerata playing Twin Peaks on All Hallows' (complete with cherry pie cocktails).
Elsewhere Hidden returns with its infamous Halloween party, ‘eleven-headed ska monster’ Baked A La Ska besieges Band on the Wall (both Thursday 31st October) and Bongo’s Bingo throws an All Hallows' special replete with raving, waving and plenty of misbehaving…
As ever, Bowlers will play host to some epic Halloween club nights; including Sidewinder Oldskool Festival (Saturday 26th October) and Halloween-Land (Saturday 2nd November), which promises everything from a Festival of The Dead circus show to Oktoberfest grottoes, fairground rides and haunted houses.
As Halloween in the City revisits Manchester, expect family-friendly frights and delights throughout the city centre; from inflatable monster invasions to skeleton parades and trick or treat trails (26th - 27th October). Also taking over the city will be MMU’s popular Gothic Manchester Festival (1st October - 1st November), whose diverse seventh edition spans zombie outbreaks to literary mavericks like Rosie Garland. Meanwhile, the aforementioned Grimmfest invades the Odeon for one wicked weekend of horror, sci-fi, extreme fantasy and cult film from 3rd - 6th October.