Trick or treat yo' self to potion making, pumpkin festivals and rooftop Hocus Pocus

Ok, it's time to officially declare that spooky season has begun. For some of you, the chance to dress up as a bedsheet ghost or a fully-fledged zombie apocalypse survivor is bigger than Christmas, your birthday, and all the bank holidays rolled into one, and we get it, pumpkin carving is an oddly competitive activity. 

If you've taken a trip to HomeSense to buy some bat-shaped fairy lights and stocked up on multipacks of sweets, you might think you've got Halloween covered, but Manchester has everything from scary film fests to ghost hunts and VR hayrides. Chuck in some potion-making and giant inflatable monsters, and it's time to eat, drink and be scary. 

Read on for a list of 16 fa-boo-lous things to do in and around Manchester this Halloween.

Cockfields Farm Pumpkin Patch Things To Do Halloween In Manchester October 2022
I mean come on, cute as hell Image: Cockfields Farm

Pumpkin Picking | Cockfields Farm | Saturday 8 October - Sunday 30 October

Even if you don't want to make a Jack-o'-lantern or fancy pumpkin soup, these pumpkin patches are always worth it for the wholesome gram content. Not just a field full of winter squash, the patch at Cockfields Farm also includes a spooky carving cave, a cuddle corner with animals to pet and feed, and the brand new Zelda Zapoffs Scarecrow Scareshow which is great for the whole fam. Channelling pure Autumnal vibes, the farm also has marshmallow toasting, a fairground carousel and props decorating the whole space. Tickets range between £5 - £20 for a full day of fun on the farm. 

Cockfields Farm, Lees Rd, Oldham, Ashton-under-Lyne OL6 8AR

Scare Skate | Cathedral Gardens | Friday 21 October - Monday 31 October

Our skills on the ice are already monstrous, but now you can be joined by actual monsters on the outdoor skating rink at Cathedral Gardens. From 21 to 31 October, Scare Skate will provide skaters with a frightful experience to remember, and one of the iconic inflatable MCR monsters will take centre stage as part of Halloween in the City. Dress up for god sake, and there will be a spooky soundtrack and themed props for some Insta opportunities to cement the fun at Manchester's largest ever outdoor skate rink. Tickets for Scare Skate start at £14.50 for adults and £12.50 for children, with discounted family, group boo-kings and season tickets also available. 

Scare Skate, Cathedral Gardens, Manchester M4 3BG

Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, by M R James | Chapeltown Picture House | Saturday 22 October - Sunday 23 October

M.R. James is one of the original ghostwriters, with loads of different tales about ghouls, spooks and mysterious happenings from way back when. Re-telling the eight stories from his classic first collection Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, actor Robert Lloyd Parry will perform all of the tales by candlelight at Chapeltown Picture House. On Saturday 22 he'll re-tell Canon Alberic's Scrap-Book, Lost Hearts, The Mezzotint, and The Ash-tree from 7pm, and on Sunday 22 Rob will re-create Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad, Number 13, Count Magnus and The Treasure of Abbot Thomas from 6:30pmThey might be oldies, but they're definitely still goonies, sorry goodies. 

Chapeltown Picture House at GRUB, 50 Red Bank, Cheetham Hill, Manchester M4 4HF

Aliens, Zombies and Monster hunt| Z-arts, Hulme | Sunday 23 October - Friday 28 October

Suitable for the whole fam, this interactive experience explores the work of popular children's author and illustrator Aaron Blecha, who loves to draw all things slime and zombies. As part of the hunt, Z-arts will be packed full of life-sized aliens, zombies and monsters that are ready to mingle and interact with visitors of all ages - they're nice ones though, don't worry. Kiddos can also climb aboard an alien spaceship and have their photo taken amongst the monsters and zombies. A few of the slots are already sold out, so cop some tickets soon. 

Z-arts, 335 Stretford Road, Hulme, Manchester M15 5ZA

Spinningfields In Manchester With Added Monsters As Part Of Halloween In The City Which Will See Special Events And Walks For Families Across Manchester City Centre
Do the monster mash all over Manchester this October Image: Confidentials

VR Haunted Hayride| Bradley Fold Garden Centre | Monday 17 October - Sunday 23 October

Tickets for this VR experience are only a fiver, and the ride takes you on a 4D adventure otherwise known as "a spine-tingling journey where you will encounter ghastly ghouls, petrifying pumpkins and startling scarecrows". Perfect. This one isn't recommended for anyone who gets a bit queasy in the car, and kids under seven should probably have an adult with them, but get ready to immerse yourself in a virtual spooky world and a garden centre in Bolton. 

Bradley Fold Garden Centre, Radcliffe Moor Road, Radcliffe BL2 6RE

Halloween in the City | various city centre locations | Tuesday 25 October - Sunday 30 October

Halloween in the City is always a proper spooktacular affair, and this year those giant inflatable monsters are back on the roof of Selfridges, The Royal Exchange, The Oast House, The AO Arena and other iconic city centre locations. Bonus points if you find them and tag us in the pics on socials. 

There's also a Monsters Rock Music Festival with DJ's and live performances and the team behind the Manchester Day Parade will roam with their monster puppets, stilt walkers and a five-piece band. Because Scream masks and long black gloves with fake claws on aren't just for Halloween parties, wear them around town all week long to truly get your money's worth. Trust us, it's encouraged. 

Pumpkin Carving & Spiced Rum | The Pen and Pencil | Wednesday 26 October

Because Halloween also means toffee apples, mini chocolate bars and carving faces into hollow vegetables, The Pen and Pencil are embracing all of the festivities and hosting a pumpkin carving comp on Wednesday 26 October. Tickets are £15 per person and booking is essential, but included in your ticket is a rum cocktail, tasters from Kraken Rum, a limited edition bottle for the winner of the carving comp and some take-home Kraken goodies to go with your brand new Jack-o'-lantern. To book your tickets call 0161 660 3303, and practice on some other veg in preparation. 

The Pen and Pencil, Fourways House, 57 Hilton St, Manchester M1 2EJ

Terrifying tea tasting| Bird & Blend Tea Co. | Thursday 27 October

Staying open after hours in the name of all things magical and spooky, Bird & Blend Tea Co. have announced a witchy lock-in on 27 October at the Church Street store. The perfect opportunity to experience and try all the Bird & Blend seasonal blends, tea cocktails, and a special collaborative treat, the tickets are £10 and flavours include pumpkin spiced latte and black magic matcha. Tea witches and wizards also receive a £10 voucher to take home some for your proper bubbling cauldron tea spells. 

Bird & Blend, 57 Church St, Manchester M4 1PD

Chapeltown Picture House Stab Film Season Manchester Halloween Things To Do October 2022
Cult thrillers are so in season right now Image: Chapteltown Picture House

STAB Film Season | Chapeltown Film Festival | Thursday 27 October - Monday 31 October

Ok, so you might not be a cat ears and heavy eyeliner kinda Halloween fan, but if five days of cult classic thrillers doesn't get your spooky senses tingling, you need to give your head a wobble. Think possessed souls, poltergeists, witches, and Courteney Cox looking equal parts gorgeous and terrified at Chapeltown for a whole 5 days. You can either purchase tickets for each individual film or grab a day/season pass and pack all of your Sunday scaries into one session. Imagine watching Candyman in 4K, chilling. 

Chapeltown Picture House at GRUB, 50 Red Bank, Cheetham Hill, Manchester M4 4HF

Halloween Ghost Train| East Lancashire Railway | Thursday 27 October - Saturday 29 October 

As if train delays weren't scary enough, East Lancashire Railway is asking guests to tackle the Monster Squad onboard its locomotives this October to help banish the ancient railway curse. You can take the whole family on board the ghost trains with tricks and treats for all ages, and you can meet characters like Count Brian the Vampire, Veronica the Witch, and a Zombie called Bob. You've got to dress up though, that's an unwritten rule, and there are some spooky songs to get you joining in. Tickets range from £14.40 - £20.40 for the train ride, and for £10 extra you can buy a ticket to the Carn-Evil at Bury Transport Museum.

Bolton Street Station, Bury BL9 0EY

Hit & Run Halloween 2022| Hidden | Friday 28 October

To make your Halloween hex-tra vibey, it's only right to cram in one proper club night at a heavy venue in Cheetham Hill. The Hit & Run Halloween special includes DJ's like John B, Simula, Grey Code and the aptly named Screamarts, and runs from 11pm - 4am. Tickets are already on second release so it must be a biggie, and we hope your hangover isn't too scary on the Saturday. 

Hidden, 17 DownTex Mill, Mary Street, Manchester, M3 1DZ, United Kingdom

Ultimate Power - Bat Out of Halloween | O2 Ritz | Friday 28 October

Like a bat out of hell we'll be gone when the Christmas events come, but for now, this power ballad night at the O2 sounds like we'd do anything for the love of a proper banger. Promising the biggest emotions, biggest songs, scariest costumes and biggest guitar solos, it sounds like a night to remember that runs from 11pm 'til 3am. With a lineup of tunes by the likes of Journey, Bon Jovi, Toto, Queen and Aerosmith, this night sounds like paradise by the club light with a high chance of a sore throat come Saturday 29. 

O2 Ritz, Whitworth St W, Manchester M1 5NQ

Kebabs From Bab In Manchesters Northern Quarter Which Offers An Express Lunch With Multiple Bab Options
Time for a spooky BAB special Image: Confidentials

BAB Bottomless | BAB | Saturday 29 October

Kebabs are the only thing missing from a Halloween party usually, so BAB are making up for that with a bottomless all day experience on Saturday 29. The offerings include a Halloween cocktail special, two courses, and bottomless drinks for £29.95. Guests have to book in advance via the website or and the bottomless drinks last for 90 minutes. Spooky and squiffy. 

BAB, 14 Little Lever Street, Manchester M1 1HR

Halloween Ghost Hunt | Antwerp Mansion | Saturday 29 October - Sunday 30 October

Ok, so maybe bottomless kebabs and pumpkin patches aren't quite spooky enough for you, but what about an overnight ghost hunt at the haunted Antwerp Mansion in Rusholme? Not just your average old venue with a couple of cobwebs hanging from the ceiling, Antwerp has loads of areas to explore including the old ballroom, scullery, bedrooms and some super-dark cellars. Your ticket includes a tour of the Mansion, the use of ghost hunting equipment, and both traditional and modern experiments. Boo, and all that. 

Antwerp Mansion, Kent Rd W, Rusholme, Manchester M14 5RF

Hocus Pocus| Backyard Cinema | Saturday 29 - Sunday 30 October

Did you really think we'd do a Halloween things to do round-up without referencing our favourite 90's terrifying trio, witch, please. This showing of Hocus Pocus is actually on the roof of Mayfield Depot at the hottest new cinema in town, and there's two different showings at 12pm on the Saturday and 4pm on the Sunday. You know the score already, Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy in dreamy wigs with magical powers and diabolical antics. 

Mayfield Depot, 11 Baring St, Manchester M1 2PY

Candlelight Halloween: A Haunted Evening of Classical Compositions| Manchester Cathedral | Monday 31 October

Led by Matt Glossop on the violin and Tim Abel on piano, this candlelit concert includes spooky tunes like Thriller, Phantom of the Opera, the prelude from Psycho and the Ghostbusters theme. That's right, the Ghostbusters theme tune on the violin. A mixture of Halloween compositions and classics, the concert promises "a live, multi-sensory music experience" and the show is 65 minutes long. Tickets range from £18 - £38 each, and if you've never heard a classical rendition of Defying Gravity from Wicked, you're in for a treat. 

Manchester Cathedral, Victoria St, Manchester M3 1SX

Read next: Top things to do in and around Manchester: October 2022

Read again: Danny Boyle and Yayoi Kusama announced for Factory International’s opening programme

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