6(66) Halloween Happenings
Words by Lauren Entwistle
Leeds goes full-out for Halloween. The city has a love for the super-natural and scary, with a host of events over the October Half-Term fit for anyone to get their spook on. From ghoulish ghost-hunts, creepy club nights and macabre museum haunts, we’ve got the low-down on where to haunt in the run-up to All Hallow’s Eve.
Leeds Day of the Dead Fiesta
Set in the grounds of gothic but beautiful Kirkstall Abbey, the Day of the Dead Fiesta is brand-new for Halloween in 2017. From the 27th to the 29th of October, the Abbey grounds will be transformed and brought to life (in a manner of speaking) with a Giant Skull Parade, Live Acts with DJs and music, fireworks and an outdoor cinema. It’s sure to be a spooky spectacular event for guys and ghouls of all ages, so don your best skull paint and get going! For more listings check: https://sneakyexperience.co.uk/
Eye Dissection Workshops at Thackray Medical Museum
Look away if you’re squeamish, because these workshops at Thackray Medical Museum are not for the faint of heart. With the help of an expert, guests will be led through the dissection of an eye to understand how seen images are formed. Find out about each part of the eye: lens, cornea, iris, optic nerve and retina – and discover how they work together to create the images we see. By the end of the workshop, you’ll understand pretty much everything there is to know about the eye – and get serious brownie points for stomaching the experience.
Visit the website for further information and make sure you reserve your place in advance.
Creatures of the Night Film Showings at Hyde Park Picture House
Going to one of the oldest still-operating cinemas in the country for a creepy late-night screening? Whether you’re a dedicated cinephile, a cultural explorer or a random insomniac, CREATURES OF THE NIGHT is dedicated to screening the best new horror to revered and sometimes obscure cult classics – all in those late-night hours.
The brand-new remake of Stephen King’s IT will be showing on the 21st of October from 10:30pm, with an afternoon special of “Young Frankenstein” screening at 3:00pm on the 28th.
Also on the 28th, The Final Girls Collective will be showing a selection of brilliant horror shorts from some of the best female mind in the business. These slick and scary films explore themes of body anxiety, repressed desires, social pressures and unspoken fears. Get there for 10:30pm and learn that “the future of horror is female.”
Get down and dance with the undead in Leeds
Unless you live under a rock, you’ll know that clubs in Leeds go absolutely mental for Halloween. There are hundreds of events to choose from if you fancy clubbing it on All Hallow’s Eve, with places such as Projekt at the O2 Academy, Club Mission, Mint Warehouse and Canal Mills getting their ghoul on. Perfect for raving if you like your EDM with a zombiefied touch.
Most notably, Church Leeds is the most suitable setting for Halloween, with the real ex-church being decked out to welcome guests KINK LIVE for their “Halloween Spectacular: a massive production with gothic feels for a night to remember.” The bash is running on the 28th of October from 10pm, and tickets can be found at http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/event/289841
Be a cultured creeper with Riders to the Sea
Leeds College of Music is set to host a Halloween with a difference this October, with an immersive production of Vaughan Williams’ chilling opera, Riders to the Sea.
Viewers will find themselves cast onto the Irish coast, following the story of Maurya, a woman (who after losing her husband) has a haunting premonition that her son will die at sea. The gripping story will be told by the next generation of operatic voices from Leeds College of Music, set to an orchestral backdrop performed by the Leodian Concert Orchestra.
Featuring projections by Annabeth Robinson, you can expect a seriously chilling experience with ghostly apparitions, eerie music and a dramatic seascape in this tale of souls lost at sea. Consider this show the perfect way to feel a little bit upmarket about how you spent your Halloween. Tickets are available here.
Grab the kids and visit the Spooky Scarecrow Trail at Lotherton Hall
Beware: they aim to scare! Take the whole family to visit the grounds of beautiful Lotherton Hall but this time, there’s a definite creepy twist. The Spooky Scarecrow Trail is back – and it’s bigger and better than before. Put your thinking caps on and follow the clues around the house and estate, in order to find all of the super spooky scarecrows.
Pay a visit to the Witches Cottage whilst you’re there or have a go at the creepy crafts on offer in the Servants’ Rooms, so there’s something for all the family. This event will run over a 2 week period, from the 21st October to the 5th of November. Tickets are free with normal admission into the museum.
We might be a bit biased, but after reading this list we’re pretty sure we’ve convinced you that Leeds is one of the best in the business for Halloween happenings. Go and get your spook on.