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Spooky Halloween events taking place across Scotland

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Samhuinn Fire Festival, Edinburgh © iStockphoto

Samhuinn Fire Festival, Edinburgh © iStockphoto

There’s a chill in the air and I don’t just mean the temperatures outside are getting cooler. Halloween is nearly here. We take it very seriously in Scotland, with ancient traditions and superstitions living on. What will you be doing on All Hallows’ Eve? Cowering under the covers?

We hope not, because we’ve come up with some suggestions of the best things to do this Halloween with a range of events to suit everyone; from fun events for all the family to the downright terrifying. Take your pick from haunted houses, ghost walks, scary films, pagan fire festivals and more.

Samhuinn Fire Festival, Edinburgh

31st October 2019, 8pm

Samhain 2014, EdinburghPhoto by Graham Campbell via Flickr | Creative Commons

With colourful costumes depicting characters from ancient folklore, fire, musical and street theatre performances, the Samhuinn Fire Festival on top of Edinburgh’s Calton Hill is a feast for the senses. The Celtic festival, run by the Beltane Fire Society, will take you back to the traditions of Samhuinn (Gaelic for Samhain) – the pagan celebration of the end of the harvest season and arrival of winter.

Spook factor: 👻👻👻

 ‘Condemned’, Real Mary King’s Close, Edinburgh

Selected dates throughout October 2019

Condemned at the Real Mary King's Close

Condemned at the Real Mary King’s Close

Discovering the truth behind the ghost stories is nothing new to visitors of Edinburgh’s The Real Mary King’s Close. While rumours of hauntings abound, research and archaeological evidence have revealed a truer story rooted in fact which is darker than any amount of fiction. Returning this Halloween ‘Condemned is a special late night experience, providing a historic insight into the infamous witches of 18th century Edinburgh. Travel back to a time when Mary King’s Close was a bustling hub of the city, where suspicion lurked around every corner. If you dare, that is.

Spook factor: 👻👻👻👻👻

Mercat Tours, Edinburgh

Various dates and times

Mercat Tours have a variety of special Halloween tours for the spookiest time of the year, from gory stories for families, to night-time visits to graveyards. The most nail-biting is Haunted Halloween. For (brave) adults only, the tour takes you to the haunted Blair Street Underground Vault, where the horrific misdeeds of murderers and torturers from the city’s past are revealed. Prepare to be scared!

Spook factor: 👻👻 – 👻👻👻👻👻

Murder mystery dinner at House for an Art Lover, Glasgow 

31st October 2019, 7:30pm – 10pm

The Dining Room, House for an Art Lover in Bellahouston ParkDining room at House for an Art Lover, Glasgow

Usually, the ornate and sophisticated surroundings of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s House for an Art Lover are admired during the day. By night? Well, that’s a whole different story. Join in the fun for a murder mystery dinner. As well as enjoying a three-course meal, you’ll have to wrack your brains and solve a spine-chilling murder case. Are you up to the challenge?

Spook factor: 👻👻

The Creepy Crawl, across Scotland

Until 27 October

Put on your brave face as you take on the Creepy Crawl this October. Taking place in 14 spooky places across the country, including Brodie Castle, Pollok House, and Glencoe, get set for family fun as you explore ghostly trails, solve puzzles, try out haunting games such as Apple Dooking, Grave Grabbing and the Enormous Neep Heap, before going guising to claim your prize.

Paisley Halloween Festival, Paisley

Friday 25th & Saturday 26th October 2019

© Paisley Halloween Festival

© Paisley Halloween Festival

Immerse yourself in the weird and wonderful world of Dark Circus. This year’s festival is set to be the best yet, with a magical carnival-style parade, featuring more than 300 performers, led by a sinister Svengali ringleader, and choreographed by internationally acclaimed specialists, Cirque Bijou. Follow the creative craft trail around the town for Halloween-themed workshops to get involved in along the way. Enjoy aerial artist, street theatre, film screening, a Halloween fun fair and lots more across this two-day fright fest!

Spook factor: 👻👻👻

Wizard School 2019 at Castle Fraser, Aberdeenshire

25 – 27 October 2019

Join in the wonderful world of wizardry at Castle Fraser, Garden and Estate in Aberdeenshire where you can try your hand at spell casting, making crafts, spooky workshops and event meet some critters. At the end of your hard day of haunted learning, you’ll graduate Wizard School with your very own wand to take home.

Halloween at Blair Drummond Safari Park: HalloWild, near Stirling

Friday 25th & 26th October 2019

The Fright Rooms at the HalloWild event at Blair Drummond Safari Park © Blair Drummond Safari Park

The Fright Rooms at HalloWild, Blair Drummond Safari Park © Blair Drummond Safari Park

Head to Blair Drummond Safari Park for a whole day of family Halloween fun at HalloWild. There’s plenty to do for all ages, from slime making workshops to the Alice in Wonderland inspired ‘fright rooms’, which were designed by an American horror movie set designer – for brave souls only!

Spook factor: 👻 – 👻👻👻👻👻

St Andrews Ghost Tours, St Andrews, Fife

Regular tours

St Andrews old ChurchOld Church, St Andrews. Photo by Korz 19 via Flickr | Creative Commons

Wandering the streets and lanes of historic St Andrews, you can get a real sense of the past taking you by the hand. Just pray it’s not something else taking you by the hand when you take a night-time walking tour! Starting in Church Square, behind Holy Trinity Church, you can explore the dark streets with St Andrews Ghost Tours. Hear tales of folklore, ghosts and witches based on the local bestselling book Ghosts of St Andrews by Richard Falconer.

Spook factor: 👻👻👻👻

Ghost Tours, Crathes Castle, Aberdeenshire

25th Oct – 1st Nov 2019

There is definitely something mysterious about Crathes Castle. This Halloween, the castle will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. A terrifying ghost tour of the premises with scares and surprises around every bend, this evening is not for the fainted-hearted!  Don’t believe us? Learn more about Crathes Castle’s creepy past with our video introducing its spookiest resident, the Green Lady.

Spook factor: 👻👻👻👻

Traquair House Halloween Fun Day, Scottish Borders

Sunday 27th October 2019, 11am – 4pm

Tots and kids of all ages will love the Halloween Fun Day at Traquair with ghost stories in the woods, a chocolate ghost hunt in the Traquair Maze and more. There’s even the chance to get your hands on some creepy crawlies – if you are brave enough! Those donning Halloween costumes could be in with the chance of winning a prize.

Spook factor: 👻👻

Spirits of Scone Halloween, Scone Palace, Perthshire

25th – 31st October 2019

FREE TO USE PHOTOGRAPH...Visitors to Scone Palace this week were treated to a spectacular show, as the stately home was turned 'spicy red' in preparation for one of the most hotly anticipated events of the year, Scotland's first ever Chilli Festival. The festival which will be a celebartion of all things 'chilli' including food, drink, horticulture and much more, takes place in the Palace grounds over the weekend of 21st -22nd September. Organised by Chilli Fest (UK), "The Great Scottish Braves Harvest Chilli Festival" promises two days of fiery fun, with over twenty stands showcasing and selling everything from fresh curries, chilli chutneys and chocolate, to chilli ciders, chilli cocktails and cheese bombs. For further info please contact Gillian Harrower on 01738 860523 or 07764 575134 Picture by Graeme Hart. Copyright Perthshire Picture Agency Tel: 01738 623350 Mobile: 07990 594431Spooky Scone Palace. Courtesy of PKC Corporate Communications Team

Rumour has it that the ‘Spirits of Scone’ have reawakened this Halloween, so keep your wits about you. Explore the transformed gardens for a spine-chilling fright fest, complete with menacing ghouls and horror film characters lurking in the shadows. Grab something warm and tasty at the Fright Night Café and gather round for a spooky storytelling session in the gothic kitchen.

Spook factor: 👻👻👻👻👻

Celtic Samhain!, Scottish Crannog Centre, Perthshire

31st October 2019, 7pm – 9:30pm

Carve your pumpkin (or traditional turnip!) lantern and bring it to this event at the Scottish Crannog Centre in Perthshire to light your way into the spirit world. This event follows the old Scottish tradition of Samhain and often visitors come from far and wide to attend – don’t forget to don your best Halloween guise.

Spook factor: 👻👻

Halloween Freaky Forest, Kelburn Castle and Country Centre, Largs, Ayrshire

12th – 20th October 2019

The woodlands of Kelburn will be transformed into world of ghosts and ghouls at the Halloween Freaky Forest. Taking place during the day, the atmosphere is very family-friendly – but be prepared for a few chills and thrills!

Spook factor: 👻👻

Ness Islands Halloween Show, Inverness

26th & 27th October 2019

Don your scariest costumes for fun and thrills in Inverness. Head to the Ness Islands Halloween Show to join thousands of others for an evening of spooky entertainment.

Spook factor: 👻👻👻

Galoshans Festival, Inverclyde

25 Oct – 2 Nov 2019

Now in its 5th year, get your freak on this October at Galoshans Festival! See Inverclyde take centre-stage as it welcomes a whole array of spooktacular events from visual art exhibitions and dazzling street performances to creative workshops. This year the festival will mark the 250th anniversary of James Watt’s death and will be themed around innovation and light. Don’t miss out on the chance to go to the Galoshans Parade & Street Party, and remember to look the part by dressing up and getting ready to make everyone jump out of their skin!

Spook factor: 👻👻

Tam O’ Shanter’s Trail, Halloween Adventure, Roslin Glen, Midlothian

30th Oct – 3rd Nov 2019

If you go down to the woods tonight, you might be in for a haunting surprise! Wrap up warm and put on a brave face while the whole family huddle together to take on the dark woods of Roslin Glen. This chilling Halloween experience will allow everyone to delve into the world of Robert Burns and his tales of Halloween, all while encountering scary theatrical characters and fire performances along the way. Feeling peckish? Make sure to take a pit stop for some marshmallow toasting while you warm yourself up by the fire pit!

Spook factor: 👻👻👻

Do you want to hear more about Scotland’s gruesome ghost stories, or delve deeper into the land’s myths and legends? Check out our Scottish Ghosts, Myths & Legends eBook now!

Of course, this is just a selection of the ghastly goings-on and events you can enjoy this Halloween across Scotland. For other ways you can scare yourself silly this year take a look at what other Halloween events are on (if you dare!). Visit our Halloween page and discover all the spooky surprises we have in store



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