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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

31 October 2022

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

Tickets will need to be booked in advance nearer the date.

Spook factor: 👻👻👻

Mercat Tours, Edinburgh

Various dates and times

Mercat Tours have a variety of chilling ghost tours for the spookiest time of the year. Make a creepy descent to Edinburgh’s most haunted vaults on the Halloween Underground tour, or walk through Edinburgh’s Old Town after dark while hearing harrowing tales of the vagabonds, witches and other dastardly figures who met their fate at Edinburgh’s Gallows on the Doomed, Dead and Buried tour. Or maybe you’re brave enough for an evening of folklore on the Ghosts & Gouls offering?

For (brave) adults only, the tours take you on a spine-tingling journey through the most macabre chapters of Edinburgh’s past, to spots where horrific misdeeds were committed and ghostly presences abound. In short, dare to be scared!

Spook factor: 👻👻 – 👻👻👻👻👻

The Real Mary King’s Close, Edinburgh

Various dates and times

Are you ready to descend into Edinburgh’s dark past on one of The Real Mary King’s Close’s private tours ? Discover The Close’s former residents as you wander the shadowy streets of this subterranean world which holds some of the city’s darkest secrets. And meet an insidious character which used to strike terror into people’s hearts at their very sight. The tours accommodate up to 18 people.

Spook factor: 👻👻👻👻

Halloween Pumpkin Trail, Castle Kennedy

8 – 31 October TBC

Have a spooky time at Castle Kennedy in Dumfries & Galloway where the whole family can get involved in exploring the colourful, autumnal gardens in search of hidden pumpkins. Once you’ve followed the Halloween Pumpkin Trail, warm up with a tasty hot chocolate and treat at the welcoming tearoom.

Spook factor: 👻

St Andrews Ghost Tours, St Andrews, Fife

Various dates and times

This isn’t your normal ghost tour. 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: 👻👻👻👻

Traquair House Halloween Fun Day, Scottish Borders

30 October, 11am – 4pm

Britain’s oldest inhabited house is the perfect backdrop for an afternoon of family-friendly Halloween fun. Tots and kids of all ages will love Halloween at Traquair  with ghost stories in the woods, tarot readings, magic shows with magician and Britain’s Got Talent star Kevin Quantum, a treasure hunt in Traquair Maze, spell casting at a wizards and witches workshop and more. Those donning Halloween costumes could be in with the chance of winning a prize.

Spook factor: 👻👻

Haunted Forest: CULT, Estate, Largs, Ayrshire

Details TBC

The woodlands of Kelburn will be transformed into world of ghosts and ghouls at the Haunted Forest: CULT. This evening bound to be spine-tingling which mean this events is not advised for children under 14. Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult (18+).

Spook factor: 👻👻👻👻

Galoshans Festival, Inverclyde

TBC

You might be getting your freak on this October and November at Galoshans Festival! See Inverclyde take centre-stage as it welcomes a whole array of spooktacular events from visual art exhibitions and film screenings to dazzling street performances, creative workshops, and more.

Spook factor: 👻👻

The Edinburgh Dungeon

TBC

Take a gruesome ghost train-style ride this Halloween at the Edinburgh Dungeon and watch with glee as creepy tableaux are brought to life with special effects and costumed actors embodying characters from Scotland’s most horrifying events and creepiest legends.

Every October, the dungeon unveils special seasonal shows which delve into particularly dastardly episodes from Scotland’s dark history. Filled with plenty of jumps, scares and other gory surprises which will have your shrieking, the Edinburgh Dungeon always offers a silly, theatrical romp this Halloween season.

Pre-booking is essential for all guests. Children under 15 years must be accompanied by an adult; not suitable for children under eight.

Find out what’s on.

Spook factor: 👻👻👻

Halloween at Blair Castle

TBC

Head along to Blair Castle in Pitlochry this October for a spooky experience. Enjoy all kinds of Halloween activities with prizes to be won, as well as the annual Spooky Wood Activity Trail.

Spook factor: 👻

Paisley Halloween Festival

27 – 29  October

2022 will see the return of this annual festival which in previous years has seen town centre of Paisley  transformed into an immersive ‘out of this world’ experience. Featuring street theatre, art installations and spectacular light displays, it’s seasonal highlight that never fails to enchant kids and adults alike. Stay tuned for details.

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!). Find out more about Halloween or why not visit a haunted site or two for a truly spooky experience?

October is a wonderful month to visit, but there’s plenty to see and do throughout the year too. Find out when to visit Scotland and start making plans!

 

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