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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 2017, 9pm

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 in Edinburgh’s Old Town 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

13 – 14 & 19 – 21 October 2017, 10.15pm

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 and Gothic houses. 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: 👻👻 – 👻👻👻👻👻

The Linlithgow ExFEARience, West Lothian

27 – 29 October, various times

Things at Linlithgow Palace take a sinister turn this Halloween. As darkness falls, you’ll wander along its dimly-lit corridors – but beware, you might meet some unexpected characters along the way. Be prepared for chills as you hear hair-raising tales from the past.

Spook factor: 👻👻👻

Horror Festival, Glasgow

4 – 5 November 2017

Get into the Halloween spirit and unleash your inner monster as Popcorn Horror presents Glasgow’s second Horror Festival. Taking place in the Classic Grand, the fright-filled event has bags of entertainment, including indie horror film screenings, industry Q&A sessions, costume prizes, live music and much more. Watch a fabulously gory drag show or browse for ghoulish memorabilia at the convention-style ‘horror-market’.

Spook factor: 👻👻👻👻👻

Murder mystery dinner at House for an Art Lover, Glasgow 

26 October 2017, 7pm – 11pm

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 Mackintosh-themed 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: 👻👻

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: 👻👻👻👻

Ghoulish Ghost Tours and Film Screenings, Crathes Castle, Aberdeenshire

28 – 31 October 2017

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 Ghoulish 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.

You can also catch an outdoor woodland screening of the family-friendly Casper and the sinister meta-chiller Cabin in the Woods on 28 October.

Spook factor: 👻👻👻👻

Traquair House Ghost Tours, Scottish Borders

27 – 28 October 2017, 7pm and 9pm

It’s hardly surprising that Traquair, Scotland’s oldest inhabited house, is home to a few hair-raising secrets.  A centuries-old former hunting lodge, the building was once a rural escape for Scotland’s kings and queens. This Halloween, the house will reveal all with a Jacobite-themed ghost tour featuring several unexpected surprises and eerie encounters with spirits from the past. Expect shivers and chills!

Spook factor: 👻👻👻👻

Traquair House Halloween Fun Day, Scottish Borders

29 October 2017, 11am – 4pm

Tots and kids of all ages will love the Halloween Fun Day at Traquair with spooky storytelling from a white witch, a 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! Make a wand or pointy hat in the witches and wizards workshop, or take part traditional Scottish Halloween games, such as apple dooking. Those donning Halloween costumes could be in with the chance of winning a prize.

Spook factor: 👻👻

Spirits of Scone – Twilight Illuminations, Scone Palace, Perthshire

26 – 31 October 2017, 6 – 8pm

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. Join in an atmospheric illuminated tour of the magnificent gardens and spooky graveyard, complete with sensational sound and light effects. Grab something warm and tasty at the coffee shop between 5 – 8.30pm, and watch as the palace transforms before your eyes.

Spook factor: 👻👻👻👻

Spooks and Sacrifice, Scottish Crannog Centre, Perthshire

31 October, 7pm – 9pm

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

14 – 23 October 2017, 12 – 3pm

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: 👻👻

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

19 – 22 & 26 – 29 October 2017, 6.30 – 10pm

Experience your worst nightmare in Kelburn Forest after dark. This year’s theme is the Kelburn Chainsaw Massacre, where a crazed family of hillbillies are rampaging through the country estate. Will you make it out alive? Suitable for adults and older children, this live-action event is bound to give you a serious dose of the heebie-jeebies.

Spook factor: 👻👻👻👻👻

Ness Islands Halloween, Inverness

28 – 29 October 2017

Don your scariest costumes for fun and thrills in Inverness. Details of the 2017 event are still to be confirmed, but at last year’s event, you could explore the fearsome Forest of Frights, stretching 1300 m across two isles in the middle of the River Ness and see familiar yet gruesome characters.

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!


  • Southern Tenant Folk Union

    TST: The Southern Tenant
    EDINBURGH: St Mark’s Church

    FRI 27TH OCT, 2017 6:30pm

    This Halloween week a special one-off event with an ‘in-church’ screening of John Carpenter’s horror classic “Prince Of Darkness”. Itself filmed in a church in Los Angeles it was screened two years ago in that very church (now an arts centre) – this Halloween we’re going for a similar atmosphere but will be screening the chiller in a working church here in Edinburgh…tickets are £9 adv or will be £11 on the door…

    Support comes from Edinburgh synth soundtrack duo “TST: The Southern Tenant” playing a live soundtrack to brand new footage of dark nighttime Edinburgh…

    Doors 6:30pm
    TST onstage 7pm
    Interval 8pm
    Prince Of Darkness 8:20pm
    Event finishes 10pm

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