Six spooky things to do for Halloween in York

Halloween used to be the preserve of kids; largely irrelevant for the rest of us until you had to give the children who turned up at your house cereal bars because you forgot to buy treats. Thankfully the night is now an equal opportunities event, with dressing up and drinking encouraged among the older set. Here’s your guide of grown-up Halloween activities.

For a full list of Halloween events in York, click here.

Hallowscream

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The big dog of the emerging York Halloween scene. Hallowscream at York Maze is for people who are serious about the event. We are talking running away from chainsaw wielding ghosts, and enduring a section wonderfully named Barnageddon. For our comprehensive and scream-rated guide go here.

Ghost walks

Photograph: www.visityork.org
Photograph: www.visityork.org

A staple all year round, perhaps gaining a bit more relevance at Halloween. Ghost guide veteran Trevor Rooney will be running special nightly tours from October 26 to November 2. The Ghost Hunt of York heads from Shambles into the darkness every night. Other options include the self proclaimed Original Ghost Walk of York, which has the King’s Arms pub as its starting point.

Terror Trail

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Keeping with the walking dead theme, the York Terror Trail is offering a Halloween special running until November 3, which highlights the history of the scariest monster of all… man. They promise to explore 1,900 years of bloodshed and cruelty, which should be a giggle.

Fright clubbing

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Inevitably the clubs of York are capitalising on this All-Hallows Eve excitement. Tokyo York on Toft Green promise surprises around every corner at its Haunted Mansion party. They say halloween coincides with the anniversary of the death of Lady Tokyo who still haunts the cellar. Yes really.

Over at Kuda on Clifford Street, they’re hosting various ghostly goings on including Spooktacular Thriller on the two Fridays either side of Halloween, October 25 and November 1, and although they don’t seem to be offering anything different to the usual mix or chart inspired house you do enter via the York Dungeon. Terrifying.

When heading out anywhere on the weekend of Halloween, fancy dress is advisable.

Sketchy details

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Part Rocky Horror Show, part warped beauty pageant, Dr Sketchy’s inhabits the City Screen basement on Tuesday, October 29. Taking the form of a Miss Underworld Pageant, this is a night where audience participation is not just encouraged but essential. That should scare some off.

The silver scream

For a big screen Halloween, on October 27 the Duchess is hosting a double screening of vintage scary films. First up is the appropriately titled classic Halloween, which is then followed by the Eighties comedy horror The Monster Squad.

City Screen, meanwhile, hosts a horror movie quiz in its café bar on Halloween, and there’s a screening of the genuinely creepy classic Nosferatu too.