Best UK Halloween events 2021: scariest events from Edinburgh to Yorkshire and beyond - and how to get tickets

Halloween events will be returning to cities across the UK this spooky season after many had to be cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic

Halloween is just around the corner, and many of us are getting into the spooky spirit by picking pumpkins, getting our costumes ready and donning our best Halloween decorations.

With the end of October on the horizon, these are some of the best Halloween events taking place across the UK to spook you and your family.

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Scotland

Samhuinn Fire Festival, Edinburgh (and online)

Calton Hill, Edinburgh

Mark the transition from summer to winter with the Samhuinn Fire Festival and its characteristic mix of fire-play, drumming and immersive performance.

The Samhuinn celebration takes place on the same night as Halloween, Sunday 31 October.

For those looking to witness the parade in person, you’ll need to register in advance by getting a ticket. Tickets will be by donation with a limited number available - the organisers suggest a donation of £10.

Ticket bookings are still to be announced - you can keep an eye on when tickets go live by visiting the Samhuinn Fire Festival website.

Alternatively, if you want to view the parade online if you can’t make it in person or just prefer to keep cosy at home, you can watch the festival via livestream. The livestream will also be recorded, so there is also an opportunity to watch the festival afterwards.

Members of the Beltane Fire Society take part in Samhuinn on Calton Hill (Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Kelburn Castle & Estate Haunted Forest, Ayrshire

Kelburn Estate, Fairlie, Ayrshire, KA29 0BE

Get involved with the legendary late night Halloween scare spectacular at Kelburn castle as it launches a brand new terrifying interactive experience.

Haunted Forest: Cult tells the tale of a child that has gone missing in the woods - you are tasked with finding her, but as you travel deeper and deeper into the forest, you will discover an evil conspiracy and sinister terrors. Demonic worship and unholy creatures await you.

The recommended age for this event is 14-years-old and up. Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult, and children under the age of 12 may not be permitted.

If you’re brave enough to take on the challenge, you’ll need to book your tickets in advance from the Kelburn Estate website. 

The Haunted Dunimarle Castle, Culross

Dunimarle Castle, Balgownie West, Culross, KY12 8JN

There’s nothing quite like a haunted castle to get you in the spooky spirit for Halloween - so why not check out the Haunted Dunimarle Castle event which is suitable for the whole family.

Get dressed up in your scariest outfits and enjoy the likes of the creepy crawly gardens, freaky games in the courtyard and pumpkin hunting across the grounds. Meet the spooky storytellers and learn about the real life stories of the Culross witches of the past.

The Halloween event is taking place over Saturday 30 October and on Halloween itself, Sunday 31 October.

You’ll need to book your tickets in advance from the Eventbrite page, with adult tickets costing £10 and children under the age of 16 go free.

England

Illuminated Abbey, North Yorkshire

Whitby Abbey, Abbey Lane, Whitby, YO22 4JT

Celebrate this Halloween by checking out the place where author Bram Stoker inspired the atmospheric locations for the famous gothic novel Dracula - as well as the name for his famous vampire.

See Whitby Abbey in a new light as it is bathed in dramatic illuminations. Get your camera at the ready and explore its gothic splendour as the ruins are lit up with all the colours of the rainbow. Enjoy an unforgettable evening of Victorian Gothic entertainment.

You can get your tickets online on the English Heritage website. 

A light display illuminates the historic Whitby Abbey, which is famously noted for being the inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Photo: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

Alton Towers Scarefest, Staffordshire

Alton Towers Resort, Alton, Staffordshire, ST10 4DB

Prepare to be scared at this year’s Alton Towers Scarefest, complete with live entertainment for all ages, and a brand new family attraction.

Open until 9pm each night, brave guests can test their courage on hair raising rides like Wicker Man and the Alton Towers Dungeon. If that isn’t scary enough, then it’s just as well that the four multi-award winning terrifying mazes are set to return as well.

Older families will also be able to enjoy the brand new Trick o Treat Town, which is an interactive walk through of a special town where every day is Halloween. Also coming back in 2021 is the free attraction Garden Lights Walk: Whispering Souls, where the gardens come to life.

You can get your tickets on the Alton Towers website. 

BeWILDerwood Glorious Glowing Lantern Parade, Norfolk

BeWILDerwood Norfolk, Horning Road, Hoveton, Norfolk, NR12 8JW

For something with less of a terrifying vibe to it, why not get the family together to check out the famous BeWILDerwood Glorious Glowing Lantern Parade. See the park in a new life and watch the story unfold before you as you make your way through the woods and down mysterious paths.

Begin at Hazel’s Hideaway where you’ll craft up your own Boggle Bindle Lantern to light up the woods and embark on a journey of terrific tales and magic.

Tickets need to be booked online in advance. If you want to play in the woods during the day and embark on a magical walk in the evening, you will need to make two separate bookings.

Tickets to this event are £10 each (under 92cm, wheelchair users and carers are free), and you can book tickets on the BeWILDerwood website.

Wales

Terror Mountain, Aberystwyth

The Silver Mountain Experience, Llywernog, Ponterwyd, Aberystwyth, SY23 3AB

Terror Mountain is the premier Halloween event in Wales, situated just outside of Aberystwyth. You’ll experience a variety of terrifying live action horror events that are guaranteed to get your blood pumping and adrenaline surging.

Venture into the Victorian mine and discover the horrors that lie within if you dare - you’ll frequently come face to face with demons, flesh eating freaks and more.

If you think you’re up to the challenge, you can book your tickets online on the Terror Mountain website. 

The Old School Sleepover, Pembrokeshire

YHA Newport Pembrokeshire, Lower St Mary’s Street, Newport, SA42 0TS

Have you always wanted to sleep in a haunted Victorian School? How about the opportunity to use real paranormal hunting equipment like Ghost Boxes, EVP sound recording devices and K2 Meters? If so, then The Old School Sleepover should be right up your street.

Seize your chance to investigate and sleep over at the Old School for an unforgettable Halloween - be warned, no under 18s are permitted to this event.

You can book your tickets online on the Spooktacular Ghost Events website.

Fonmon Castle Haunted Gardens, Barry

Fonmon, Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales, Barry, CR62 3ZN

Sir John has died and his castle has gone to ruins - are you brave enough to walk his haunted gardens and survive the ghostly goings on?

Enjoy the haunted gardens and an impressive night time lights show - and from 5pm to 9pm, the night time spook fest begins, which isn’t so suitable for young children, so be advised.

If you’re up to the task, you can book your tickets on the Fonmon Castle website. 

Northern Ireland

Crumlin Road Gaol Halloween Jail of Horror, Belfast

Crumlin Road Goal, Visitor Attraction & Conference Centre, 53-55 Crumlin Road, BT14 6ST

Returning for 2021 is one of Belfast’s most fearsome and scariest attractions - the Jail of Horror. If you dare, you will enter into the Victorian Jail and face your fears on an intense scare after scare journey that only has one way out.

Your visit will include the famous Tunnel, C wing, Condemned man cell and the terrifying Hanging Cell. The one of a kind tour through Belfast’s oldest prison will surely leave you feeling haunted.

The website specifically states that this attraction is not for the faint of heart.

If you think you can handle it, you can book your tickets online on the Crumlin Road Gaol website. 

Fright Night at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, Hillsborough

Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, Hillsborough, BT26 6HR

Embark on an immersive ghost walk through the gardens of Hillsborough Castle. This special spooky event is brought to you from The Wild Raven Walk, and will see you follow a darkly lit path through the gardens and encounter characters from the castle’s past.

Finish your walk with the spectacular finale in the Stable Yard for a reenactment of Hercat the Illusionist’s famous illusions, recreated by Cahoots Theatre NI.

You can get tickets for this even via the Historic Royal Palaces website.

The Grimm Hotel, Belfast

100-150 York St, Belfast, BE15 1WA

The Grimm Hotel has a reservation with your name on it - but beware, the Grimm Hotel is no ordinary hotel. Check in upon arrival and choose between 210 Grimm suites - the decision is all yours, but be careful for you will be stepping into a story hundreds of years in the making, and behind each door lies a Grimm surprise.

You could find yourself dining with a witch, or perhaps lost in the woods, or even face to face with a greedy goblin - you won’t know until you go.

Featuring magic, music and cutting edge technology, the Grimm Hotel brings to life some of fairytale folklore’s most recognisable characters in this groundbreaking walk through theatre experience.

You can book your tickets on the Visit Belfast website.

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