Halloween it’s already next week, and we cannot believe it’s already nearing the end of October. The magic of Edinburgh is in the air, with misty mornings and darker nights creeping in with greater frequency. And to enjoy that said magic, we have gathered up a list of things to do in Edinburgh this Halloween. So, grab your friend, relative, partner or child and go check out all there is to do this spooky season.
You can now unravel what was really going on at The Real Mary King’s Close two lantern-led tours this Halloween. During the Lantern-Led Tour This Halloween, visitors will be taken by one of the residents of Old Edinburgh and led in complete darkness only by the dim light of a lantern. And if the tales in the dark weren’t enough, visitors will also witness spooky characters in the dead of the night, creeping up just at the right moment to frighten every soul there. The second Halloween tour, True Crimes Tour This Halloween, will take adult thrill-seekers down the infamous steps to uncover which crimes really happened at Mary King’s Close all those moons ago. The experience is set to uncover facts that are even more thrilling than the stories surrounding the area themselves.
As part of Fever’s Candlelight Concert series, music and film lovers will have the chance to enjoy a special Halloween edition, Candlelight Special: Halloween, which will see tracks from famous movies, series, musicals and pop culture performed in an eerie, candlelit setting. Amongst the spooky film tunes, spectators will witness mesmerising versions of songs like Thriller by Michael Jackson, The Addams Family theme, Ghostbusters theme and so much more at the niche concert, but this time, as you’ve never imagined them before. You can book your tickets here.
3. Get into the mystical mood at The Botanics Halloween Trail
This year, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is taking guests on a magical trail through the gardens. The Halloween trail starts at either the East or West Gate, where wannabe witches and wizards will be asked to collect the ancient secrets for a special spell. This is a fun wee day out for the little ones, but adults could also learn to find wonder from the little things.
4. Celebrate the changing of the seasons at Samhuinn Fire Festival
At this family-friendly event, everyone will come together to celebrate and acknowledge the season changes from Summer into Winter. Happening in Holyrood Park on October 31 to accommodate more people, the festival will include fire-play, drumming, and immersive performances. Samhuinn Fire Festival is organised by Beltane Fire Society which is a charity entirely funded by donations. This is a heart-warming, (and quite literally warming) fiery event where visitors are welcome to dance, enjoy the shows and come together in a positive and inclusive space.
The tremendously admired Disney story is coming to Edinburgh Playhouse, and Aladdin The Musical will be playing between October 24 and November 18 to delight the people of the Scottish capital. Adapted from Disney’s 1992 animated film and centuries-old folktales including ‘One Thousand and One Nights‘, Aladdin musical is brought to the stage in a dazzling way for the very first time in Edinburgh.
6. Dance all day and into the night at The Royal Highland Centre
Terminal V Halloween 2023 is returning for another year between October 27 and 29 with a massive indoor electronic music festival. This award-winning party will feature global acts and multiple stages, where ravers and music lovers gather for the time of their lives from midday to midnight at Scotland’s biggest electronic music event. This year, expect acts such as BLK. 999999999, TRYM and more. The three-day event boasts two indoor stages and additional outdoor areas for maximum fun.
7. See a multitude of terrifying theatre shows at the Edinburgh Horror Festival
It is Edinburgh’s only horror theatre festival, and we’re here for it. Get spooked at a variety of shows at The Banshee Labyrinth, where the darkest tales from the darkest minds will come to life between October 26 – 31. Edinburgh Horror Festival performances will happen mostly in the evenings and will be for adults only, so be sure to bring your ID along. Expect a myriad of shows to explore in-person and on a live stream.
From October 6, a competition called The Majesty is gonna be bringing 9 queens to the stage to give the performance of a lifetime. It’s going to be like Edinburgh’s version of RuPaul’s Drag Race, with one queen going home every week during the eight-week-long competition. And on Friday, October 27, 9 queens will be ready to perform like everybody’s watching. The Majesty will kick off at 8pm at The Three Sister’s newest edition – the ‘live’ room.
9. Attend The Little Monster Event at Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh
This one is mainly for the little ones out there, where adults can have unlimited tea and coffee. Hard Rock Cafe on George Street is inviting the whole family to a spooky Halloween party, where the smaller guests will indulge in a morning of Monster Mashing with Tricky Ricky, face painting and creating some ghoulish arts & crafts amongst some devilish goodies. What is more, just go wild at the Pancake Bar and pile on whatever toppings you like whilst the adults treat themselves to bottomless tea or coffee and the kids treat themselves to fruit juice. The event is on October 29, with adult tickets being £19.95 and children’s for £14.95: you can book your tickets here. What is more, why not treat yourself to a cracking two-course meal through Fever!
Plus, Hard Rock Cafe has got a super scary menu between October 23 and 31, offering Blueberry Chipotle Burgers and Booberry Zombie Cocktail with Bacardi Superior rum, triple sec, pineapple and fresh lime with a ghoulish treat of grenadine.
Let your curiosity reign free at Midnight Lunar Market which could bring answers you never knew you needed. While Edinburgh holds a dark past regarding witches and wizards, it is no longer illegal to practice witchcraft. A spirituality-inspired alternative late market, Midnight Lunar Market, is coming to The Voodoo Rooms on both Sunday, October 29 and Monday, October 30, bringing alternative traders of all kinds into one place. What is more, a special candlelit seance will be held on October 30 between 11pm and 12am right before the clock strikes midnight into Halloween.
From Friday, October 27 to Tuesday, October 31, visitors will be able to indulge in a witchy Halloween meal accompanied by ghoulish cocktails at Tattu Edinburgh, surrounded by greenly-lit cherry blossoms. We’re talking Pumpkin Dumplings, the Wilting Blossom Dessert, or the wickedly styled Toxic Koi Fish Bowl of Prosecco, cherry and coconut. Plus, expect plenty of spooky cocktails with skulls, red flaming candles, and potions overflowing with dry ice, providing the ultimate instagrammble opportunities. October 28 will also see the unique Skullduggery event take place, with DJs, small plates and plenty of champagne and said cocktails to go around from 12pm onwards.
12. Attend a dog party at Boozy Cow
Halloween isn’t usually the most dog-friendly holiday, but with Boozy Cow‘s dog party, our furry friends can come along to the celebrations. Dress up your own doggy and admire other dogs in fancy dress, have a wee drink and take as many pictures as you like. The party will take place on October 28 between 10am and 1pm, and the tickets are £10 for dogs and humans. You can book your tickets here.
Frankly, it’s spooky season all year round in Edinburgh. With Harry Potter vibes and a sinister past, the city embodies an eerie essence anywhere you turn. Ghost tours are aplenty around the Scottish Capital, so we thought we’d put our favourite ones in one place. This Halloween, we’ve put together a list of our favourite ghost tours to check out, as there are plenty of haunted places around.