Darkness falls across the land, the midnight hour is close at hand, and Getintothis‘ David Hall is on hand to terrorise y’alls neighbourhood.
There are two types of people in life. Those who enjoy Halloween, and those who are doing life entirely wrong. It’s the time of year to trick or treat; it just depends on your age how deviant or decadent those tricks or treats are.
The Merseyside creative scene is kicking into overdrive, and set to provide plenty of entertainment throughout this spooky time of year. With imaginations running wild and a huge variety of events on offer, there’s every kind of goody to be dropped into our bag of sweets in the coming weeks.
Whatever it is that springs to mind when you think of Halloween, Liverpool has you covered across the week of October 31. Horror movies, collections of kooky fun, heart-stopping live scares and spine-chilling giggles for children are all catered for.
A midweek Halloween also means Scousers who enjoy a night out might want to get their spooky kicks over the preceding weekend, and Merseyside is set to deliver.
As this is Liverpool, there’s more than a fair share of musical tricks and treats on offer. Not only is Liverpool Music Week waiting in the wings, but there are plenty of gigs to be had as well.
There’s a ton of ghoulish stuff on offer across Merseyside this spooky season, and truly something for everybody to enjoy. Whether you take Halloween as an extremely serious business, or treat it as a bit of fun, there’s an experience to be had.
So take Getintothis‘ bony hand, as we scythe our way through the cultural comings and goings over Halloween week.
Clubnights and gigs
What is Halloween other than slinging together a piss poor costume last minute and going out to get bevvied? Oh yeah, putting months of planning into an intricate cosplay and getting tickets weeks in advance. Whatever floats your stygian boat.
Festival of The Dead Comes To Liverpool: Liverpool Guild of Students, Friday October 13, 10pm
A travelling cavalcade of the undead comes to Merseyside, on the must cursed and fateful day of all, Friday the 13th. Expect a ghoulish club experience to remember until 3am and Jason Vorhees in all thirty seven of his guises.
Scouser Things: Constellations, Friday October 27, 6:00pm
We’re getting closer not only to Halloween but also the much-feted second season of Netflix’ supernaturally-inflected loveletter to all things bizarre and of the 1980s American midwest, Stranger Things. Those freaks over at Constellations have only gone and laid on a night in the spirit of both, featuring backdrops, immersive aerial settings, supernatural beings, classic 80’s arcade consoles and even telepathic soundscapes until 2am!
The Voodoo Ball 2017: Invisible Wind Factory, Saturday October 28, 8pm
Rebel Soul‘s now legendary Invisible Wind Factory date brings a local flavour to the more commercial Festival of the Dead. It’s all preceded by the traditional Wake The Dead parade, an annual carnival of noise led by a 70-strong drum troupe commencing at the top of Bold Street and making its way through Liverpool city centre.
MODU:LAR’s Halloween Ballroom with Margaret Dygas: The Loft at 57, Saturday October 28, 10pm
A marathon clubnight running until 8am the next day – maybe pack some shades and corpse paint for those painful Sunday morning rays – promises much in the way of freaky frequencies. Incomparable techno soundscaper Margaret Dygas heads up a bill also featuring Jack Wickham and Nerram, so it’s bound to be a bewitching proposition.
303 Halloween Special – The Tunnels: Williamson Tunnels, Saturday October 28, 9pm
What better venue than Merseyside’s answer to the Paris Catacombs (maybe that’s hyperbole, but history will judge us) the Williamson Tunnels than a pre-Halloween freakout? Dave Seaman and Steve Parry feature back to back, for night of house, prog house and techno until 3am.
Lost Horizons: Leaf on Bold Street, Monday October 30, 8pm
Kicking off Liverpool Music Week with a first-ever date, Lost Horizons – former 4AD labelmates Richie Thomas and Simon Raymonde – descend on Leaf for a memorable Mischief Night. If Raymonde‘s most notable project the Cocteau Twins is anything to go by, it should be nothing short of magical.
Japanese Breakfast: EBGBs, Tuesday October 31
DIY presents a stacked lineup featuring a headline set from Michelle Zauner of Little Big League, better known by her solo project’s moniker Japanese Breakfast. With St Jude The Obscure, Mary Miller and Bill Nickson in support and tickets just £4 in advance, this one looks a winner.
Blanck Mass: 24 Kitchen Street, Tuesday October 31
Benjamin John Power, one half of Fuck Buttons, presents his solo electronic drone project Blanck Mass, which is gaining increasing traction in his main band’s downtime. The incomparable cult Bonnacons of Doom will provide an appropriately haunting support, plus Outfit mainman Andrew Hunt‘s side hustle Dialect.
Halloween at District featuring Wild Fruit Art Collective, Samurai Kip and more: District, Tuesday October 31, 19:30 – 23:00pm
District seems like the place to be for those who enjoy their gigs free and their lineups eclectic this Halloween. Yep, entry is free, so along with Wild Fruit Art Collective and Samurai Kip, the District stage will also be graced by local noise act LONESAW and Manchester’s The Starlight Magic Hour. Once more: free entry!
Do you like scary movies? Well, I want to play a game… now we’ve run out of pop-culture horror movie references, we’ll just point out these ace-looking movie screenings that you might want to check out. It’ll be a feast for the eyes, ears and braaaaainns… sorry.
Pride at the Pictures presents The Hunger – Halloween Special: Picturehouse at FACT, Monday October 30, 6:30 – 9:30pm
Hosted by Picturehouse at FACT and Liverpool Pride, the LGBT+ themed Pride at the Pictures series presents the Bowie-starring 1983 horror The Hunger. A vampire flick exploring themes of homosexuality in released during the rise of HIV remains a brave piece of cinema, which audiences get to enjoy on the big screen all over again.
Perfect Blue 20th Anniversary: Picturehouse at FACT, Tuesday October 31, 6:00 – 9:00pm
It’s the 20th anniversary of Satoshi Kon‘s macabre and deviant anime Perfect Blue this year, a feminist exploration of perception, identity and consumer society. Picturehouse at FACT screens the visually stunning, thematically unsettling movie on Halloween night.
Hocus Pocus Screening: HUS, Tuesday October 31, 6:30 – 9:30pm
If Halloween doesn’t mean scaring yourself silly but something a little more camp and shlocky, look no further than this screening hosted by Tithebarn Street digs HUS. A hit at the time, but a bona fide cult classic in the years since, the Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker starring family comedy Hocus Pocus remains tremendous fun in the gif sharing generation. See it screened in full on Halloween night.
Cinema At The Dome – Haunted Halloween Special: Grand Central Hall, Tuesday October 31
Independent Liverpool hosts an interactive evening with marauding characters around the city centre’s opulent Grand Central Hall featuring a screening of DIY cinema classic The Blair Witch Project.
A Night At The Movies – The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Oh Me Oh My, Tuesday October 31, 7:00 – 10:00pm
A waterfront screening of cult hit The Rocky Horror Picture Show with a special movie-inspired sharing menu promises a classy night out for lovers of this modern musical classic.
Cultural nights out
There are times when it can seem like Halloween is just one giant pop culture appropriation from across the pond. What have we become? But it doesn’t have to be like that this year, with this higher-brow selection of happenings across Merseyside throughout the All Souls season.
Museums at Night Liverpool 2017: Thursday October 26 – Saturday October 28
Discover new exhibitions, listen to expert talks and presentations, watch special performances, take torch-lit tours, enjoy live music in historic surroundings, and engage in a range of free and ticketed night-time activities.
Board Games Night: Waterstones Liverpool One, Saturday October 28, 4:30pm
Play Betrayal at House on the Hill, a haunted house homage with 50 different possible endings! Your favourite board games, so can be brought along to the Waterstones coffee shop for an evening of play. Plus, as a special treat, all participants get 10% off purchases made on the night.
Star Gazing Event: World Museum Liverpool, Friday November 3, 5:00 – 9:00pm
Turn up any time between 5:00 and 9:00 pm with a free Eventbrite ticket for some star gazing in the company of Liverpool John Moores University‘s Professor Andy Newsam, giving a talk on the Liverpool Telescope. The night is hosted by Liverpool Astronomical Society.
Out of work actors, jobbing part timers and students out to make a quick buck get plastered in fake blood and come flying at your face howling like a banshee. It’s called a ‘scare attraction’ and it’s a new Halloween tradition, okay? So let’s all get used to it.
Chamber of Terror: Contained Liverpool, 1 – 31 October 2017
The Chamber of Terror is a scare maze, said to be the most immersive and terrifying scare attraction in Liverpool. Find it in the Barclay Business Park, off Long Lane. Which is arguably a far more terrifying place.
Ottersghoul Halloween Experience: Otterspool Adventure Centre, 28 – 31 October 2017
See above, but in Otterspool. Insert your own snarky comment about Aigburth Road.
The Chambers of Horrors – Resting Ground of the Unsaved: St George’s Hall, 24 – 31 October
See above above, but in the genuinely unsettling confines of the holding cells beneath Grade 1 listed neoclassical jewel of the city St George’s Hall. Which is exactly the sort of goddamn place a ghost would hang out, if you ask us. No thanks.
Farmaggedon: Farmer Ted’s Farm, 30 September – 31 October 2017
Something of a Merseyside staple, if you haven’t done Farmaggedon, you haven’t really done a Liverpool Halloween.
Screamacres: Greenacres Animal Park, 20th – 31st October 2017
Over the water, something spooky is brewing in the usually cute and cuddly confines of Greenacres Animal Park.
Ghoulies Haunted House: Dale Street, 19-22 and 24-31 October
A year-round live experience has recently opened up on Dale Street, and is throwing itself into the Halloween season with the guts and gusto you’d expect.
Fun for all the family
Because don’t pretend that Halloween doesn’t bring out the shrieking child in you, barely hidden just below the surface.
Spooky Welly Walk: Sefton Park, Saturday October 21, 11am – 5pm
Hosted by Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, the Spooky Welly Walk is the perfect Saturday out in the park for all the family. There are trick or treat activity stations over the 2 hour walk, tickets at £4 per walker (£5 on the day) with all proceeds going towards Liverpool’s lung cancer charity.
Liverpool Zombie Walk: Ghoulies Haunted House, Sunday October 22
Dress up and release your inner living dead for the Liverpool Zombie Walk, all in aid of The Brain Charity. Get your make up done professionally then take part in the walk, or be dead on arrival; either way, get your zombie on for a good cause!
Howl-O-Ween Puppy Parade: St. Luke’s Bombed Out Church, Saturday October 29, 12 pm
Puppers unite! Hosted by Merseyside Dogs Home and starting off from BrewDog, a day of doggy treats, beer and of course dogs dressed up as vampires, Frankenstein’s monster and shit awaits.
Liverpool Halloween Lantern Carnival: City Centre,Saturday October 29
A parade of giant sized Halloween lanterns will take to the city centre streets, having last been seen in Sefton Park two years ago. Routes will be announced closer to the time from The Lantern Company.