Too old for trick-or-treating? Never fear, there are plenty of other things to do in Edinburgh for a slightly more grown-up Halloween this October. Dust off your capes and fangs and supplies of fake blood, and prepare yourself for a spooktacular Halloween. Whether you fancy having the fright of your life on an underground ghost tour or taking things easy at a slightly more light-hearted spooky silent disco, there’s plenty to choose from.
1. Dancing at the Zombie Zoo
Throughout the summer, Edinburgh Zoo opened their gates after hours for special “zoo nights” parties, and on October 31st the adults-only fun returns with a zombie theme. As darkness descends, you’ll be able to explore the Dinosaurs Return exhibit by torchlight before being guided back down the hill to the Jungle venue for the Zombie Zoo silent disco. There will also be Halloween food and drink to indulge in and face painters on hand to zombify you (that’s if you haven’t already fully committed to the zombie fancy dress code!).
Dancing at the Zombie Zoo
31 October, 7pm – 12 midnight
134 Corstorphine Road
Best for: spooky fun without the frights
2. Halloween Vigil in the Vaults
Not one for the faint-hearted, Mercat Tours are organising a thoroughly terrifying overnight vigil in the Blair Street Vaults this Halloween. Between midnight and 5am, you will be able to conduct your own Most Haunted style investigations after a tour through the vaults. Accompanied by a Mercat guide and psychic medium Ada Donaldson, you’ll spend the whole night looking out for signs of paranormal activity and hearing stories of what others have experienced in Edinburgh’s infamous haunted vaults. If you don’t think you can hack a whole night underground, try one of Mercat’s hour-long underground ghost tours which are on throughout Halloween weekend.
Mercat Tours Halloween Vigil
31 October, 12 midnight – 5am
Blair Street Vaults
Best for: die-hard paranormal investigators and wannabe ghost hunters
3. Hunted by the Undead at Comas Zombie Chase
Ever watched The Walking Dead and thought “yeah, I could do that”? Well, now is your chance. As part of Comas Zombie Chase, Pilrig Park will be transformed into a post-apocalyptic wasteland full of trials, obstacles, challenges and – of course – zombies. With kid-friendly events throughout the day, the Hunted by the Undead event from 9pm is one for adults only. The perfect mix between fun and terrifying, you’ll be fully immersed into a world of zombies and you’ll have to spend the evening trying to stay alive and uninfected. And once you’ve got the undead under control, the pop-up “Aftermath Tent” will be serving up drinks to keep the survivors hydrated. Good luck!
Hunted by the Undead
31 October, 7pm – 11pm
Best for: putting your video game zombie-fighting skills to good use
4. Samhuinn Fire Festival
If you’re after a more traditional Halloween experience this year, head down to the Grassmarket for the Samhuinn Fire Festival. Many of the Halloween traditions we know today originated from the Celtic festival of Samhuinn, so this is a great opportunity to discover more about the historical and cultural significance of this time of year. The Samhuinn Fire Festival is a unique kind of street theatre with music, dance, storytelling and lots and lots of fire. The main attraction of the evening is a performance telling the story of a battle between the Summer and Winter Kings and the changing of the seasons.
Samhuinn Fire Festival
31 October, 7pm – 9pm
Best for: street performance with a fiery twist
5. Horror Movies at the Filmhouse
And finally we have one of the most classic ways to spend Halloween: a horror movie marathon. This year, the Filmhouse are showing a double bill of vintage horrors to get you suitably spooked out on the 31st. Starting at 7.50pm, the celebrations kick off with a screening of the 1953 classic House of Wax followed by John Carpenter’s Halloween at 10pm. This ground-breaking 1978 thriller stars Donald Pleasance and Jamie Lee Curtis as they try to outwit infamous horror movie villain Michael Myers.
Halloween at Filmhouse
31 October, 7.50pm & 10pm
88 Lothian Road
Best for: jumps, scares and a big bucket of popcorn
What have you got planned for this Halloween?