Spending Halloween in Edinburgh,
Oct 2017, various venues.
Halloween or All Hallows Eve is a celebration of all things spooky and scary, taking place on 31st October each year. It is a modern version of the ancient Celtic festival Samhuinn, which marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter.
Edinburgh is known as one of the spookiest cities in the UK and there are lots of organised events on for Halloween. It is advisable to book early as they are very popular with both locals and tourists.
Things to do in Edinburgh for Halloween 2017
- Viator Halloween Tours (various dates)
- Edinburgh Dungeons (various dates)
- The Ghost Bus (various dates)
- Halloween at Lauriston Castle (various dates)
- Condemned: Mary King’s Close Halloween Tours (13 – 21 Oct)
- The Pumpkin Run (22 Oct)
- Halloween Ceilidh at The Counting House (27 Oct)
- RSNO at the Movies: Psycho Live (27 Oct)
- Edinburgh Horror Festival (27 – 31 Oct)
- Musical Halloween Crafts at St Cecilia’s Hall (28 Oct)
- Storytelling Festival: Guisers Galore (28 Oct)
- Spooky Happenings at The Museum Of Edinburgh (28 Oct)
- Zombie Walk Pub Crawl at Subway Cowgate (28 Oct)
- Grassmarket Family Halloween Day (28 Oct)
- Family Halloween Hop: Monster Mash Up (29 Oct)
- Children’s Classic Concerts: Ghost Train (29 Oct)
- Li’l Monsters Halloween Disco at Hard Rock Cafe (29 Oct)
- Seven Deadly Sins at Why Not Nightclub (31 Oct)
- Samhuinn Fire Festival (TBC)
Traditional Halloween Festivities
- Fancy Dress – Dressing up in costume. Popular characters include skeletons, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, vampires and witches.
- Dooking – or ‘Bobbing for Apples’. A game played using a barrel filled with water and floating apples. Players must bend over the barrel with arms behind their backs and pick the apples out using only their teeth. The person who gets the most apples over a fixed period of time is the winner.
- Guising – This tradition originated in Scotland in the 19th century – where children would dress up in costume and go door-to-door around the neighbourhood performing in return for food and coins. This is similar to ‘trick-or-treating’, a popular custom from North America where children knock on doors asking for sweets and treats.
- Making Jack-o-lanterns – Spooky faces are carved into hollowed-out turnips or pumpkins and candles placed inside to create a festive lantern.
- Telling Ghost Stories or Watching Horror Films – Turning out the lights to tell scary stories or watch horror movies is sure to scare everyone silly.
- Halloween Parties – Both adults and children throw parties incorporating some or all of the above activities, along with the usual food, drink, music and games.