Celebrate the spookiest time of the year in the ‘most haunted city in Europe’ with a visit to York this October. York offers tricks, treats and spooky encounters for all with a wide range of new ghoulish experiences, trails and events on offer this year.
From family-friendly magical adventures to experiences a little more gruesome and frightening, there is something for everyone. Partnering with York Dungeon and York Park & Ride, Visit York have developed a very special spooky video to celebrate the city this Halloween with a website hub packed full of the creepiest things to do in the city.
Here’s York’s best Halloween experiences to celebrate this spooky season:
1. Séance Halloween Show at The York Dungeon (26th September to 6th November)
Join York Dungeon’s sinister Victorian medium, Georgiana Eagle, otherwise known as Madame Card, in a brand-new Halloween show. Get ready to contact the Spirit world as you find yourself in the year 1872, participating in one of Madame Card’s sought after Séance shows where she will open your eyes to the world of the unliving. More information here.
2. York BID’s Ghosts in The Garden (23rd September to 7th November)
The eerie sculptures, which were first installed in Museum Gardens last year, are back bigger and better than ever. This year, the BID are adding ghosts to more of York’s beautiful city centre gardens including Treasurer’s House, The Merchant Adventurers Hall, Middletons Hotel, The Artists Garden and St Anthony’s Garden.
3. Hallowscream at York Maze (13th October to 5th November)
Dare you face Hallowscream’s killer clowns or flesh-eating zombies? This immersive scare experience features five live action haunted house attractions, roving characters and more. www.yorkmazehallowscream.co.uk
4. Dorian Deathly: A Night of Face-Melting Horror at Theatre@41 (26th to 31st October)
Celebrate Halloween with local Spookologist and ghost botherer Dorian Deathly with an evening of ghost stories, paranormal sciences, original music and perhaps the odd unexpected guest. Explore spine-chilling tales of hauntings, both local and further afield, dissemble horrors captured on film and follow the ghost story through from the origins, the Victorian classics and modern-day frights. Book tickets here.
5. Hocus Pocus Halloween at Mother Shipton’s (22nd to 31st October)
Beware of the cackles of old souls wandering the ancient woodland or feel a shiver down your spine stepping into the Haunted Halloween Village. There’s frightful fun to be had with photo opportunities and fancy dress competitions. More information here.
6. The Little York Ghost Hunt (24th to 27th October)
As twilight gives way to night, The York Ghost Merchants invite you to join the search for Little York Ghosts along the atmospheric ancient streets that surround York Minster each evening between 6pm and 8pm (Monday – Thursday only). There are 125 Little York Ghosts to find each evening, including some which are rare & unusual. This is a free event and maps will be available from The York Ghost Merchants, The Visitor Information Centre and selected independent retailers from mid-October. There will also be a printable version of The Little York Ghost Hunt map available from this page nearer the event.
7. Trick or Treat Chocolate Bar Workshop at York Cocoa Works (16th to 31st October)
Design and craft your own spooky Chocolate Bar in the shape of a Ghost or a Bat this Halloween at York Cocoa Works! £22.50 pp (under 5s go free with a paying adult). More information here.
8. William’s Pumpkin Experience at William’s Den (7th to 30th October)
William's Pumpkins is a picture-perfect scene for families to visit and celebrate the arrival of autumn together. Experience the sights and smells of the new season and of course, pick your own pumpkins to take home, carve, paint, decorate and cook. Lace up your boots, slip on your gloves and head out to pick the perfect pumpkin. Knobbly ones, wrinkly ones, different shapes and sizes, there is a bountiful supply of shiny pumpkins, quirky gourds and lumpy squashes. There is an ideal pumpkin for everyone. More information here.
9. Ghost Hunts with Paranormal Research (various locations and dates)
Paranormal Research investigate some of York’s most historic and haunted venues. This October, they are hosting ghost hunts at The Guildhall, The Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, Bedern Hall, The Black Swan and Sandwitches Café. More information here.
10. Pick Your Own Pumpkins at The Balloon Tree (1st to 31st October)
Looking for a fun and exciting way to choose the perfect pumpkin for the Halloween season?Why not visit The Balloon Tree's Pick Your Own Pumpkin field! Whilst you’re there, see what local and seasonal produce they have available in the Farm Shop, or pop into the Cafe for a coffee and a slice of homemade cake. More information here.
11. The Graveyard Grimoire at The Mansion House (24th to 30th October)
In days gone by, those departing the mortal coil of this parish were buried in St Helen’s Square. With progress came the removal of their resting place. Each year, these restless souls venture to the Mansion House to attend the Dance of the Dead. However, to pass through the veil and attend this supernatural ball, they must be remembered in the land of the living. Visit the Mansion House to complete the ‘’Graveyard Grimoire’ an adventure through ghostly residents of St Helens Square. A surprising, creepy, and entertaining event suitable for all ages. Included in the standard admission price. No tickets or booking required.
12. The Phantom Carriage at The National Centre for Early Music (26th October)
The last person to die before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve is doomed to ride Death’s carriage, collecting souls for the year ahead. This eerie and innovative Swedish film classic (which inspired a twelve-year-old Ingmar Bergman to make films) is a Dickensian ghost story and a deeply moving drama - as well as a showcase for ground breaking special effects. Frame Ensemble, a quartet of Northern musicians specialising in improvised silent film accompaniments, will complement the haunting visuals with a unique, spontaneous musical performance. Booking information here.
13. October Light Spectacular at North Yorkshire Moors Railway (22nd to 30th October)
Marvel at heritage carriages, decorated with thousands of lights, before departing from Pickering Station for an awe-inspiring journey alongside a DJ-Mix of music that will get you in the mood for a party the whole family will enjoy. Each passenger will be given their own interactive LED wristband which is synchronised to the music and passengers become part of the show. This hour-long round trip, with on-board narration and music, departs from Pickering Station for Levisham Station every evening from 22 to 30 October. More information here.
14. Dungeon Lates (Saturdays 1st to 29th October, Fridays 21st and 28th October)
Dungeon LATES evenings (strictly 18+ adults only) will be running on selected dates throughout October and offer guests a darker, scarier and naughtier alternative to the daytime tours. These evenings also feature a new exclusive 11th show, Body Snatchers! More information here.
15.Little Peasants City Walking Tour with The York Dungeon (22nd to 30th October)
For the Little Peasants who are too young (or scared!) for The York Dungeon, this one-hour tour of the City of York will give families the chance to walk, laugh and learn as they explore the famous sights including Clifford’s Tower, York Minster and The Shambles. The York Dungeon’s Dungeon Jester and lovable sidekick Smedley will talk about York’s most infamous rogues and heavenly saints including Dick Turpin, Guy Fawkes and the Pearl of York herself, Margaret Clitherow. More information here.
16. Halloween at City Cruises (22nd to 31st October)
Beware! City Cruises are Halloween-ifying their Boats! During the day, the York City Cruise will be decked out, but at night on the Early Evening Cruise, there will be spiders and skeletons cruising the Ouse.
17. Take a famous York Ghost Walk (various dates)
Learn more about the haunting history of York on one of the city’s famous ghost walks. Browse our recommended ghost guides here.
18. Stately Superstitions: Eerie Encounters at the Castle (21st to 23rd, 28th to 31st October)
Explore the uncanny on this behind-the-scenes tour of Castle Howard where not all is as it seems. If you were to venture beyond the visitor route, below stairs, you’d encounter a labyrinth of dark cellars and never-ending corridors. Long since servants walked the halls and a fire ripped through the now empty wings, these parts of Castle Howard have remained largely unchanged. Those interested in the history of the House may revel at the chance to explore these quarters, but a stay longer than necessary provokes a sense of unnerving discomfort causing the imagination to try and make sense of the darkness. More information here.
19. Halloween Masterclass (24th to 29th October) and Halloween Tour & Truffle Rolling (17th to 30th October) at York’s Chocolate Story
This Halloween, experience the York’s Chocolate Story tour with some added spooky extras! You’ll have the opportunity to decorate four ghostly chocolates with rat blood and goblin snot fillings. Plus, the Halloween Masterclass experience includes blind trick-or-treat tasting and a signature hot chocolate with a fully costumed chocolatier and assistant. From eyeball truffles to Trick or Treat chocolate wheels, Halloween at York’s Chocolate Story will be one to remember! https://www.yorkschocolatestory.com/
For the wizards and witches of York, why not make a magical potion at The Potion’s Cauldron or have a round of mini golf at The Hole In Wand this Halloween. You can also learn more about York’s magical history on one of the city’s walking tours, such as York Witches & History Walking Tour and The Wizard Walk of York.
Bring Halloween home with a visit to Shambles Market. Wigginton Road Nurseries will be selling a range of ornamental pumpkin decorations and autumnal floral displays, plus traders throughout the market will have spooky decorations and clothing to buy.
Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with York Park & Ride and The York Dungeon on our spookiest campaign of the year! York is a must-see destination year-round, but there is no eerier time to be in the city than at Halloween – we are the ‘most haunted city in Europe’ after all. This Halloween, we have a huge programme of events across the city and beyond for the whole family to enjoy.”
John Godfrey, Head of Marketing for First York, said: “Halloween is one of those times in the year when York really comes into its own as a place to experience fun and frights! By teaming up with York Dungeon and Visit York we’re encouraging people get to a ghoulish gathering by bus – it’s the best way to arrive right outside the dungeon doors or stop off on a scary street in the city.”
Mark Mattinson, General Manager of The York Dungeon, said: “We cannot wait to launch our scariest Halloween show ever - Séance. Our terrifying team have pulled out all the stops this year and we cannot wait to SCARE, ahem, welcome York’s visitors to join us…I just hope they make it to the end of the show!
“For those with Little Peasants who are not quite ready for The Dungeon, our Little Peasant’s Walking Tours will show younger visitors the sights of York in the comfort of the daylight.
“We are delighted to be partnering with Visit York and First York Park and Ride on this year’s Haunted York campaign. We look forward to welcoming visitors to the UK’s Home of Halloween – it promises to be even bigger, better and without a doubt SCARIER than last year!”
For more information:
Sarah Foster and Brittany Guymer
Communications team at Make It York
About Make It York
Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally - as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, Shambles Market and festivals and events.
Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand
Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York.
York Park & Ride
Make travelling into the city easier with York Park & Ride! Avoid the hassle and expense of driving into the centre with buses up to every 12 minutes and free parking at all sites – what’s more, an Adult Return ticket is just £3.50 and up to three children go free. To find out more about York’s Park & Ride service, including fare and timetable information, visit: https://bit.ly/3bWBImy