Spooky Events for Halloween in York – there is lots going on in York and nearby over Halloween and October half term in York.
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.
Here’s our top pick of York’s best Halloween experiences to celebrate the spooky season in all its ghoulish glory:
The Magic Hatter is bringing his award-winning entertainment to the streets, with his Wizard Walk of York.
“Magic, mystery, comedy and excitement plus a dash of York’s history…the ingredients for a truly unforgettable experience for all the family!”
Public tours are running on selected evenings, starting from the bottom of The Shambles opposite The Golden Fleece. Pre-booking required. Private tours are available for birthdays, school groups, brownies, cubs and more. A wonderfully whimsical tour that wizard fans will go Potty for!
Wizard Wand Kits are also available, subject to availability. A handcrafted wand and instructions for seven tricks that young witches and wizards can learn at home. Plus a FREE printable certificate! To check days, times and book online visit the wizarding website at www.wizardwalkofyork.com.
** Note from Nikki: If you have younger kids with you, there is no better tour for you. We have seen The Magic Hatter many, many times when the kids were little and wholeheartedly recommend him. **
Halloween Tasting – with ghost stories and Mad Alice Bloody Orange gin cocktails
Join us on Halloween itself for a spooky evening of gin tasting and ghost stories in the beautiful, atmospheric Tudor building that’s home to York Gin.
York’s own ghost story writer Ben Sawyer will read spooky extracts from his latest book.
And our gin expert (and York Gin shop boss) Jenny will guide you through our range of gins. You’ll also enjoy a delicious cocktail made with Mad Alice’s Bloody Orange gin. Halloween in a bottle!
6:30 -7:30pm Halloween 31 October
Experience the new ‘The Grey Lady’ Halloween show at York Dungeon
A new story at York Dungeon. Already famous for telling the story of infamous characters that have walked the city streets over the centuries, this October will see the premiere of a brand new, additional ghost story for Halloween 2023 – The Grey Lady.
Join Mad Alice on The Bloody Tour of York as you wander “the streets and snickleways to historic landmarks. With 2000 years of history, York has fascinating stories of the macabre and the extraordinary. Uncover the tales of the Romans, the Viking invasion and the Plague amongst tales of torture and execution.
The history of the city is brought to life in this award-winning 90 minute tour which is suitable for gruesome little ones. Learn about the city’s most famous son Guy Fawkes and what really drove him to want to blow up the houses of Parliament in 1605. Dick Turpin, the famous Highwayman was hanged at York in 1739 but he was caught by sheer luck. Margaret Clitherow, martyr and Saint lived amongst the entrailed and blood-soaked Shambles in the 1580’s.”
Accessibility: Suitable for all ages and fully accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs. The walk takes a steady pace around the city. If there are any mobility issues, please talk to Mad Alice at the beginning of the tour who will tailor the tour to be more comfortable. Accompanying carers are invited onto the tour free of charge.
Tour Start Location
St. Williams College, College Street, YO1 7JF
When is the Tour?
January 18:00 (Saturdays only)
February/March – 18:00
April to October – 18:00 & 20:00
November – 18:00
December – 18:00 (Saturdays only)
How long does the Tour last?
How much is the Tour?
£12 adults and £6 children (under 5’s are free)
Click here to book tickets for The Bloody Tour of York.
Enter the Hallowscream scare houses at York Maze:
13 October – 4 November 2023
Hallowtween at York Maze is the UK’s only Halloween event for families with children aged 10-15yrs. Venture inside 4 of York Maze’s infamous Hallowscream scare houses but without the monsters that inhabit them at night. Nothing is what it seems and you will need to keep your wits about you as you experience all the shocks and thrills of Corny’s Cornevil, The Singularity, The Flesh Pot and our NEW for 2023 haunted house!
Trick or Treat Chocolate Bar Making at York Cocoa Works
13 October – 4 November 2023
Design and create your own Trick or Treat chocolate bar with a hands-on chocolate making workshop. Throughout October half term (23rd – 31st October) York Cocoa Works will be running their successful chocolate bar making workshops…with a spooky twist! Join in the Academy at the York Cocoa Works to design and make your very own 200g Halloween chocolate bar. Find out more.
Kirkgate Ghost Count at York Castle Museum
28 October to 5 November
Visit Kirkgate at York Castle Museum, one of the oldest recreated indoor streets of its kind in the world, and the first to be opened in Britain. It is a detailed recreation of a Victorian era high street using original buildings and features shops which existed in York from 1870 until 1901.
Wander this atmospheric street and its back lanes and try and count the York Ghosts that dwell there. New for this year there will be distinctive Ghosts with hats which you will need to tot up as well. There will be a specially created Kirkgate Ghost for the three entries which are closest to the correct totals for the Ghosts as well as the Ghosts with hats.
An entry form will be available from the museum on arrival.
For young children there will be a fun ghost character trail to be found around the museum, from a chef to a top hatted Victorian.
Included in the General Admission Ticket. Book here
Spooktacular Adventure at Web Adventure Park
There’s so much going on during the October Half Term at the Web, come along from the 28th of October to the 5th of November for a SPOOK-tacular time! Especially for spooky season, we’re running a Scarecrow competition for schools, after-school clubs, sports groups, nurseries, etc. to create some fabulous creations, but we need your help in deciding which scarecrow wins! Judging will take place during the October Half Term and the winners will receive a free play time at the Web! If you’d like to enter, please do get in touch.
Our resident magic man Dazzling Darren will be running Halloween-themed discos for the children to enjoy every day, with prizes for the best fancy dress costume, best dancing, and more! He’ll also be showcasing his daily magic shows, this time with a Halloween twist! Nothing too scary – just lots of fun!
What else can you get up to during the October Half Term you ask? Whiz around our unlimited fairground rides, compete with friends in the Laser Lightyear Game Zone, hop hop hop around on our two bouncing pillows, race down our giant astra slide, meet our furry friends during the animal encounter sessions, get a hole-in-one at our dinosaur mini golf, let off steam inside our award-winning indoor play, taste our delicious handmade pizzas, and so much more!
Come along for a full day of activities, from 9:30 AM until 6:00 PM, where EVERYTHING is included in the admission ticket.
Pumpkin Festival at Piglets Adventure Farm
7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd and DAILY 28th to the 31st October.
Get ready for stacks of family fun at the Piglets Adventure Farm Pumpkin Festival.
Pick a free perfect pumpkin from their homegrown Pumpkin Patch, find your way through the Mysterious Maize or enjoy spooky fun at Professor Dan’s Magic Show show. Tickets are limited and must be booked online.
Mother Shipton’s Creepy Carnival Trail
Saturday 28th October to Sunday 5th November 2023
Come one, come all for a freakishly fun Halloween experience at Mother Shipton’s Creepy Carnival trail!
Deep within our spooky forest a world of eerie enchantment awaits… Step right up and prepare to be thrilled and amazed by hauntingly captivating displays and spine-tingling surprises.
Explore abandoned circus tents as they whisper ghostly secrets from their forgotten past and meet a host of creepy characters who are waiting to steal the show in our festival of frights.
Roll up, roll up! Join the parade, come dressed in your spookiest costumes and share your photos with us to be in with the chance of winning tickets to come back again.
Mother Shipton’s Cave Creepy Carnival trail is the ultimate destination for those seeking the spookiest family-friendly Halloween experience. Join us if you dare, and be prepared to be bewitched, amazed, and thoroughly entertained in equal measure.
Saturday 28th October to Sunday 5th November.
Pumpkin Picking at Castle Howard
30th September – 31st October 2023, open 10am – 5pm
The Castle Howard Garden Centre Pumpkin Patch is back for the third year running!
Explore the patch and choose your perfect pumpkin. Whether small, medium, or large, we’ve got varying sizes and colours for carving, decorating and making the most of the spooky season! Head to the Garden Centre when you arrive and follow the signs for PYO pumpkins.
Entry to the Pumpkin Patch is free. Pumpkins cost £3, £5, £7 depending on size. Micro-pumpkins are £1.50.
Light Spectacular at North Yorkshire Moors Railway
27th October to 5th November and 10th to 12th November 2023 at 6pm and 7:45pm.
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) is already gearing up for its mesmerising Light Spectacular event, which takes place during October and November. Tickets are now on sale for this captivating steam train experience that departs from Pickering Station every evening from 27th October to 5th November and 10th to 12th November 2023 at 6pm and 7:45pm.
The hugely popular, hour-long, illuminated journey is an immersive audio and visual experience pulled by a steam train adorned with 17,000 LEDs, which will entertain the whole family. Tickets for the must-see (and hear) experiences are £25 per person, and include an hour-long illuminated experience between Pickering and Levisham station.
When passengers arrive, they are given a flashing wristband which synchronises with the on board lightshow and music which will have you singing and dancing in your seats. If that’s not enough, the entertainment by the NYMR’s onboard compere, TV’s ‘Voice Over Man’ will ensure you’re in the mood to party.
Experience Halloween at York’s Chocolate Story:
Trick or Treat Trek
Join us for a thrilling adventure as we embark on a spine-chilling tour around the city, immersing you in the spirit of Halloween. Prepare to be captivated by a series of engaging activities, including exhilarating Halloween games and indulging in delectable chocolate samples. This is an experience you simply cannot afford to miss. As an added bonus, the individual with the most impressive costume will be rewarded with a special prize.
This experience includes:
- Tour around York city with approx 5 delectable chocolate and sweet samples, including a chocolate mouse.
- Engaging and inclusive games for children to enjoy alongside their parents, featuring water guns, hand puppets, and a mummifying activity.
- A chocolate treat for the winner of the best Halloween costume.
Price: Adult: £10, Child: £15. All children up to 15 years old must be accompanied by a paying adult. All attendees must purchase a ticket.
Availability: 28th & 29th Oct 30th at 1.15pm – 2.45pm (1 per day). 30th & 31st Oct between 1.15pm – 2.45pm & 4.15pm – 5.45pm (2 per day)
Duration: This experience is 1hr 30 mins.
Adults can only book with a child present (this is a children’s activity). Children age is 0-15.
Pick your own pumpkins at The Balloon Tree – every day until 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. Their homegrown pumpkins are just waiting for you to pick them and take them home to carve, cook and decorate. With their usual variety of shaped and sized pumpkins, this year this a ghoulish twist available – Polar Bear Pumpkins!
PYO Entry Fee: £1.50 per person
Experience Illuminated Abbey at Whitby Abbey
21st – 31st October 2023
See Bram Stoker’s inspiration in a new light as Whitby Abbey is bathed in dramatic illuminations once again. Have your camera at the ready as you explore the gothic splendour of the ruins lit up with all the colours of the rainbow.
Experience an unforgettable evening of Victorian Gothic entertainment beneath the soaring Illuminated remains of Whitby Abbey.
York Ghost Week
Saturday 28th — Sunday 5th November 2023
Ghosts are an obscure yet undeniable part of the story of our city and we celebrate them wholeheartedly.
This is our fourth official Ghost Week; the first took place precariously between lockdowns but proved a welcome diversion at a time that was difficult for all. The following year we built upon this success and hosted “ The Residents” an installation of 1,000 glass Ghosts at the Mansion House and last year we showed “The Intaglio Seal” a short film at the Medical Society. “The Little York Ghost Hunt” is always at the centre of proceedings and has become embedded firmly in York’s calendar. Over the years we have added in other events, both of our own making and with select partners.
Programme of events
York Ghost Merchant Events
The Ghost Merchants Trading Hall – Bedern Hall, YO1 7AL
Sunday 29th October only, 11am – 4pm
York Ghost Merchants – This is a social occasion to begin the week with and give opportunity to collectors to meet up and trade (swap) Ghosts face to face. Many Ghost collectors may have certain Ghosts in their possession that do not quite fit in or perhaps they have another similar so may wish to exchange the Ghost for another. We believe this to be the first official live event (non digital) that facilitates the coming together and exchanging of Ghosts. Bring along Ghosts to show and swap, there is a café serving hot & cold drinks and cakes. The bell to begin trading will be rung shortly after 11am.
Please note: we are not encouraging the selling of Ghosts within the Trading Hall, swapping and exchanges is the activity we aim to promote.
Bedern Hall is a beautiful medieval hall in the centre of York but tucked away from busy thoroughfares. It’s history is closely linked to the Minster and the hall was originally part of the College of the Vicars Choral, which occupied the area between Goodramgate, St Andrewgate and Aldwark. The hall was the refectory (or dining hall) for the college from the 1390s until the middle of the 17th century when it passed into private hands.
Entry price is £5.00 which includes a limited edition Ghost Week 2023 bag.
The hall capacity is approximately 170 people, we encourage visitors to come throughout the day rather than all descending at once. It will be a pay on the door event (card payments only please). If capacity is reached then no further admittance will be allowed until people leave the event and a one out one in policy will operate. The hall has wheelchair access.
The Little York Ghost Hunt – Walking route around the Minster
Monday 30th October – Thursday 2nd November ( inclusive ) 6pm – 8pm only
As night falls the Merchants invite you to join the search each evening between 6pm and 8pm (Monday – Thursday only) for Little York Ghosts, along the atmospheric ancient streets that surround York Minster. This is a seek and keep hunt.
The Ghost Merchants have been hiding little Ghosts around the city of York for many years and the act of hiding, seeking and the communal event that has grown around this activity is at the heart of Ghost Week. It is free to participate in and open to young and old – however we do stress that people should exercise good grace, kindness and compassion while participating in the Ghost Hunt.
There are 125 to find each evening and included in their number are two rare & unusual types in limited number each night.
Maps will be available from The York Ghost Merchants from mid October. There will also be a printable version of The Little York Ghost Hunt map available from this page nearer the event.
Please do pay attention to the important guidelines outlined on the map. This event is suitable for wheelchair users but please be aware of uneven surfaces and a potentially high volume of ‘seekers’ along the route.
The Four Treasures – City-wide
28th October – 5th November
Try to find the four specially created Ghosts which are haunting buildings across York. You will see them in four windows of historic empty shops. This years Ghosts may have been made by ghostmakers Mr Ord and Ms Bet – or they may have been salvaged from a sunken galleon, dug up from a Northumbrian field or handed down through multiple generations of a fortunate family
You can bid for these splendid limited edition, larger York Ghosts on www.raffall.com during the event, 95% of money raised will go to charity. This year’s Ghost week Charity will be announced soon. We have raised significant sums for The Trussell Trust, Papyrus, The Island & York Food Bank through previous Ebay charity raffles of the Ghosts on display during Ghost week previously.
There are no prizes for finding all four Ghosts, but we hope that you have some fun exploring the city while you look. The Ghost Week map which will be available ahead of the event will guide you in the right directions.
The Jaggery Family introduce the most mysterious “Capnomancer”
The Smoking Ghost
St Anthony’s Garden, YO1 7PW. Monday 30th October – Sunday 5th November, 10.30am -4.30pm
For one week only the renowned Jaggery Family visit the city on their tour of Europe bringing with them a Black Box Edition Ghost to enchant and mystify.
More details will follow, we are expecting a telegram soon.