There’s something rather magical about Halloween, a time of year when people can explore their cross-dressing tendencies without fear of reprehension and are given free reign to scare even the smallest of children in the name of fun.
Here’s just some of the exciting things to do in Belfast on this most Hallowed of Weens…
Strand Cinema, throughout October
The Strand Arts Centre’s classics have a distinctly spooky theme this month. The always popular Ghostbusters 2 is on screen for a Halloween Matinée on Saturday October 31. One of the best ever sequels, it reunites the dream team of Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd and Sigourney Weaver.
But it’s nothing compared to Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of the Stephen King classic, The Shining (October 31), in which Jack Nicholson tries to cure his writer’s block by taking a hatchet to everyone in sight.
For more information on all Strand Arts Centre events and to book tickets, go to strandartscentre.com
Crumlin Road Gaol, daily until Nov 2
The Crumlin Road Gaol have been interconnected with Paranormal Activity since it closed its doors in 1996 with some prison officers and prisoners would suggest this relationship has been longer. There have been sighting, noises and unexplained happenings within the walls that have seen 17 men executed over its 150 year history.
This special edition 60 minute tour will take you to the various hot spots of the Gaol where Paranormal Activity has been reported and the guide will tell you of the harrowing stories associated with these areas. Book tickets online at crumlinroadgaol.com
Little Wing restaurants across Belfast, Oct 24-31
Little Wing are inviting diners to confess their fears by posting what frightens them on their Face Your Fears boards.
They’ll be collating the information from all our stores at the end of the week and basically using it to sum up what Belfast is most afraid of along with our weirdest and funniest fears.
Titanic Slipways, Oct 31 4pm, Free
Belfast City Council is hosting the city’s annual Halloween Monster Mash on the slipways of Titanic Belfast for an evening of spooktacular street theatre, glow and fire juggling, live music and more.
The Belfast skies will be set ablaze with colour as the event draws to a close with the largest fireworks display in the city.
Odyssey, Queen’s Quay, Saturdays and Sundays until Oct 25, daily from Mon Oct 26 to Sun Nov 1
Are you and your family brave enough to investigate the creepy mansion known as Monster Manor?
If the rumours surrounding this old place are true you will encounter singing pumpkins, dancing skeletons, floating ghosts, paintings which transform before your very eyes and all manner of mysterious monsters.
It’s really spooky, a little bit scary and a whole lot of fun. So this October why not bring your family along and discover the secrets of Monster Manor for yourselves? We dare you! For further information and opening times please visit w5online.co.uk
The Makeup Dept (Portview Centre, 310 Newtownards Road), Oct 25, 10am-4pm, £140
Pamela Smyth, Head of Crowd Makeup for Game of Thrones is taking time out of her crazy filming schedule to bring lovers of blood and gore the chance to create a death makeup look that looks so real it will bring a true reaction of horror to your Halloween celebrations.
The one day masterclass is ideal for makeup artists wanting to perfect their death makeup skills as well as beginners who want to dip their to in the water of Special Effects makeup to see if it’s something they’d like to take further. Students will get access to the highest quality professional products that Pamela and her team use on set and with the right techniques and skills this course will have your Halloween death makeup looking truly terrifying. Email Pam@themakeupdept.com to book your place.
Kitch restaurant, Oct 27, 6.30-8.30pm
Why not get in to the autumnal spirit by joining us for a night of pumpkin carving at one of Belfast’s newest establishments?
Yelp will provide the pumpkins, the stencils (you can freestyle if you’re feeling brave) and some sharing plates from Kitch’s menu. There will of course be prizes for the best pumpkin of the night so come on down and get creative.
Mandela Hall, Oct 31 9pm, £20-22
Shine celebrates its landmark 20th birthday with a heavyweight line-up featuring underground house and techno music’s elite, delivering one of the biggest bills to grace the iconic event in recent years.
Spearheading the three room Halloween Fancy dress extravaganza, are local hereos BICEP. As many people know, Bicep cut their teeth regularly attending Shine in the early 2000s, back in the notorious ‘Supershine’ days.
MAC, Oct 24 – Nov 1, Free
In a dark, dark country there was a dark dark city, and in that dark dark city there was a dark dark street, and in that dark dark street there was a dark dark MAC, and in that dark dark MAC there was a dark dark room….with some very spooky sounds!
Your little ghouls, ghosts and goblins have been welcomed to come and explore our Hallowe’en sound installation this year at the MAC. Fancy dress is very much encouraged.