The ghastliest day in the calendar is creeping up on us, but if your Halloween plans still haven’t manifested don’t fear - #SpookyBristol has plenty of super scary ways to celebrate.

So, whether you fancy being lost and terrified in a ‘scare maze’ or getting spooked out on a ghostly walking tour, you’ll be in Halloween heaven…or hell!

Skeloween at Bristol Zoo Gardens (26 October - 3 November) 

Spine-tingling experiences and spooky skeletons are the theme at Bristol Zoo Gardens this Halloween. Get under the skin of some of the zoo’s vertebrate residents on X-ray Avenue, explore a cobweb-covered boneyard, be decked out in fearsome face paint, create some creepy creatures (31 October) of your own and more.

Snake next to skull - Skeloween at Bristol Zoo

Image credit: Bristol Zoo Gardens 

A-scare-ium at Bristol Aquarium (26 October - 3 November) 

Discover what’s lurking in the deep, dark depths of the ocean, learn a few gruesome facts, make your own fish slime and meet some of the scarier underwater creatures – spider crabs and piranhas. Stay for an after-hours Torchlit Tour (29 October) to get the full ‘A-scare-ium’ experience.

The Spooky Ship: Shipwrecked - Halloween at Brunel's SS Great Britain (31 October - 2 November) 

Tales from the darkest parts of the SS Great Britain’s history are dug up for the Spooky Ship: Shipwrecked series, with this Halloween edition telling the story of when the ship ran aground in 1846 while led by famous Captain James Hosken. Uncover what really happened that night on one of these after-dark Victorian fright fest-style tours. 

The Spooky Ship: Shipwrecked - Halloween at Brunel's SS Great Britain

Image credit: Adam Gasson 

Do you believe in magic? at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery (19 October - 19 April) 

The city museum’s latest exhibition is perfect for the season of all things supernatural and mystical. It delves into magic, not only those who practice it – to heal or harm – but also the implements that embody it and the beings which hover between the natural and supernatural worlds.

Time your visit for Halloween itself and pair viewing the exhibition with one of the magic-themed screenings – Hocus Pocus or The Conjuring – for Bristol Film Festival.

Halloween Fun Day at Ashton Gate Stadium (27 October) 

Make the most of a spooktacular family-friendly hospitality package at Ashton Gate Stadium, when Bristol City play Wigan on the Sunday before Halloween. The Heineken Lounge will be filled with activities, from playing with giant board games to becoming Lee Johnson or their favourite Bristol City player on FIFA. Prizes will also be up for grabs for the best costume. 

Halloween season at Arnos Vale Cemetery

There are ghoulish events galore at the atmospheric Arnos Vale Cemetery during October. Watch ghost stories unfold like never before in Dwelling, a mix of film and live performance; find Halloween accessories at the Macabre Market (19 October); attend An Improvised Funeral (18 October), and watch the Don’t Go Into The Cellar theatre company’s production The Witching Hour (30 October).

Two boo-rilliant blockbusters are screening here for Bristol Film Festival on 24 October – Ghostbusters and Addam’s Family Values. And the Murder, Mayhem and Mystery tour is also running on selected dates, giving you a glimpse of the grisly history ‘buried’ in the graveyard.

Arnos Vale Cemetery

Image credit: Arnos Vale Cemetery 

Explore the RWA after hours (31 October)

Tour the Royal West of England Academy by torchlight for Halloween After Hours, indulging in a few Halloween drinks and trying your hand at the self-guided drawing activities or dabbling in the creative drop-in activities in the studio. If you’re bringing the little monsters, arrive earlier for a family-friendly chance to explore the galleries by torchlight.

On 3 November, the RWA is also hosting The Macabre Halloween Art History Day School led by an Art History lecturer. Discover the macabre and frightening in the RWA Permanent Collection, the Annual Open exhibition, and in collections around the world from the 18th - 20th century.

FEAR at Avon Valley Scream Park (Selected dates from 18 October - 2 November) 

Five scare mazes, hourly fire shows, street theatre, terrifying games and extreme fairground rides will keep your adrenaline running high at the sixth annual edition of FEAR, a multi-award winning scream park and Halloween festival. FEAR is open on selected dates in October and November and is not suitable for under 12s. Find out more about what they've got in store this year here

A Halloween Tale at Cheddar Gorge & Caves (23 October - 3 November)

You can’t get a much more eerie setting than the 500,000 year old chambers at Gough’s Cave. It’s inside here that you’re invited to go on a monstrous mystery solving mission with the Natural Theatre Company, unravelling the secrets of literary figures with Cheddar’s detective. This Halloween adventure is included in admission. 

A Halloween Tale at Cheddar Gorge & Caves

Image credit: Cheddar Gorge & Caves

HALLOWEEN UNFAIRGROUND at the Grand Pier, Weston-super-Mare (24 October - 2 November) 

The Grand Pier is open for madness and mayhem after dark this Halloween. Tackle the five scare mazes, watch out for the terrifying creatures and characters, and brave the rides and attractions.

Grand Pier Halloween

Pumpkin Fest at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm (5 October - 2 November) 

Find the prime pumpkin for carving into a fearsome jack-o-lantern from the patch at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm and take part in their mystery trail, searching out the hidden pumpkins around the zoo. You can also give pumpkin skittles a go, spot animals enjoying pumpkins for dinner and have some creepy crawly encounters too.

Halloween Trail at Tyntesfield (26 October - 3 November) 

Crack the clues along Tyntesfield’s Halloween Trail to help solve the mystery and claim your prize. Book in advance and you can also head on a Halloween Hunky Punk Adventure (29 – 31 October), tracking down the missing stone monster, carving a pumpkin and getting crafty with activities such as creating a clay hunky punk.

Pumpkins at Tyntesfield

Image credit: Tyntesfield 

All Hallows Week at Berkeley Castle (27 - 30 October) 

Visit Berkeley Castle between 27 – 30 October and you might bump into ghosts of Tudor England. King Henry VIII and two of his wives will be roaming the hallways, telling tales of gore, wise women will spill the secrets of their cures and gaolers will be on the prowl for new prisoners. Out on the grounds, hunt down haunted decorations and swing by the Wild Play area for toasted marshmallows. 

Halloween Ball at Bowood Hotel (1 November) 

For one night only, the beautiful Bowood Estate will be bewitched for an exclusive Halloween party, overcome by ghoulish grub, a demon DJ and devilish décor. Guests are under strict instructions to don their scariest fancy dress and prepare for a few unexpected surprises. 

Halloween at Bowood Hotel

Image credit: Bowood Hotel

Discover Bristol’s wicked side on a walking tour

Haunted and Hidden Walking Tours

Uncover haunted buildings, TV and film locations, celebrity tales and Bristol trivia with a gruesome edge all at once on this bone-chilling tour. Starting at College Green at 8pm on Fridays, stops include a former plague hospital and the UK’s most haunted cinema.

Haunted and Hidden

Image - Haunted and Hidden Bristol

Blood, Blackbeard and Buccaneers Tour

Delve into the less than savoury past of infamous pirate Blackbeard, who new records suggest was born in Bristol and whose brutality was legendary – but how much of the legend is fact? Allow theatre company Show of Strength to fill you in, calling in at some dockside pubs along the route. 

Blood and Butchery in Bedminster

This Show of Strength tour takes you to landmarks and pubs south of the river in Bedminster, which has had its fair share of macabre activity – from body snatchers and concrete coffins to hanging judges and notorious heists.  

Horror in the Caves for Bristol Film Festival

Bristol Film Festival cunningly matches films with Bristol venues to enhance your movie-viewing experience and during October that means a spine-chilling series of screenings in Redcliffe Caves – Horror in the Caves. From classic horrors like the Bride of Frankenstein and The Exorcist, to modern releases such as Hereditary and A Quiet Place, study the full programme here and see which you dare to venture underground for.

Redcliffe Caves - Halloween in Bristol

Image - Bristol Film Festival, Redcliffe Caves

Bristol Zombie Walk (2 November)

A ghastly horde of the undead will descend on the streets of Bristol once again this year as the annual zombie walk returns. Stock up on icky make-up and plan your gory garb if you fancy joining ranks with the rotters – keep an eye on their Facebook page for more details.

Escape Rooms

Test your wits and your nerve in one of Bristol's Escape games. Try and get out of a locked room by discovering clues at City MazesPuzzlair-4D and Locked In A Room. The clock is ticking…

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