As the witching hour approaches and we enter the season for horrors and hauntings, the hunt is on for Halloween events with a difference.
The holiday grows in popularity with every passing year and all over Scotland you see new events, pumpkin patches and spooky trails opening at castles, parks and local attractions.
The National Trust for Scotland has a range of activities putting an unusual and historical twist on All Hallows Eve, from family days out to haunting fright nights, all set at some of Scotland’s most stunning locations.
The red tiled roofs of Culross in Fife have appeared in numerous TV shows and movies, most recently Outlander. But this picture-perfect village harbours a dark past, of witch hunts, persecution, and execution.
Culross Palace will host a very special tour for visitors telling the Mysterious Tales of Culross on October 29. Bring a torch and wrap up warm as you learn the dark side of the area’s history. Be warned – this is not for the fainthearted.
The village of Alloway can lay claim to being Scotland’s Halloween capital, as the setting of Robert Burns’ classic, Tam o’ Shanter.
Throughout October you can join in the Alloween Antics at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, taking part in Creepy craft activities, spooktacular games and a Bogeyman Boogie mini-disco “for the wee yins”. Booking is essential and everyone gets a Ghostly Goody Bag.
Are you brave enough to solve The Mystery of the Missing Pumpkins? Geilston Garden in Cardross is hosting a Halloween Trail with a difference this year as you search for clues to find their missing pumpkins.
You can book slots at a variety of times across Halloween weekend on October 30 and 31 at this gem of a garden on the banks of the Clyde, just a short drive from Glasgow.
You’ll find spooks, ghouls and a poetry-reading bearded lady haunting the grounds and halls of Brodie Castle in Forres as they host Halloween Fright Nights on October 30 and 31.
Visitors are encouraged to dress up and get in character for an interactive tour where they meet some of the castle’s ghostly residents. You can reserve time slots on both evenings when booking via nts.org.uk
You can join the wealthy and aristocratic Redclyffe family and their eccentric guests at their Halloween party within the atmospheric Edinburgh tenement of Gladstone’s Land on Friday, October 29.
As the wine flows, dark secrets will be revealed and shady pasts uncovered while you take on the role of detective, all the while keeping a watchful eye open for the Redclyffe ghost.
Ghosts and witches
Pollok Country House in Glasgow has events for Halloween lovers of all ages this year, with day and night events across the weekend. Little ones can help look for Pollok’s Friendly Ghost on a Halloween Trail which includes arts and crafts and traditional guising games.
Cara Hamilton sheds light on the true story of the Witches of Pollok on October 28 and 29 and you can join the team at Pollok House for an evening of Victorian occultism at Spiritualism: Contacting the Dead on October 30 and 31.
Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde
Georgian House in Edinburgh will provide a fitting backdrop for a dramatic performance which explores the origins of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale and the monsters, witches, historical figures, fortune tellers, robbers and spiritualism that lie behind it.
Advance booking is essential, with only one performance, on October 30.
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