Halloween events 2019: 7 spooky events taking place in Belfast this October

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It's the most horrible time of the year. And we wouldn't have it any other way.

From its Celtic roots in the fire festival of Samhain to its modern-day incarnation of pumpkins, student nights and superhero costumes, Halloween has long been one of the most exciting nights on the calendar.

Picture: Belfast Zoo

Picture: Belfast Zoo

Much like Christmas, it’s not just about the day itself - the whole month beforehand is filled with events and occasions of different kinds.
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Whether you’re looking for something family friendly or something downright terrifying, Belfast has something Halloween-flavoured for you to enjoy.

Belfast Monster Mash

Sun 27 October (from 4pm to 7pm, fireworks begin at 6.45pm), Titanic Slipways

Halloween Monster Mash. (Picture: Belfast City Council)

Halloween Monster Mash. (Picture: Belfast City Council)

If you're an aspiring Addams Family looking for a Halloween event with something for everyone, Belfast's Monster Mash promises a fun-filled, family-friendly time.

Everyone is encouraged to turn up in their spookiest threads, with Radio Q presenters Ryan and Jordan on hand to present the award for best costume.

There will be street performers, crafts workshops, live music and a whole range of food and drink, before a sky-scorching fireworks display rounds the whole thing off.

Harry Potter Banquet

Picture: Shutterstock

Picture: Shutterstock

Sunday 27 October (1pm - 5pm), Malone Lodge Hotel

Nearly-headless ghosts and giant spiders, flowing cloaks and floating candles – Harry Potter's adventures featured plenty of Halloweenish interludes.

For those looking for a Hogwarts-themed bash this year, the Malone Lodge Hotel is throwing a banquet to rival that of the school itself (and they didn't even need house elves to get it done!)

Alongside an opulent feast, the event will feature a Harry Potter movie marathon and a live magic act to dazzle visitors.

Halloween Tours at The Crumlin Road Gaol. Picture: The Crumlin Road Gaol

Halloween Tours at The Crumlin Road Gaol. Picture: The Crumlin Road Gaol

Terrifying Tales

Various October dates (3.15pm), the MAC

Long before horror movies came into being, we were scaring each other silly with tales of ghosts, ghouls and all manner of monsters.

The art of spooky storytelling will be re-animated in Belfast's MAC, with a wizened bard ready to deliver hair-raising tales to all those brave enough to listen.

This event is specifically aimed at children of seven and up, with free tickets for all accompanying adults.

That is, if they're not too scared to stay.

Murder Mystery at Belfast Castle. Picture: Belfast City Council

Murder Mystery at Belfast Castle. Picture: Belfast City Council

Boo at the Zoo

26 – 27 October (10pm - 4pm), Belfast Zoological Gardens

The award-winning Boo at the Zoo event is a surefire hit for families looking for a fun day out.

With face-painting, a creepy keeper talk and a whole host of scary animals to meet, Boo at the Zoo promises a Halloween experience that you won't find anywhere else.

Best of all, kids who turn up in fancy dress can enter for free!

Jail of Horror

18 – 31 October, Crumlin Road Gaol

Famed as one of the most haunted places in all of Belfast, “The Crum” will be creaking open its doors once more to beckon in tourists with a taste for the macabre.

All through the Halloween period, the abandoned jail will be running themed tours for those looking to test their mettle in one of Ireland's spookiest spots.

The “Jail of Horror”, “Halloween Ghost Trail” and “Paranormal Investigation” events will each guide visitors along a different tour through the jail-house, with a multitude of terrors lurking in the shadows.

Of course, many who walked through the doors of The Crum never walked back out again...

Murder Mystery at Belfast Castle

Sat 26 October (7.30pm - 1am), Belfast Castle

A dinner table. A group of strangers. A murder, most foul.

The “whodunnit” blueprint is an old but ageless one, playing directly on all our fears about how well we really know the person sitting next to us.

Belfast Castle provides just the right mix of grandeur and creepiness for an old-fashioned pre-theatre/post-mortem affair. There will be performed scenes, police files and forensic evidences as guests battle it out to solve the murder.

And, of course, you'll finally find out who done it.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Thu 31 October (9pm), Black Box

It's just a jump to the left...

Ah, you all know the rest. The ultimate combination of debauchery and horror, high camp mixed with vintage goth – The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Viewers are advised to dig out their finest fishnets as there will be a prize for the best-dressed attendee, while the Black Box will also be providing “prop kits” to help everyone get in the mood – a promise that is exactly as exciting and unnerving as it should be.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show at Black Box. Picture: 20th Century Fox

The Rocky Horror Picture Show at Black Box. Picture: 20th Century Fox