Row of Halloween jack-o-lanterns at night

Halloween in Edinburgh 2018

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Oct 2018, various venues.

Halloween or All Hallows Eve is a celebration of all things spooky and scary. It takes place on 31st October each year. It’s a modern version of the ancient Celtic festival Samhuinn, which marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. Scotland’s capital is, of course, known as one of the spookiest cities in the UK. And so there are lots of organised events on for Halloween in Edinburgh. It is advisable to book early as they are very popular with both locals and tourists.

Things to do for Halloween in Edinburgh 2018

Viator Halloween Toursvarious dates
Edinburgh Dungeonsvarious dates
The Ghost Busvarious dates
Condemned: Mary King’s Close Halloween Toursvarious dates
Museums & Galleries Edinburgh: Halloween Activitiesvarious dates
Edinburgh Horror Festival25 – 31 Oct
Halloween Ceilidh at The Counting House26 Oct
Frankomime’s Monster: An 18+ Halloween Panto26 – 31 Oct
Sportsman’s Charity Really Eerie Annual Magical Ball27 Oct
Holyrood Park Saints and Sinners27 Oct
Terminal V Festival Halloween27 Oct
Dobbies’ Halloween Spooktacular27 – 28 Oct
Halloween Weekend Pub Crawl27 – 31 Oct
Children’s Classic Concerts & RSNO: Broomstick Ride28 Oct
Little Terrors Candy Apple Marking at Granary Leith28 Oct
Samhuinn Fire Festival31 Oct

Traditional Halloween Festivities

Fancy Dress

Dressing up in costume as spooky characters. For example, skeletons, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, vampires and witches.


Also called ‘Bobbing for Apples’. A game played using a barrel filled with water and floating apples. Players must bend over the barrel with arms behind their backs and pick the apples out using only their teeth. The person who gets the most apples over a fixed period of time is the winner.


This tradition originated in Scotland in the 19th century. Children would dress up in costume and go door-to-door around the neighbourhood performing in return for food and coins. This is similar to ‘trick-or-treating’, a popular custom from North America where children knock on doors asking for sweets and treats.

Making Jack-o-lanterns

Spooky faces are carved into hollowed-out turnips or pumpkins and candles placed inside to create a festive lantern.

Telling Ghost Stories or Watching Horror Films

Turning out the lights to tell scary stories or watch horror movies is sure to scare everyone silly.

Halloween Parties

Both adults and children throw parties incorporating some or all of the above activities. Along with the usual food, drink, music and games.