Leaves and conkers are littering our pavements, and summer seems like it never happened (did it..?), but as we wave goodbye to the long evenings and playing croquet in the park, we welcome the annual riot that is Halloween. With classic film screenings and ghostly food at Gorilla, a monstrous spectacle at Islington Mill, and skeleton karaoke at Fuel, us Mancs are in for a treat.
1. Zombie Pride party at Islington Mill
If you’re a bit of a party animal and, can last past midnight without wanting to put on your pyjamas, then Islington Mill is certainly the place to be on witching hour - with not one, but two days of fearsome frolics going down. This Halloween, the former cotton mill goes beyond the grave and opens up the entire of its Victorian building to the public. Starting off with an official HALLOWEEEEN party (31 Oct), your ears will tingle from the haunting vocal loops of Trianglecuts, as well as from sets by Machine Woman, Locean, Mistoa Polsta and The Death of Her Money. Ghost Tours, interactive installations, live film score performances, a DJ, AND a six hour film marathon, will ensure that no one will be leaving early. And after a few hours of shut eye, Islington Mill brings the house down again with its returning annual, grisly Zombie Pride bash. Up all night with the eclectic drag and performance act Tranarchy, the aptly named horror-rock band Zombina and the Skeletones, and some blood-thirsty special guests, no Saturday night party will ever be the same. So if you’re up for the challenge, get your ‘dead fancy’ dress on, and shuffle those lifeless bodies on down to Islington Mill.
Fri 31 Oct & Sat 1 Nov, Islington Mill, 1 James Street, Salford, M3 5HW Tel: 0161 278 6404, Halloweeeen, 7.30pm-very late, £3, www.skiddle.com, Zombie Pride, 10pm-4am, £6OTD, www.facebook.com
2. Film night with Beetlejuice & Hocus Pocus at Gorilla
Sick of watching TV re-runs of Simpsons specials on Halloween? Get yourself over to Gorilla after a hard week’s work, and treat yourself to a screening of quite possibly, the two best Halloween films EVER . And these are, of course, Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice - a typical, gothic, Burton comedy about a young couple in love, who find out they’re dead (charming) – and, our favourite witchy film, Hocus Pocus, starring the coolest redhead in the business, Bette Midler. Spoil yourself rotten with not only these special golden oldies, but also indulge in Gorilla’s menu of Friday feasts – Ghoulish cocktails, spooky popcorn, slimey nachos and undead burgers. Although unsure of what ‘undead’ burgers entail, or how you make popcorn spooky, it all sounds yummy. With doors opening at 6pm and screenings starting at half past, I’d turn up sharpish to secure a seat for that weary old bum.
Fri 31 Oct, Gorilla, 54-56 Whitworth St W, Manchester M1 5WW
0161 407 0301, 6pm, £8 www.seetickets.com
3. Dead karaoke plus Violent Femmes vs. Pop Bastard #ALLDEAD at Fuel
Sometimes (but not always...), the best things come in small packages - and this year, Fuel, is proving just that. Nestled away from the city centre, the vegetarian cafe and bar certainly isn’t like your average club scene. But, if you’re in want of something a little more intimate, or just good old fashioned fun this Halloween, then Withington High Street is the perfect place. Dressed up as your favourite, (sadly departed) musical hero, dance until your heart’s content to an eclectic mix from Violent Femme’s old school 1980s and 1990s set, the guilty pleasure pop from DJs Pop Bastard, and a dead-musicians only Karaoke. Sound a bit morbid to you? Perfect. And with prizes, booze and LOTS of unashamed dancing, all for free, what more can you want?
Fri 31 Oct, Fuel, 448 Wilmslow Rd, Manchester M20 3BW. Tel: 0161 448 9702, 9pm -late, FREE, www.facebook.com