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The Thirteen Spookiest Events Happening in Brisbane to Celebrate Halloween 2023

Here’s where to get your frights (and candy) this Halloween — from trick-or-treat trails, witch-themed markets and spooky yacht parties to scary movies and frightening theatre shows.
By Sarah Ward
October 25, 2023
By Sarah Ward
October 25, 2023


Here’s where to get your frights (and candy) this Halloween — from trick-or-treat trails, witch-themed markets and spooky yacht parties to scary movies and frightening theatre shows.

Even if you're not the biggest fan of frights and scares, Halloween still caters for everyone. Perhaps you love eating nauseating amounts of lollies, flexing your arts and crafts skills to fashion yourself a costume, or pulling that five-piece (mask included) Batman get-up out of storage and donning it to feel like the superhero you really are? Or, you could just like themed cocktails and an excuse to party.

Trick or treating isn't as big here as it is in the US, but we'll be damned if we won't use the occasion as an excuse for a spooky time. And, thankfully, there are plenty of eerie events and horror-themed nights happening around town for you to dive into.

Here's a list of some of the best things going on in and around Brisbane for Halloween this year, ranging from the not-so scary (night markets and a spooky-themed game of mini golf) to the truly unsettling (an old favourite: eerie movies) — and including the wild (partying on a yacht in costume) and wonderful (Halloween music gigs), too.

  • 13

    Some of gothic horror’s greatest masterpieces foresaw their longevity. Bram Stoker’s Dracula will never die, and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein will never stop being brought to life, either. Shake & Stir Theatre Co took on the former back in 2015 and 2017, in a brand-new world-premiere stage production that sunk its fangs into the most famous vampire tale there is. Now, the South Brisbane-based theatre company is turning its attention to Victor Frankenstein and his creation.

    The new version of Frankenstein is also a debut, enjoying its first season at QPAC’s Playhouse until Saturday, October 28. The story remains the same as it has since 1818, of course, following a young scientist tormented by grief, a bold push to thwart mortality, plus the consequences sparked by his act of playing god. And, as always, it covers the impact upon the being that’s spliced together, jolted into existence, yearns to belong, but is swiftly and cruelly shunned.

    Image: Joel Deveraux.

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  • 12

    One of Brisbane’s most recent traditions is also one of its most fun: themed mini golf at different times of year at the Victoria Park Putt Putt Course. Yes, that means that the Halloween spirit has kicked in leading up to the spookiest date of the year. Until Tuesday, October 31, the venue’s greens have scored a horror-themed makeover — and, no, missing a hole in one won’t be the most terrifying thing about your stint on the course.

    Creepy clowns, evil dolls, zombies, witches, spiders, toxic waste barrels, tombstones, pumpkins: they’re among the petrifying things that’ll be improving or scaring your short game again. Bookings are essential, with the course open from 6am–10pm Sunday–Thursday and 6am–11pm Friday–Saturday. Fancy a few holes before work? Want to add some fun to your lunch break? Need something to look forward to come quitting time? They’re all options. Just remember that it’s a family-friendly affair, so you’ll likely have plenty of company — and tickets cost $23 per adult. Also, for liquid courage, there’ll be Altos Tequila slushie margaritas available to purchase.

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  • 11

    If you’d like to celebrate Halloween with music trivia, Not On Your Rider has the night for you. The event runs most months of the year, but it themes up its October session. The date: Thursday, October 26 from 6.30pm at The Triffid.

    If you like music and you like trivia, then TV shows such as Spicks and Specks and Never Mind the Buzzcocks likely sit high on your favourites list, with both combining tunes, musicians and questions about them. But in Brisbane, you don’t have to confine your music trivia fix to staring at a screen. One of the city’s most reliably entertaining evenings out comes in the form of this IRL quiz show that’s also filled with well-known faces — but staged live in the River City, with Brisbanites invited not only to watch but to also play along.

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  • 10

    Someone somewhere has dressed up as one of IKEA’s coveted blue bags for Halloween, or fashioned an outfit out of them for the eerie occasion. This year, in the lead up to spooky day, you can do that too if you like. Or, you can just wear whatever frightening threads you prefer, or even your normal getup, to the Swedish chain’s four-course Halloween dining experience.

    Yes, two faves are joining forces: IKEA and Halloween. No, you won’t just be eating those Swedish meatballs. Happening at the brand’s Logan store in Brisbane, the Halloween feast costs $30 for adults and $25 if you’re an IKEA Family member. On the menu: nachos or wings to share as a starter, a soup for an entree, either a mushroom or chicken burger with fries, and mousse for dessert. IKEA’s food events are always popular, with this one happening from 5pm on Thursday, October 26.

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  • 9

    If dressing up in costume is your favourite part of Halloween, then your wardrobe is getting a workout right now. And, you clearly already know one of the ace (and related) standout things about this time of year: it’s perfectly acceptable to wear those costumes anywhere and everywhere. On Friday, October 27 from 7.30pm, that includes kitting up to head to iconic Brisbane music venue The Zoo. The venue is marking Halloween by hosting the return of Creepshow — a one-night-only music fest that’s all about live tunes and eerie vibes.

    Yes, dressing up is encouraged — heartily. There’ll even be prizes, including for best solo costume and best group. So, either showing off your individual Halloween look or gathering the gang for a combined stint of scary style should be on the agenda. That said, whatever you’re wearing, obviously the music is the real star of the show. Get ready to listen to These New South Whales, Concrete Surfers, Sophisticated Dingo, Sacred Hearts, Bean Magazine, Square and more.

    Image: The Zoo.

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  • 8

    In 2022, West End became home to a new Friday night market, spanning all the food, drinks and stalls you’d expect, plus live music as well, and also fire twirlers, stilt walkers and fortune tellers — and a neon forest. The destination for all of the above: Westoria, which takes place weekly from 4–10pm on Jane Street next to the regular West End Markets site. Getting weird, wild and wonderful is the vibe here every time that it’s on; however, with Halloween upon us for 2023, the Westoria crew is ramping things up a few notches.

    So on Friday, October 27, it’s hosting The Wicked Witches of Westoria, complete with spooky stalls, street food and sips. Also on offer: a dance class to teach you ‘Thriller’ moves, roving entertainers getting into the theme, bites to match the occasion and cocktails. Entry is free — and if you embrace the time of year and get witchy, you might be treated to the best-dressed witch title.

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  • 7

    Brisbane’s penchant for a party boat has a long history, from The Island to Seadeck and now Yot Club. Haven’t had the joy of revelling on the water while cruising down the river? Give it a try for Halloween.

    Yot Club has been making quite a big splash, as you’d expect from a huge yacht with two bars, a stage, a dance floor and a 400-person capacity. The glamorous, custom-built vessel calls itself “the world’s first super yacht entertainment venue”, and it’s certainly something that southeast Queensland hadn’t seen before it hit our waters. Yot Club sets off from City Botanic Gardens River Hub — and its Halloween bash on Friday, October 27 includes spooky-themed cocktails, a photo booth to snap all those costumes and prizes for best dressed as well. Yes, you do need to don something to suit the occasion to hop onboard; “only guests in full costume will be allowed on the cruise,” the venue advises.

    Image: Yot Club.

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  • 6

    A Halloween without pumpkin is no Halloween at all, so South Bank’s Little Stanley Street likes going all out. A few years back, the inner-city stretch first conjured up Trick or Treat Little Stanley Street, an October street party that’s all about getting into the spooky spirit and splashing around plenty of orange-coloured vegetables. After a pandemic-sparked hiatus, the event is making its big return in 2023.

    We hope you like pumpkins, because this fest does. Indeed, when it makes its comeback across Friday, October 27–Saturday, October 28, Trick or Treat Little Stanley Street is bringing back its pumpkin patch. That’s not all that this event has to offer, especially if Halloween or just being the vicinity of so many pumpkins makes you hungry. Attendees can settle in at one of the eateries along the South Bank roadway to enjoy a meal that matches the mood, themed cocktails, dishes and all. And if Halloween to you means scary movies — or films with horror themes that aren’t necessarily fright-inducing — then you’ll want to hit up the Little Stanley Street South Lawn during Trick or Treat Little Stanley Street. A big screen will be set up playing all-ages-appropriate titles such as Frankenweenie, Corpse Bride, The Addams Family and Casper.

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  • 5

    October is made for weird, wild and wonderful movies filled with shocks and scares. ‘Tis Halloween season, after all. So, the world obliges, including on screens big and small — and, in 2023, via the return of Australia’s genre film festival Monster Fest, which is dedicated to flicks of the spooky, dark, twisted, offbeat and out-there variety.

    Monster Fest doesn’t always pop up in the month when everyone is worshipping pumpkins and thinking about costumes; however, the timing obviously couldn’t be more perfect. In Brisbane, it’s heading to Event Cinemas Uptown between Friday, October 27–Sunday, October 29. On the lineup: the latest and greatest in genre filmmaking, spanning horror, sci-fi, comedies with elements of either and all-round unnerving movies. Standouts titles on the 2023 program include Suitable Flesh, which stars Heather Graham (Extrapolations) as a doctor going mad, takes its inspiration from HP Lovecraft and boasts Joe Lynch (Creepshow) behind the lens; The Last Video Store, a horror-comedy set, yes, in one of the last video stores; and Norwegian flick There’s Something in the Barn, about a gnome uprising that plagues an American family (including Party Down‘s Martin Starr) who’ve relocated to Scandinavia.

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  • 4

    Brisbane’s busy market scene loves an occasion. Mother’s Day markets, winter markets, Christmas in July markets, spring markets, festive markets — this city has seen them all, including in 2023, and will continue to do so. Accordingly, it should come as zero surprise that Halloween markets have also joined the list. Redcliffe Markets Festival of Frights is one of them.

    Only this spooky event will take you trick-or-treating by the Redcliffe jetty. Fancy an eerie theme and a killer waterside location? That’s on offer from 4pm on Saturday, October 28. Also on the bill: fireworks, a scavenger hunts, Halloween-appropriate decorations all over the place, and music and live entertainment to fit the mood — including roving pirate entertainers. And, a heap of food stalls serving up bites to eat, and drinks, also likely with a theme. Entry is free, but you’ll want your wallet for all that browsing and buying — there’ll be more than 200 stalls to peruse. And yes, dressing up is welcome for this wander along Redcliffe Parade till 9pm.

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  • 3

    Scares are in the air at Victoria Park / Barrambin this October. Movies are screening in the open air, too. On Saturday, October 28, in the lead up to the spookiest day of the year, the Herston patch of turf is bringing back its outdoor cinema for a Halloween Movie Night session. Even better: entry is free, with the event starting at 5.30pm. That’s when onsite food trucks will be serving, so you will need your wallet for that — or you and moviegoing date or mates can pack your own snacks and drinks, and enjoy a picnic.

    Film-wise, the animated Hotel Transylvania will play from 6.30pm, while Ghostbusters: Afterlife then hits the screen with its horror-comedy antics from 8.15pm. Entry is via the Gilchrest Avenue side of the park. And, if your dog likes flicks under the stars, too, you can bring them along — but they need to remain on a leash. While you’re in the vicinity, you can also embrace Halloween at Victoria Park’s spooky putt putt for 2023.

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  • 2

    When you’re a bar that nods to all things spooky in your name, and you boast more than a couple of monster-themed pinball and arcade machines, then you’re going to like the end of October. Netherworld does, of course. Indeed, the Valley pub celebrates Halloween in the expected style each and every year. So, what’s on the agenda, other than a few pumpkins around the place? The venue’s annual A Netherworld Halloween party is back on Tuesday, October 31, getting into the spirit of the occasion on the appropriate date.

    Expect a ghoulish night of scary fun, complete with those horror-centric pinball tables. Yes, you can call it a monster mash if you like. You know that the track will get a spin, and you know that you’re going to dance to it, creepy cocktail in hand. iiWii and Grieg will also help provide tunes, singing live onstage — and the Hellmouth Diner is catering its menu to suit the theme, too. Plus, there’ll be a karma keg for Bat Conservation and Rescue Qld Inc, so your drinks will help a good (and apt) cause. And, if you dress up for this evening of Halloween gaming goodness, you’ll score five free tokens for your trouble. You might also win the costume contest. Entry is free, with the spooky fun going down between 6pm till late. And there is a theme within the theme, if you fancy dressing up like a vampire.

    Image: Sarah Ward.

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  • 1

    Here’s a particularly tasty way to celebrate Halloween: getting dressed up in costume and scoring a free Krispy Kreme doughnut. The chain is known for giving away its round treats, including handing out 100,000 of them each National Doughnut Day. For Tuesday, October 31, it isn’t locking in an exact number of doughnuts that’ll be on offer — but it will give one to everyone who turns up to a Krispy Kreme store dressed for the occasion. If that isn’t an excuse to don your spookiest outfit, then what is?

    To snag yourself a signature glazed freebie, head to your closest Krispy Kreme store in Queensland — there’s eight different doughnut shops to pick from, with the most central in Albert Street in the Brisbane CBD — on Tuesday, October 31 while wearing a Halloween-appropriate costume. You’ll receive one original glazed doughnut per person, and you don’t have to buy anything else to nab the treat without paying a cent.

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Top image: Joel Deveraux.

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