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Eight of the Spookiest Events Happening in Sydney This Halloween

From paranormal ghost tours to candy-flavoured beers and free underground parties, here's where to get your scares this Halloween.
By Rachel Fieldhouse and Concrete Playground
October 28, 2019

Eight of the Spookiest Events Happening in Sydney This Halloween

From paranormal ghost tours to candy-flavoured beers and free underground parties, here's where to get your scares this Halloween.


From paranormal ghost tours to candy-flavoured beers and free underground parties, here's where to get your scares this Halloween.

There's something for everyone to get around when it comes to Halloween, whether it's eating nauseating amounts of lollies, flexing your arts and crafts skills and fashioning 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.

Trick or treating never really caught on here, but we'll be damned if we won't use it as an excuse for a spooky time. There are plenty of parties, tours and immersive events happening around town for you to get amongst. Here's a list of some of the best things going on in Sydney for Halloween, ranging from the not-so scary (candy-flavoured beers) to the truly terrifying (a paranormal ghost tour).

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    With Halloween comes the perfect excuse to don your scariest costume and have a ball. To celebrate all things ghoulish, El Topo is letting you party until dawn at Halloween Things. With plenty of bevs, spooky decorations, and tunes to get down to, it’s sure to be a cracking night.

    Head down to Bondi from 9pm on Saturday, November 2 and catch the festivities in full-swing. Tuck into some free fairy floss and popcorn or pick up one of El Topo’s cocktails, with everything from punch to brain shots on offer. Then, have a go at some apple-bobbing (there’s a bar tab up for grabs) or have some fun with free face painting.

    Plus, you can put your best, costumed foot forward and get the chance to win a $50 bar tab for you and your crew. Entry is ticketed, but at $15 a head it’s a pretty good bargain for a top night out.

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    When you think Halloween, you probably don’t immediately think theatre. However, there’s something spooky about heading down into a crypt for a show — so, if that sounds like your cup of tea, Deadhouse: Tales of Sydney Morgue is for you. Down in the crypt of St James Church, the second season of Deadhouse promises a collision of Aussie history, true crime, and drama across two immersive plays.

    Kicking off between October 23 and November 9, you can catch the return of Louisa Collins: A Poison Crown. The tale sees 19th-century widow Louise attempt to prove her innocence in the murder of her two husbands. Or, if a story of jailbreak and life on the run tickles your fancy, you’ll want to check out Simmonds & Newcombe: The Deadly Run from November 20–30.

    For each show, a guide will take audiences through the eerie tunnels and rooms, while the dark scenes play out around you. Since both shows run twice a night for an audience of less than 30, you’ll want to get in quick and nab your spot.

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    Halloween is ghost season, so what better way to celebrate (or, maybe, commiserate) these lost souls than trying to find them. Once a quarantine facility for newly arrived migrants, Q Station in Manly has been consistently voted one of the most haunted locations in Australia, so you know it’s going to be really, really creepy.

    North Head is dotted with gravestones and is the burial place of more than 572 bodies. Many of the spirits that roam the area are the memories of British convicts and settlers who suffered horrifically from infectious diseases en route Down Under.

    While ghost tours run throughout the year, the special Halloween tours are a cut above the rest. There’s the always popular Ghostly Encounters — a two-and-half-hour storytelling experience for those that want the nitty-gritty details of the station’s tragic history — and the 90-minute Halloween Scream tour through the infamous shower block, the haunted hospital and the dreaded morgue.

    There are two bars on site slinging haunted cocktails, and Frankenstein will be hosting (un)happy hour from 5.30–9pm on Halloween night itself.

    The team encourages you to dress up Halloween-style to really get in to the spirit (or to raise them from the dead), so come in costume. If you’ve got it, haunt it.

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    Halloween is just around the corner, and with it comes the perfect excuse to don a costume and have a spooky time. And, if you’re looking for a night of downright scares, Luna Park has got you sorted. Once again, Halloscream has taken over Luna Park with five nights of frightening scares — and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart.

    This year’s theme, Hell on the Harbour, has new and returning attractions to get your heart racing. Make your way through the four mazes — escape from Aussie bandits in Outlaw or look for a missing girl in the mirror-filled Séance maze — explore the horror-filled Mystery Manor, and keep an eye out for the devil and his demons performing a Satanic Possession Ritual. Facing fears is sure to build up an appetite, so pick up some Halloween-themed eats and drinks for a well-deserved break.

    While the haunting kicked off last weekend, there’s still time to get to Luna Park from Thursday, October 31–Saturday, November 2. Tickets for Halloscream come with unlimited rides, so prepare your vocal chords for a cracking night.

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    While the typical haunted house might feel a bit cliché, Halloween wouldn’t be the same without it. This year, The Taphouse is giving the tradition a new spin: the three-storey pub will be fully decked out as a ghost-filled haunted house, and the drinks menu is getting a spooky makeover too.

    Each floor of the Haunted Taphouse, including sour beer and natural wine bar Odd Culture, will have its own theme — and roving performers — so you can make your way up through a haunted crop field to the asylum and rooftop graveyard. Once you’ve finished exploring, enjoy one of ten special candy-themed beers, including a banana Chupa Chups milkshake IPA, gummy worms sour ale and pumpkin spice stout. Or, if beer isn’t quite your thing, The Taphouse will be pouring and shaking Halloween cocktails — think test-tube shots, jelly eyeball shots and blood-bag cocktails.

    Kicking off from 6pm on Halloween night, you can catch the pub’s spooky transformation until Saturday, November 2.

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    Sydneysiders are in for one big night of live music when the Young Henrys Rock & Roll Circus rolls back into town next month. After taking its show down to Melbourne for the first time during Good Beer Week in May, the free blowout is set to return to its home city on Halloween night.

    Head in to Frankie’s on Thursday, October 31 , when some of Australia’s best musical talent will join forces for one night only. Expect a ‘super band’ to once again take the stage. Dubbed The Replicas, the band is made up of members from The Delta Riggs and The Preatures, along with Wild Honey’s Adam Della Grotta. They’ll perform classic hits, 70s–90s English punk covers and alternative favourites for the masses from 8pm until the wee hours.

    Joining the band on stage is a lineup of guest singers, including Dave Faulkner (Hoodoo Gurus), Joe Jackson (Sloan Peterson), Melissah Marie (Moody Beach), Gideon Bensen (Fiction Writer), Caitlin Harnett, Andy Golledge, Jess Kent and Charlie Collins — with many more announced closer to.

    And Young Henrys will of course be taking over the bar’s taps with its brews and cider, too.

    Image: Katje Ford.

  • 2

    With 2014’s Maleficent, Disney turned Sleeping Beauty into a dark fantasy, filled with magical forests, twisted fairies, and complicated battles between good and evil. When sequel Maleficent: Mistress of Evil hits cinemas this October, the Mouse House will do the same all over again — but the film’s wicked delights won’t just be confined to the big screen.

    In the huge entertainment company’s latest collaboration with The Grounds of Alexandria (following The NutcrackerMary Poppins Returns and Aladdin-themed pop-ups), Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is taking over the Huntley Street spot until Sunday, November 3. This time around, the cafe’s already-gorgeous garden is getting a misty, brooding and enchanting makeover, complete with black roses, gnarled branches, plenty of greenery, a smattering of feathers and an entry archway as striking as Angelina Jolie’s eyebrows.

    The menu is also scoring a new short-term addition for the occasion — a dish The Grounds is calling ‘The Dark Fairy’. Glazed milk chocolate mousse and passionfruit jelly on a bed of chocolate charcoal sable is topped with vanilla buttercream to create quite the decadent treat. It comes with edible glitter, rocks and horns, too, and costs $9.

    ‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’ at The Grounds is open from 7am–9pm daily.

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    Cockatoo Island’s mysterious and spooky past will be explored this Halloween, when the venue’s Ghostyard Tours return to bring a little fright to your weekend. This special version of the island’s regular haunted history night tours will investigate Cockatoo’s eerie past and paranormal residents, then invite you to spend the night camping out with said ghosts.

    The overnight experience starts with a two-hour tour of the island, delving into its (creepy) history as a prison, dockyard, reformatory, school and wartime port. The tour will finish at the world heritage-listed Convict Precinct, where a horror film marathon will take your nerves from bad to worse. To distract you, only ever so slightly, you’ll be given hot chocolates, biscuits and marshmallows to roast over an open fire pit.

    Once the films are finished — and you’re well and truly terrified — you’ll  head over to your deluxe tent, where we doubt you’ll get a wink of sleep.

    The full overnight fright experience will cost you $185 all up, or $230 for two — if scare tactics is your idea of a date. If your nerves can’t stand the idea of sleeping in a (potentially) haunted place, you can also opt for just the Ghostyard Tour at $45 a pop.

    Nab your tickets here — but they’re in limited quantity, so don’t wait. If you miss out on the Halloween version, however, the overnight experience will continue on most Friday nights for the remainder of the year

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