Spooktacular things to do this October in Cambridge

Calling all witches, werewolves, ghouls, ghosts, vampires and creatures of the night, it’s time to celebrate that Halloween is here!


It’s nearly the end of October already, can you believe it? This is when society separates into categories: the people who love Autumn, the creeps who love Halloween, those who are crying over the early nights and are longing for summer and the others that already singing Christmas songs and wearing thermal pyjamas. Whilst we might not have a whole lot of October left, there is still plenty of time to do some fun things and celebrate all things spooky, so read below for some ideas.

1. Read a scary story

If scaring yourself silly is something that you’re into then check out some of the stories that are based in this historic city. From sinister murders to horrifying deaths, the spirits of humans and animals are said to be lurking around. Apparently, there is a poltergeist at Abbey House, The Grey Lady at Girton, The floating head of Oliver Cromwell and howling dogs. If you’re brave enough why not visit some of these sites at night time? You won’t find me tiptoeing around at midnight but feel free to do some investigating and let me know what you find.

Taking in the historic sites by punt is much more my style. (Image Credits: Eve Jones)

2. Carve the damn pumpkin

Is it really Halloween if you haven’t broken or bent a butter knife trying to carve a pumpkin? This may be an oldie but it’s a goodie. Carving pumpkins is such a fun activity, especially if you want to unwind or destress. Pour yourself a glass of something and sit down with your friends to chat, eat, laugh and carve (probably average) designs. If you’re living in halls, remember to check to see if you can have tea lights in the property otherwise battery operated ones are perfectly fine. Top tip, don’t throw out the innards. Read below to see a link to some fantastic pumpkin recipes that are worth a try.

Have a competition in your flat!  (Image Credits: Eve Jones)

3. Sweet treats and devilish delights

Themed formals are absolutely essential so if your college is hosting one this year, make sure to book tickets. Alternatively, the supermarkets and big chains are filled with Halloween-themed foods that you might decide to spend your weekly budget on (who needs nutritious meals when you’ve got eyeball gummies, green Jaffa cakes and pumpkin-shaped crumpets, am I right?).

Around the city, there are lots of things to try. Knoops is selling Toffee apple marshmallows, and Crosstown and Krispy Kreme are offering Halloween-decorated doughnuts, so take a much-needed walk into the city and treat yourself to something sinisterly scrumptious. If you have been inspired by The Great British Bake Off to make your own treats, click here for inspiration.

Spooky kitchenware is not essential but snacks definitely are. (Image Credits: Eve Jones)

4. Costume contest

The great debate: do you go as something hilarious, ironic or saucy for Halloween? Throwback to Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, and remember no one wants to turn up to a party dressed as a stuffed olive when everyone else is wearing cute devil horns and cat tails (sorry Georgia). Personally, I love any excuse to wear something silly, so one year my friends and I decided to put the Grandma into Grandma Groove and dressed up as grandmothers with walking sticks, walking frames, glasses, wigs and slippers.

We were a sight to behold after several shots, making moves on the dance floor but it was one of the most memorable nights out I’ve ever had. If a Zimmer frame isn’t your vibe, why not an iconic character from 2023 hits like Barbie, Sex Education, Jigsaw, Wednesday Addams, Euphoria and Only Murders in the Building? If you want personalised suggestions, check out this article.

If not, there are always the fail-safe classics like witches, zombies, mummies, ghosts and so on. Couples costumes are also always a vibe, so bonus points if you and your other half are twinning (whether that be your bestie, a group costume, your lover or the randomer you’ve been on two dates with). Also, remember your makeup and nails. Playing with reds, burgundy colours, blacks and sparkles is a surefire way to get you in the Halloween mood.

Last year’s cowgirl outfit can become Cowgirl Barbie! (Image Credits: Eve Jones)

5. Terrifyingly drunken nights out

Halloween is on a Tuesday this year but don’t worry, the clubs have events running pretty much all week so whether you’re a regular at Mash or Lola’s there’s plenty of chance to get on the dance floor and show off your best Zombie moves. Also, check out college bops for a cheap pre-drink event before you head into the city centre.

  • Revs – From the Rave to the Grave
  • Lola Lo’s – A Lola’s Horror Story
  • Cambridge Junction – Newmoon Halloween event
  • Vinyl – Fright Night
  • Mash – Monster Mash
  • The Six Six Bar – Atomic Asylum

6. Haloween-y days out

Across Cambridgeshire, there are various Halloween-themed events that suit all desires and budgets such as Zombie Fest, Tivoli’s Halloween Bottomless brunch and Scary Painting and Prosecco so have a look online. Halloween doesn’t have to wait until the night to get started!

One of many tipsy photos taken in Vinyl. (Image Credits: Savannah Gill)

7. Spooky movie night in

If all else fails, there’s always a true-crime documentary on Netflix. I don’t know about you but documentary-style true crime can keep me awake for weeks. If that’s not your thing, there’s also a great selection of horror films from the hard-core gore to the milder stuff such as Saw, Halloween, The Conjuring, Sinister and so on including one of my favourite horror franchise (and arguably more comedic than horror) the Zombieland films.

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