With its connection to Dracula, its iconic Abbey and rumours of local ghosts and witches, Halloween in Whitby is a must for fun, games and spooky shenanigans.
Halloween is approaching! Where better to celebrate than Whitby? As the sun sets, it is a town of numerous ghost stories, shipwrecks, legends and home to chapters of the Dracula story. Due to these spooky attributes, Whitby is a town that people flock to from all over the world to celebrate Halloween. If you choose to spend Halloween in Whitby, there is no doubt that you will find an activity that will give you a spooky thrill or two. Here are 11 things to do at Halloween in Whitby.
1. Visit Illuminated Abbey
Is there anywhere spookier to visit at Halloween than Bram Stoker's inspiration itself in a new light? Visit the illuminated Abbey with awe as it is bathed in dramatic illuminations. Whatever you do, don't forget to take your camera as you wander around the gothic ruins lit up with all the colours of the rainbow. This is an evening of Victorian Gothic entertainment beneath the soaring Illuminated remains of Whitby Abbey, an evening suitable for the entire family.
Date: 23 Oct – 31 Oct 2021 (6pm – 9pm) – Find more information here.
2. Try the Wizards of Once Halloween Quest at Whitby Abbey
Head to Whitby Abbey for a fantasy and magical day out this Halloween half-term. Explore the Abbey on their brand-new adventure trail inspired by Cressida Cowell’s bestselling Wizards of Once series. Will you find the ingredients for the Spell to get rid of Witches and uncover the location of the Cup of Second Chances? Come along in frightful fancy dress to enter their competition and maybe win a prize.
Date: 23 – 31 Oct 2021 (10am – 5pm) – Find more information here.
3. Visit Whitby Goth Weekend
On the last weekend of October, there is an annual gathering of music-loving goths that descend on Whitby and take part in its bi-annual Whitby Goth Weekend. Started in 1994 by a group of just 40 pen pals who had met through the music magazine NME, this annual gathering is now attended by people from all over the world.
It has also evolved into a festival for anyone and everyone and celebrates all alternative lifestyles. Over the weekend there are dances, boat trips, picnics, plenty of live music and a market called the Bizarre Bazaar. Here you will find all manner of stalls selling all manner of things including insect jewellery, rock boots, burlesque and alternative clothing, artwork, and horror art dolls.
For those attending and not attending the festivities of the weekend, it is also a chance to see some of the best fancy dresses and costumes that you will ever see. From steampunk and gothic to fine Victorian dresses, you will see it all!
Date: 29 – 31 October 2021 – Find more information here.
4. Have Spooktacular Halloween Fun on the NYMR
Calling all little monsters! You are invited to enjoy a spooktacular Halloween at the North York Moors Railway. Climb aboard the journey at Pickering in your very best fancy dress costume then sit back and relax for a train ride to Levisham station. This event includes a return non-stop trip, filled with tricks and treats galore.
Three spooky services will run each evening during the event at 18:00, 19:30 and, for the more daring, North Yorks Moors Railway is offering a 21:00 service with additional scares! Adult and child tickets cost just £20 per person and include a return journey from Pickering to Levisham with live actors and a Halloween Activity Bag, consisting of crayons, selfie props, selfie frames and a fun activity sheet.
They expect this to be an extremely popular service and so advance booking is required.
Date: 26th – 29th October 2021 – Find more information here.
5. Go on a Ghost Tour
For a special Halloween in Whitby experience, we have to give a mention to Rose Ryland, The Whitby Storyteller. Join Rose for private ghost tours around St Mary’s Church Graveyard and the old parts of East Whitby. There's also a Halloween Ghost Walk in Robin Hood’s Bay.
During the day it is hard to believe that Whitby is anything other than a beautiful picturesque seaside town. However, at night that all changes especially if you dare to take the Whitby Ghost Walk! Led and hosted by Dr Crank the Whitby Ghost Walk is a 75-minute ghostly experience that informs you of all the murder, mystery and suspense within the town of Whitby. It includes such delights as the Dutchman’s house, a headless horseman, barghest hound, haunted lighthouse, Dracula’s bench and the hand of glory.
So as not to spoil the surprises and spooky tales that you will hear when taking this tour I won’t go into too much detail other than to say I found the burning girl, the screaming tunnel and the grey lady the scariest and most macabre tales of all!
6. Enjoy Tomorrows Ghosts Gothic Festival
Established in 2018, Tomorrow’s Ghosts Festival is held at The Pavilion in Whitby. It is a celebration of all things Gothic whilst embracing a wide range of alternative cultures. The festival aims to host both established and up and coming bands to reflect the diversity of the goth and alternative music scene. This celebration of everything gothic, not unlike the Whitby Goth Weekend, is a jam-packed event full of music, film, art and the spoken word. They also have their own bazaar known as the Dark Days Alternative Market.
They are committed to supporting charities through the event as well as supporting other events across the town which all contribute to the experience of visiting Whitby for the Biannual Goth Festival. Previous festivals have hosted acts including New Model Army, Paradise Lost, Fields of the Nephilim, Pop Will Eat Itself, Wayne Hussey, Chameleons Vox and Clan of Xymox. – Find more information here.
7. Go on Halloween Pub Crawl
After all, not everyone wants to do really Halloweeny types of things, but no doubt you will want to see all the sights and spectacles of those all dressed up who are! To do this, a pub crawl is ideal.
The Eastside of Whitby pub crawl runs along the East side of the river Esk in the heart of Whitby town. It both starts and finishes at the East side of the swing bridge where you will find The Dolphin which is popular for its outside seating and views overlooking the river.
Continuing from the Dolphin you will find The Green Dragon, The Fleece and The Middle Earth Tavern before you turn back on yourselves and return towards the swing bridge.
This time, however, you are going to walk on the opposite side of the road where you will find The Endeavour, The White Horse and Griffin, Black Horse, Board Inn and Duke Of York.
Turning off Church Street now you are going to go down a steep alley where you will find the Whitby Friendship Rowing Club.
This pub has a marvellous view across the harbour and is accessed down a small flight of stairs. Continuing down that same road you will also find the Abbey Wharf before returning to your starting point of The Dolphin. – Click here to view our Whitby Pubs guide
8. Follow in the Footsteps of Dracula
The Dracula Walk is a 4.5-mile circular walk that will take you past all the landmarks and ‘walks by the sea’ that Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula mentions. It follows sections of the cliff top path before looping back inland on quiet rural lanes that lead back into the town.
Starting at the Abbey you will walk the cliff top path where the Demeter would have been visible from as it headed for the shore. The Whitby skyline which Stoker loved and mentioned often in his novel is breathtaking from up here.
Further on you can take a seat on the Dracula memorial bench which was erected in 1980 to commemorate Bram Stoker. It was from this spot that Mina saw Lucy in the churchyard on the opposite cliff. You will also visit the street on which Lucy’s house stood; East Crescent.
Finally, you will climb the 199 Steps to the Churchyard of St Mary following the footsteps or should I say Paw steps of Dracula himself in the shape of the red-eyed hound! On reaching St Mary’s Churchyard you will be able to see Tate Hill Pier which is where the Demeter came to rest.
9. Join the Sparkling Cyanide Halloween Party at Hetty & Betty Cafe
Calling all Hallo-queens (and kings), grab your mask or broom, and join them for their faboo-lous Sparkling Cyanide Halloween Party! Enjoy one of their themed cocktails, whilst the undead DJ gets your bones a-shaking and a-rattling. The evening will also include a deliciously ghoulish buffet, prepared by wickedly good Chefs! Prize for best costume!
Date: 31st October 2021 – Find more information here.
10. Pumpkin Picking at Piglets Adventure Farm
Piglets Adventure Farm is just 15 minutes from the centre of York. Ticket prices vary depending on the time of year and the event at the time. Here you can pick your perfect pumpkin at the pumpkin patch, make your way through the mysterious maize maze, take in the magic at the mad hatter show and so much more. You can find a full review of last years pumpkin festival here. Find more information here.
11. Falling Foss Tea Garden
A fantastic place to visit after a long autumn walk is the Falling Foss Tea Garden. Falling Foss looks absolutely stunning dressed with fallen leaves, the colours are incredible. Enjoy homemade soup, toast some marshmallows and enjoy their Halloween decorations!
Why do you love Halloween in Whitby? Let us know in the comments below.