Looking for a Halloween treat? I’ve picked out the best things to do for Halloween in Reading, including big parties, ghoulish gigs and spooky film screenings. Look out for the a Midnight Ball at the Town Hall, ‘Psycho’-themed cocktails and a silent classic ‘Nosferatu’ with a live soundtrack. There’s also Halloween craft events for kids throughout the half term week.
Nosferatu screening with a live soundtrack
Wednesday 31 October, 7.30pm, South Street Arts Centre, £10, book tickets
Get ghoulish on Halloween night with regular alt music night Darklands, who present a screening of the original silent vampire flick ‘Nosferatu’ with an original, spine-tingling soundtrack accompaniment from band Year of the Kite. It’s my main pick of the scary season. Book tickets
Count Dracula’s Midnight Ball
Saturday 27 October, 8pm, Reading Town Hall, £20-£24, buy tickets
Elysium Events put on big themed parties across town and for Halloween they’re throwing a vampire ball at the impressive Town Hall. There’ll be a live DJ set from London duo The Roustabouts and a gothic horror dress code: think Dracula, Frankenstein, or go bold with a Darklands crossover and don a Nosferatu bald cap.
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Twin Sun Halloween
Saturday 27 October, 8pm, Oakford Social Club, free
Reading’s fun, indie-disco band Twin Sun go all ghoulish for a special fright night party at The Oakford. They’ll play a full live gig followed by a DJ set from London’s Heavenly Recordings going late into the witching hour.
You Were Right About Mick Hucknall Halloween Special
Saturday 27 October, 11pm – late, The After Dark, free
The After Dark go back to the terrifying ’80s for fright night with a fancy dress special of the regular You Were Right About Mick Hucknall night. Rachael Crisp and Tim Hooper spin disco, new wave, italo, synth and alt-80s while you dance in a spooky costume. Best Halloween outfit wins a prize.
Hopleaf Halloween Party
Saturday 27 October, 7pm, The Hopleaf, free
The cosy Southampton Street local hosts a community Halloween party for charity. There’ll be food, games, a costume competition and all proceeds will go to Mind.
Sunday 28 October, from 7pm, Oakford Social Club, free
Every Sunday in October, the Oakford have been running a double bill screening of horror films. Films are a surprise but expect 80s, supernatural scary flicks for the Sunday before Halloween.
Psycho at Caffeine & Cocktails
Sunday 22 – Saturday 31 October, Caffeine & Cocktails, free
There’s ten whole days of spookiness from Caffeine & Cocktails this year. The small indie cocktail bar often go all out with Halloween decor (last year they recreated the Upside Down from Stranger Things).
This year their theme is a bit more classic with a homage to Hitchcock thriller ‘Psycho’. There’ll be £5 quirky-named cocktails, such as ‘Mother!’ and ‘The Janet Leigh’, all week and fancy dress is encouraged at weekends. Obviously, the most on-theme costume is to go wrapped in a shower curtain. There’s also a Hip Hop Halloween Brunch on Sunday 28 October, which is themed after the most terrifying figure in rap – Kanye, of course.
The Oracle Halloween Half term fun
Monday 22 – Tuesday 23 October, all day, The Oracle, outside Superdry, free.
One for the kids, this Halloween half term. Mini monsters can get involved in workshops to design spooky Halloween masks and spooky scratch art, or take part in a monster acting class on Monday. On Tuesday, they can make Halloween decorations, make their own monsters from Plasticine or get ghoulish face stencils.
Hello! I'm Claire, the founding editor of Explore Reading. I'm a Reading native and former digital director of Time Out Shanghai. I founded Explore Reading so no one can say, ‘there’s nothing to do in Reading’, again. When not editing Explore Reading, I'm probably drinking a Manhattan.