Halloween is one of the busiest dates in the calendar for event creators (case in point: see the Rocky-Horror-esque crowds that took over Liverpool one Halloween a few years back).
With so much competition to beat, it might be time to think outside the jack-o-lantern by choosing a venue that goes way beyond your usual highstreet pubs and clubs.
Think about it like this: marketeers have long been promoting the statistically backed-up idea that millennials prefer experiences over things (great news for you, as an event creator). And what could be more tantalisingly experiential than a Halloween event hosted in a seriously spooky, original or downright weird location? Short of conjuring actual vampires to do a meet-and-greet, we don’t think much else. On that note, read on for some game-changing Halloween venue ideas, which are sure to have you selling tickets scarily fast 🎃.
There’s something about the sheer size of a warehouse that lends itself well to spooky Halloween happenings. If you can find one that’s been unused for quite some time – even better. Peeling paint and cobwebs create an abandoned feel that’s perfect for Halloween club nights. Of course, you’ll need to make sure any warehouse you use is legitimately available for hire and has been fully health-and-safety assessed. Good news is there are tons of industrial spaces and warehouses available for rent in cities across the globe, which can be found with a quick internet search in your area.
When you’ve found the perfect place, use lighting strategically to emphasise the size of the warehouse while making sure the space still feels eerily dark and shadow-filled.
We think abandoned warehouse is enough of a theme in itself, but there’s scope to get even more imaginative by decorating the space to look like an old hospital or prison, if that takes your fancy.
Tip: head to our blog to discover the seven must-haves for a killer Halloween club night >
Eerie airport hangars
“There is absolutely nothing like the experience of a party in an airplane hangar,” says Jersey Shore journalist Liz Jeressi in this review of the Monmouth Jet Center – an incredible venue-for-hire that also happens to be a real life airport hangar.
“Even if you think you can visualize how truly gigantic it is, it's not until you step inside an airplane hangar at Monmouth Jet Center (MJC) that you realize how vast this space is. It's large enough to fit an entire band and stage, an airplane and helicopter as life-sized decorations, a food truck or two, and plenty of [...] tables and chairs. And all of that still only takes up half a hangar...that's how large the space is.”
Now picture this: 500 people dressed in their ghoulish best, hands raised towards that epic hangar ceiling as incredible strobe lighting and music fills the vast space. Sold!
Freaky forests and weird woodlands
Stepping away from the nightlife and party scene for a moment (although woodland is also a great backdrop for a rave) – there are so many Halloween events that lend themselves to the ethereal, mystical nature of forests.
Think: outdoor theatre with a horror twist, kids’ trick or treat trails, ghost tours and even outdoor cinema screenings (it has to be Blair Witch Project, right?).
Just be aware that you’ll need to check what permissions you’ll need to use any forest or woodland area before organising your event. You may need to get a permit from a local authority, and of course some land will be privately owned but may be available to rent.
It might be the shadowy underbelly of a bar, an old stately home wine cellar or some other dungeon-esque spot; either way, nothing quite says Halloween like going underground.
From spooky book groups to wicked wine tastings – opting to hire a venue’s basement is sure to give your Halloween event an extra injection of eerie atmosphere.
Whether you believe in ghosts or not, it’s hard to deny that walking the corridors of a hotel that’s rumoured to be haunted is pretty creepy. And thanks to the classic movie The Shining, there is a lot of scope for amping up the terror-factor here.
Scout your local area for folklore tales and stories of haunted happenings – we’re sure something will crop up that sends a chill down your spine. Once you’ve found your ‘haunted’ venue, it’s a great idea to organise some sort of seance as part of your event – there are plenty of performing arts professionals who would no doubt love to get involved.
When you begin your event ticketing process, be sure to warn attendees that they may be in for a potential visit or two from beyond the veil…
Creepy canal boats
Canal boat parties have been popular for some time, and we think the concept works brilliantly for Halloween. First there’s the general atmosphere generated by cruising down an eerily still canal under a moonlit sky. Then there’s the potential for dress-up themes – Pirates Of The Caribbean with a haunted twist being the obvious (and hard-to-beat) choice.
There are tons of options when it comes to hiring canal boats, which you’ll discover with a quick internet search. And don’t worry, you won’t need to don your skipper’s hat as the canal hire company will take care of the driving (and all other canal-related activity) for you.
Tip: Left things to the last minute? Check out these last minute ways to boost ticket sales for your Halloween event >
Hands up – who can think of a terrifying movie scene that involves a white-knuckle chase through a maze? Yep, there’s something about the winding, claustrophobic nature of these cryptic structures that creates the ultimate feeling of suspense. So what better backdrop for your terrifying Halloween events; whether as part of a wider festival or a standalone attraction.
In terms of logistics, there are companies that offer maze construction (and deconstruction) as a service, which you can work with at a location of your choice. Alternatively, you may be able to hire an actual, established maze in (say, in the grounds of a stately home or other historic attraction).
To make things extra thrilling for your attendees, why not hire some actors to chase them around the twists and turns of the maze? Just be sure to pre-warn them that your event’s not for the faint hearted.
Sort your ticketing for Halloween – without the scary prices
For those who are new to our blog (hi! 👋) you might be interested to learn more about Ticket Tailor – the leading independent alternative to Eventbrite. Being independent means we’re able to keep our costs right down, making us one of the cheapest ticketing platforms around. When you sell tickets online with us, you only pay a small flat fee per ticket sale, rather than a flat fee plus percentage of every sale (like many other platforms). Oh, and we’re totally free to use for free events 😌.
We hope these tips have been useful! Watch this space for more handy content for event creators 💪. Have a spoOooOooOOOoookacular Halloween!