Halloween in York: Europe's most haunted city

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It has long held the title of Europe’s most haunted city, with over 500 ghosts recorded at the last count (Ghost Research Foundation International, 2009), and this year, there are more reasons than ever before for visiting York this Halloween.  As long summer nights start to shorten, tourism agency Visit York has launched a host of after dark adventures, to celebrate its ‘most haunted’ status and keep visitors entertained on Halloween night.

‘In a city where you can still see evidence of 2000 years of civilisation and unbroken occupation across that time, it is little wonder that many people believe there are still plenty of York’s former residents who remain with us in an incorporeal form,’ comments Kate McMullen, Head of Visit York.  ‘We can’t promise every visitor to York will have a spectral encounter but we do have superb ghost walks and scarily fun attractions in the city all year round, plus extra special Halloween-themed offerings including York Maze’s Hallowscream and Stockeld Park’s Fright Night which appeal to visitors of all ages.’

VisitYork.org’s top Halloween highlights (or should that be low-lights?) in and around York include:

Most scary… Hallowscream at York Maze.  By day, they offer pumpkins galore, bouncy castles and family fun but when the sun sets, visitors step into a frightfest!  Demon clowns with chainsaws stalk the corn stalks, a scare around every corner awaits in Barnaggedon and visitors’ perception of reality is challenged in the mind-twisting Reincornation.  Not suitable for under 16s, prepare to scream your way around York’s scariest attraction!

Most ghosts… With over 500 ghosts recorded in York, there’s plenty of ways to hear some of the most fascinating stories with a plethora of Ghost Walks taking place around the city each evening – including The Original Ghost Walk of York, thought to be the first exclusive ghost walk in the world! Choose from a selection of guides – and meet a selection of spooky characters around the city – leaving from Coppergate, York Minster, The Shambles and the King’s Arms each evening

Fun, imaginative and exploring parts of the city centre often overlooked by visitors, each tour has its own charm and metaphysical mysteries.

Most hysterically historical… You can always rely on a dungeon as the place to find the darkest humour and York Dungeon excels itself each Halloween with a frighteningly funny and especially tricky, tour full of legends and stories from York’s murky past! 

Most batty… Beningbrough Hall’s gardens might not host any vampires, however, on 31 October and 1 November, visitors are invited to go batty on a nocturnal torchlit tour of the gardens to see which creatures hide under the veil of darkness.  Bat hunts run on 31 October and 1 November 2014 from 5.00pm.

Most trick or treats… only for the brave of stomach, York CHOCOLATE Story’s Shock-olate event could well be offering the country’s tastiest trick or treat challenge ever.  With a spin of the wheel, visitors can choose from a treat – a luxurious confection created by their own chocolateers – or a revolting trick chocolate.

Details of York’s terrifying ghost stories and tours are at the visitor hub, www.visityork.org, along with a host of other events, attractions, accommodation and travel tips.


Notes to editors

When was the last time you had a first time?  Discover York for the first time in 2014 - visit www.visityork.org/first and book your accommodation with Visit York for an exclusive 20% discount off a 3 day York Pass. 

About Visit York

  • Visit York is supported by the City of York Council and over 700 tourism businesses and works in partnership with VisitEngland.
  • Visit York's aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure and business visitor, and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York.  Visit York is responsible for leisure and conference marketing, visitor services (running the city's Visitor Information Centre), training and ensuring a quality visitor experience.  
  • Visit York is the driving force of the city's tourism industry. Key facts:

7 million visitors annually, £606 million total visitor spend, supporting 20,000 jobs

For more media information and images please contact:

  • Kay Hyde, Head of Communications, Visit York.  Tel: 01904 554451.  Email: kh@visityork.org
  • Katie Parsons, Senior Communications Executive, Visit York.  Tel: 01904 554436.  Email: kp@visityork.org
  • Jay Commins or Samantha Orange, Pyper York.  Tel: 01904 500699.  Email sam@pyperyork.co.uk