In Haunt

‘Gothic Times’ is the theme of the 7th annual Gothic Manchester Festival, bringing a packed events programme to the city for October 2019… and there is even an early November extended treat too! Get ready for art installations, weird workshops, Horror musicals, freaky films, artists in-conversation, a Games Jam, spoken word-meets-music and so much more, exploring The Gothic through time. It will also feature a conference on the subject of ‘Gothic Times’ on the 26 October, as organised by Dr Linnie Blake.

But what is The Gothic? And why does it matter to Manchester? Seeking to explore this question is the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies, based at Manchester Metropolitan University – one of the biggest centres of its kind in the world, responsible for organising the festival, along with RAH! (Research in Arts and Humanities at Manchester Met).

 By Michelle ShoreThe Gothic, although a genre often associated with the culture of the 18th and 19th centuries, still has crucial relevance today. It may have associations with themes including darkness, marginal places, fear and The Uncanny; emerging across art forms such as film, fiction, performance and plenty more. The Gothic remains an area of evolving ideas, as marked by the recent 'Absent Presences' conference organised by MA and PhD students studying the Gothic at Manchester Met- as well as The Gothic being the subject of ongoing academic research, debate and popular culture. It has provided ample inspiration for previous editions of the Gothic Manchester Festival, which has included everything from an enormous GOTHIKA ball, to an evening of horror film scores recreated through classical music at the stunning Stoller Hall. (Artwork above with thanks to Michelle Shore, previously featured in our 'HAUNT’s Highlights of Manchester School of Art Degree Show 2019' article)

The range is especially exciting. 2019 marks the first time the Gothic Manchester Festival will be running for a whole month within October, rather than a series of days, highlighting the popularity of its innovative approach. Manchester seems to be making its mark as an ever-growing Gothic destination, especially considering the festival follows on from the International Gothic Association (IGA) bringing its conference to Manchester in 2018! The city’s Gothic credentials extend to its impressive architecture, extensive alternative cultures and vibrant communities.

Here HAUNT Manchester have out together just some of the upcoming highlights of the Gothic Manchester Festival 2019 – so book now to avoid disappointment! Part 2 of HAUNT's highlights is coming soon, and the full festival programme can be seen here

ArA: Gothic Times – a Gothic Club Night

Gothic Times

A Gothic clubnight will take place inside Salford's historic Sacred Trinity Church on Friday 25th October (9pm-2am), organised by ArA (HAUNT spoke to the people behind it and discovered more in this article here). Expect an immersive evening, inspired music and a beautiful atmosphere. Bring your own drink and enjoy this unique event.

Book now:

Rural Eerie : Exploring the Strange Countryside Through Sounds and Words

Rural Eerie

Rural Eerie seeks to explore the eerie and unusual aspects of the countryside through an immersive soundscape, powerful visuals and a range of spoken-word performances on the evening of Saturday 19 October. Dare you experience it? Book now, for in the hidden hollow of The Peer Hat basement in the Northern Quarter - music, sound, words and visuals will bring the theme to life. Whilst electronic artists Flange Circus create a live soundscape, there will be readings from Sarah Hymas, Richard Skelton (Corbel Stone Press), Mark Pajak, author of The Loney and Starve Acre Andrew Michael Hurley, Helen Darby and Emily Oldfield. Why do certain aspects of the countryside creep us out? Why does the idea of ‘the wild’ disturb us? And what can we do to interact with it? This event is presented by HAUNT Manchester, Flange Circus and MASSMcr, organised by Dr Julian Holloway and Emily Oldfield.

Book now:

Haunted Spaces at Ordsall Hall

Have you ever been to Salford’s impressive Ordsall Hall? It is one of the oldest buildings in the area: a timber-framed house, in its current form dating back to the 14th century.. and surrounded by stories of ghosts and the supernatural. Why? Find out as a range of experts will discuss haunted spaces and why stories about ghosts and spirits always focus on locality and architecture… including a tour, talks and even an experiment! This fascinating event on Tuesday 29 October (7.30pm – 10.00pm) will incorporate a guided tour of Ordsall Hall, its rooms and staircases. Organised by Dr Emma Liggins, Dr Matt Foley, Dr Ken Drinkwater and Fabrizio Cocchiarella, the evening will also include some short talks, ‘Ghost stories in War-time’ and ‘Apparitions in Fiction that speak to and guide us’. The final feature is a parapsychology experiment in one of Ordsall Hall’s spookiest spaces. Tickets are £10 adult, £5 student and available online.

Book now:

The Witching Way: The Gig Set

The Witching Way

A DIY rock opera is coming to The Printworks in Manchester on Saturday 26 October! Created by Ali Matthews and Leo Burtin with The Company, expect weird and wonderful music… and witches galore! Organised by and introduced by Dr Chloé Germaine Buckley (Senior Lecturer in English at Manchester Met), this is a powerful performance featuring a teenage witch lead-character, animated visuals, a live band and a range of musical genres. Enjoy a spellbinding show.

Book now:

Monster Mash: A Halloween Dance Spectacular

Fancy a dance  inspired by darkness? This is a dance show featuring a showcase of dark and terrifying performances - in a variety of dance styles from ballet and musical theatre to contemporary –  coming to The Dancehouse on the evening of 30 October. This unique show will feature an introduction from Dr Emma Liggins (Senior Lecturer in English at Manchester Met), as well as a beautiful array of dance, costume and makeup… with fancy dress encouraged in the audience. In fact, there is a prize for the best Halloween Costume! Better get those dancing shoes on…

Book now:

Bad Bugs: Zombie Outbreak! - Play and Read

Bad Bugs

What would happen if there was a virus that created zombies? How quickly would it spread across the city? Would scientists be able to contain the outbreak? Come and discover more about the fiction and science of zombies  in a fascinating 12th October workshop (1.30-3.3.0pm) inside Manchester Metropolitan University Business School. Organised by Professor Joanna Verran, Dr Chloé Germaine Buckley and Dr Matthew Crossley, this is on opportunity to meet the experts, examine popular stories about zombies and even get involved in a game to test your survival skills!

Book now:

HAUNT Manchester at Rochdale Town Hall

Great Hall

Join HAUNT Manchester at the neo-Gothic masterpiece of Rochdale Town Hall for an afternoon and evening behind the scenes of this atmospheric location… on the date of Halloween itself (31 October)! This will feature an afternoon of spooky talks inside The Town Hall, followed by a tour of the building – often referred to one of the best designs of its kind in the whole of the North! Why? Come and find out (and read our HAUNT article about it here). Organised by Dr Matt Foley and Emily Oldfield, this is an opportunity to listen to free talks and stories (4-6pm) inspired by Gothic themes, whilst a guided tour will take place 6-7pm (£7 per person). Fancy dress is encouraged! (Rochdale Town Hall Great Hall Image provided with thanks to Rochdale Borough Council and Rochdale Town Hall)

Book now:

Halloween Horror Movie Night – Clive Barker Double Bill

Who says Halloween excitement can’t extend to November? This year, the Gothic Manchester Festival has joined forces with Grimmfest to bring together the ultimate Halloween Movie Double Bill for Friday 1st November (5.30-10pm): a screening of CANDYMAN and HELLRAISER, the work of horror genre innovator Clive Barker. Atmospherically, this double bill will take place in what was the former Cornerhouse building, now Number 70 Oxford Street and will begin with a special introduction to Barker's work from Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes (Reader in English Literature and Film and a founder member of the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies at Manchester Met). CANDYMAN and HELLRAISER are films with fans all over the world after all – come and find out why for yourself.

Book now:

Emily Oldfield 




Nobody has commented on this post yet, why not send us your thoughts and be the first?

Leave a Reply