As nights draw in, residents of Darlington are bracing themselves for a week of ghostly goings on as a full programme of Halloween fun gets underway in the town centre during the half term holidays from Saturday 27 October until Sunday 4 November.

The terrifying treasure trail gets underway in Darlington’s Indoor market on the first Saturday of the half term. Youngsters will have all week to find the hidden Halloween objects around the market. All entries will go into the witch’s hat and the winner will receive a hamper full of surprises.

It’s full scream ahead from 11am at the Head of Steam on Sunday 28 as the Halloween Fun Day gets underway. Young ones are encouraged to dress up in their “fiendest” and enjoy a spooky treasure trail, magician and arts and crafts. Fun family activities continue at the museum from Wednesday 31 until Friday 2 November with Block Party sessions, Jays Animal Encounters and Acorn Antics (booking required for all activities).

It’s mid-week mania on Wednesday 31 when the full horror show comes to town. Free Day of the Dead themed crafts, gruesome games, glitter tattoos, face painting, safe trick or treats and much more are the order of the day at the town’s Cornmill and Queen Street shopping centres.

More free fun continues at the Indoor market with Cool Science, slime making and lantern making. Youngsters can enjoy spellbinding sciences and spooky demonstrations and experiments such as pumpkins slime and smoke experiments along with prizes for the best dressed spooky costume.

Animal encounters and spooky arts and crafts can be booked at Crown Street Library’s Halloween Funday. More indoor fun is in store at the Dolphin Centre’s Monster Mash Disco from 4-6pm with ghoulish party games, fancy dress and much more.

As night time draws in, the ghouls are set to come out along the yards of the town as a spooky trail gets underway from West Row in front of the Indoor Market, 5-6pm. Families are invited to wander through the yards wearing favourite Halloween costumes where they’ll be greeted by fiendly ghosts and spooky characters, alongside family entertainment, music and face painters. St Teresa’s Hospice volunteers will be selling torches, proceeds will help their fundraising efforts.

There’s’ more “gore” in store for adults the following week as Bram Stoker’s Dracula takes to the stage at Darlington Hippodrome from Tuesday 6 – Saturday 10 November.

Councillor Chris McEwan, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration said:

“There’s a fantastic line up of family fun throughout the week and a lot of it is free. It’s great to see businesses working together to put on events and activities that make up a great offer for families throughout the half term – they are set to have a truly fun – filled time in Darlington.”

Please note, children must be accompanied by an adult at all events. More details of all events are available at Darlington.gov.uk/events