27 September 2023

HISTORICAL tales of ghostly goings-on, mysterious monsters lurking in the shadows and a food market with a spooky twist are just of the exciting events taking place when Sunderland’s Fear On the Wear festival returns.

The annual celebration of all things terrifying will run across the city centre from 20-31 October, with something for everyone.

Organised by Sunderland BID, in partnership with Sunderland City Council, the event will see a brand new AR trail created, where, by using the free Sunderland Experience app, intrepid ghosthunters can uncover a whole host of creepy creatures who will be hiding out at key points around the city centre.

After its success of last year, the city’s Guided Ghost Tours will return on 20,23 and 26 October where those taking part can find out more about the harrowing history of some of the key locations around Sunderland.

Among this year’s tour will be a visit to the former Crowtree Leisure Centre site, formerly known as Northumberland Street, where the mysterious story of the peg leg ghost came to light.

A famous haunting in Sunniside and a former cinema which holds a dark secret will be among the tales uncovered during this very popular event.

A sell out last year, anyone wanting to attend can book tickets at which cost £4.

One of the highlights of the whole programme will be the community lantern parade taking place on 27 October. Community groups, schools and other organisations are all taking part in the event, after having been involved in sessions to make their own lanterns.

The parade will begin at the Museum and Winter Gardens at 6pm and then work its way through the city centre, ending in Keel Square.

The following day Sunniside Food Market will return – with its own Halloween twist – which will also feature a number of performances by students from Sunderland College.

Youngsters can also take part in the annual Spooky Stories competition, where they are asked to write 500 words of their own terrifying tale.

There are three age groups – five to nine-year-olds, ten to 13-year-olds and 14 to 18 year-olds.

The deadline for entries is 9 October with a presentation night on 19 October. Entries can be made via the website.

Sharon Appleby, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID, said that this year’s programme was one of the best to date.

“Fear on the Wear is one of the most popular events of the year and once again we have come up with something for everyone,” she said.

“The whole community can get involved in the parade, youngsters can show their writing skills in the spooky stories competition and the AR trail is something all the family can enjoy.

“It’s going to be a really exciting event.”

Councillor John Price, Portfolio Holder for Vibrant City at Sunderland City Council, said: “Following on from a fantastic summer of fun activities in Sunderland, there continues to be plenty for everyone to enjoy over the autumn.

“The guided ghost tours were very popular last year so it’s great that more people will get a chance to discover Sunderland’s spooky past when the event returns this year. This autumn there is plenty for visitors young and old to enjoy so I’d encourage everyone get involved this Halloween and beyond.”

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