Creepy carvings give Leeds families frightful start to Halloween half term

Pumpkin carver Christian Russell with Gracie Ingleson at Stockeld Park. Picture by Steve Riding.
Pumpkin carver Christian Russell with Gracie Ingleson at Stockeld Park. Picture by Steve Riding.
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Petrifying pumpkins and spooky special effects make-up have given families across Leeds a spine-tingling start to half term.

Youngsters descended on Stockeld Park, in Wetherby, this weekend for the start of a week-long Halloween adventure combining festive fare and fright nights with witch trails, creepy creatures and wizard and witch training.

Gracie Ingleson, four, from Morley, with the pumpkin she planted.

Gracie Ingleson, four, from Morley, with the pumpkin she planted.

Amid the excitement one four-year-old fright fan got the chance to see a pumpkin she planted with CBeebies star Mr Bloom several months ago be plucked from Stockeld’s patch and moulded into a scary face by an expert carver.

Gracie Ingleson, from Morley, returned to the pumpkin patch with her dad John, mum Hayley and little brother Freddie on Saturday having won a raffle to plant the fearsome fruit with the children’s TV personality in the spring.

She asked for her produce to be carved into the scariest face possible by resident artist Christian Russell.

Dad John, who works at Leeds General Infirmary, said: “It’s been absolutely brilliant and Gracie’s seen the growing process.

Caitlin Sandilands, 15, wearing Halloween make-up gets the finishing touches from Olivia Hanson, 13, and Sam Clifford-Hassan, 13, at the Abbey House Museum in Kirkstall. Picture by Gary Longbottom.

Caitlin Sandilands, 15, wearing Halloween make-up gets the finishing touches from Olivia Hanson, 13, and Sam Clifford-Hassan, 13, at the Abbey House Museum in Kirkstall. Picture by Gary Longbottom.

“She planted the pumpkin seed six months ago and seeing it now is a lesson learned.”

He added: “She just wanted it to be carved to have the scariest face possible – that was the ambition.”

Elsewhere in Leeds, a Halloween special effects make-up workshop offered teenagers some ghoulish tips on creating the perfect fearfully festive look this autumn.

There are also a series of Halloween fun days, scarecrow trails, murder mystery events and craft activities taking place across the city this week – here are six of the best that we have picked out.

Stockeld Park’s week of events will climax with a series of fright nights from Thursday to Saturday and a fireworks spectacular on Friday night.

Amy Croxton, from Stockeld, described the AtmosFEAR Entertainment Group-run family fright nights, which are for older children and families, as “a hair-raising evening of screams and scares not to be missed”.

Visit stockeldpark.co.uk for further information.

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