Paisley celebrated the return of its award-winning Halloween celebrations as thousands of visitors enjoyed a spectacular Out of this World experience.

Over 17,000 people flocked to the town for the free, immersive trail of intergalactic installations and light displays around some of Paisley’s most famous buildings, with the extravaganza taking place across five nights from Thursday 28 October – Monday 1 November.

Paisley Halloween Festival presents Out of this World also formed part of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21 celebrations, with the area beside the town’s White Cart River becoming a centrepiece attraction for locals and visitors.

An eye-catching sight on the family-friendly trail was the striking alien invasion of Paisley Town Hall, with an enormous Creature from the Cart bursting out from the front of the iconic structure.

Visitors were left dazzled by the ‘Nova’ and ‘Ursula Lassos the Moon’ sculptures at the heart of the trail, with many taking the time to capture selfies and photos at the mysterious and enchanting light displays. Meanwhile, ‘Orionids’ echoed the breath-taking beauty of a meteor shower across the White Cart River, creating a stunning, luminous effect on the water.

Young people’s hopes and dreams for the future of the planet were showcased on the spectacular Earthship1 installation, with many event goers taking the time to marvel at the spacecraft’s beautiful lighting, music and special cargo of hopeful messages and artworks created by youth and community groups across Renfrewshire.

Cheryl Fraser from Linwood said: “As soon as we pulled up in the car, the kids were saying ‘wow, this is amazing’ because we could see the big tentacles at the Town Hall. We’ve really enjoyed it all, took so many pictures and the kids have had a great time.”

Jodie Murray from Edinburgh said: “It’s been really cool and something different getting to see all the light displays – it’s really lovely. My family come every year and say it’s always amazing, so I thought I’d come and have a look too.”

The Paisley Halloween Festival presents Out of this World trail was delivered by Renfrewshire Council and curated by sustainable, not-for-profit creative contractor, Cirque Bijou.

Pauline Allan, Events Manager for Renfrewshire Council, said: “It’s been fantastic to welcome so many visitors to our Halloween celebrations in Paisley once again, as they were greatly missed by all last year.

“The festival is one of the highlights in our events calendar and has really cemented the town’s position as a key destination in Scotland for Halloween.

“We’re delighted to see such a positive reaction to this year’s five-day Out of this World spectacular and we’d like to thank everyone who came along and enjoyed the festival, as well as all of the talented artists involved for making it such a huge success.”

Julian Bracey, Artistic Director of Cirque Bijou, said: “It’s been a pleasure to work on this year’s Paisley Halloween Festival and make it a truly ‘Out of this World’ experience for everyone to enjoy. It’s been a massive team effort between the Cirque Bijou crew, Renfrewshire Council and the many local people involved.

“We’ve loved working with young people and community groups in the area to be part of the creative process and their contributions towards the artworks and installations have made the whole event really special.”

Paisley Halloween Festival was supported by EventScotland through Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21 and Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland said: “We are delighted to have supported Paisley Halloween Festival through the Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21 and Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund. It is great to see the event was so well received by those who got to experience the spectacular light displays and installations, with the White Cart River playing a starring role in the trail.”

Paisley Halloween Festival is widely regarded as one of the best events of its kind in the UK and was named Best Cultural Event or Festival at the 2019/20 Scottish Thistle Awards West Scotland regional finals, organised by VisitScotland.