Looking for something horrificaly haunting this Halloween? So Darling has a list of Halloween events all over the UK to satisfy all tastes!
‘Ghostbusters’ join Blists Hill Victorian Town’s Halloween Fright Night on Saturday, 29th October
Blists Hill Victorian Town’s annual Halloween fright night takes on a new dimension this year with the arrival of cult characters from the Ghostbusters 1980’s movie. The Town’s Ghostly Gaslight evening takes place on Saturday, 29th October, when the streets, shops and houses will be transformed into eerie places filled with ghosts, ghouls and monsters.
You are encouraged to dress up in your scariest costume and watch out for the Marshmallow Man, as the massive 31ft high inflatable paranormal monster will be looming over the darkened streets. You won’t miss the replica of the iconic Ghostbusters Miller Meteor Cadillac car, as it measures a vast 23ft in length, 9ft in height and weighs 5 tonnes.
If that was not enough, its four bars of emergency flashing lights will be dazzling the assembled spooks and the films’ famous sound tracks will be playing from its impressive sound-system.
You can meet two Ghostbuster characters complete with boiler suits and Proton Back Packs, which they plan to use to suck up the town’s many ghosts. But don’t be put off, you will be very welcome to have a selfie taken with the Ghostbusters and their car.
Elsewhere around Blists Hill, you will be kept guessing what spooky characters you might meet next – will it be the wicked wizard casting spells, the local carpenter seeking victims to nail in his coffin, ghostly apparitions in the cottages’ windows or zombies looking for brains. One of the many highlights of the night will be a firework show in front of the old Brick and Tile Works, along with pyrotechnic displays around the Town that will create scary scenes.
This popular, fun and safe event takes place between 6pm and 9pm. Tickets are priced at £9.95 adults; £6.75 children aged 3-15 years and £31 for a family (2+2). Tickets must be purchased in advance either online; from any of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums’ ticket points or the Ironbridge Visitor Information Centre. All under 16s must be accompanied by an adult; Ironbridge Gorge Museum Passports are not valid for this evening and dogs will not be allowed.
A combined family ticket (2+2) for Ghostly Gaslight and the Fireworks Night (5th November) is priced at £55.
Follow a Victorian ghost story trail at Blists Hill Victorian Town half-term 22nd – 30th October Families who visit Blists Hill Victorian Town, near Ironbridge between 22nd and 30th October are invited to follow a Victorian ghost story trail around the historic streets.
Discover how famous authors of the time, including Charles Dickens, wrote hugely popular works about spirits, ghosts, fog-shrouded graves and mysterious reflections appearing in mirrors. Some of the most famous stories will be included in the spooky trail.
Having whet your appetite for ghoulish tales, each afternoon during the half term break the Prince Albert Players will be performing spooky scenes from Sweeney Todd along with Shropshire ghost stories.
In Victorian England, All Hallows Eve (31st October) was celebrated with games and rituals including the popular practice of ‘souling’, a tradition that paved the way for modern-day Trick or Treating. In the 1800s children, and sometimes poor adults, would dress up and go around door-to- door offering prayers and songs in exchange for Soul Cakes. A selection of these simple round spiced cakes, which were often marked with a cross, will be on sale in the town’s bakery during the half-term Halloween week. You can find out more about this and other curious Victorian Halloween customs as you explore Blists Hill’s many shops, cottages and places of work.
One of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums, Blists Hill is open 10am to 5pm, apart from 29th October when it closes at 3pm to prepare for the Ghostly Gaslight evening event.
A great value Annual Passport Ticket allowing unlimited entry into all ten museums costs £25 per adult, £20 for seniors, £15 for children under 18, £68 for a family of two adults and all their children and £50 for a family with one adult; under 5’s free (terms and conditions apply); Passports can also be bought online in advance saving 10% and individual entry tickets are available at each museum. Activities and workshops vary day-to- day and some carry an extra charge.
The National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth hosts a sleepover with a difference – Sleeping with Sharks!
Sleeping with Sharks is an exciting way to see what happens at night in the underwater world. An alternative way to keep the youngsters entertained this Autumn, the creatures swimming around overhead will fascinate any one brave enough to spend the night in their company. The evening is geared at getting across a greater understanding of the marine environment and how we all have a part in helping to keep it safe. Suitable for children aged 5-15, Sleeping with Sharks also offers activities and games, packing a lot of fun into one night. The sleepover is also a opportunity for visitors to see the Aquarium’s newest Shark arrivals up close, including Sand Tiger Sharks from South Africa and Lemon Sharks from The Netherlands.
The next Sleeping with Sharks is on Friday 28th October (a perfect date to begin any spooky Halloween celebrations) – Timings and what else you can expect from the evening can be found below. For more information, visit: www.national-aquarium.co.uk
Sleeping with the Sharks
- Friday 28th October
- Arrive from 6.30pm
- Activities start at 7.00pm – ensure you have had tea/dinner before arriving
- Twilight tour – a chance to see what the fish get up to at night!
- Arts and crafts in the Just Add H2O Creative Centre
- Games around the building
- Big screen movie in front of the Eddystone Reef tank
- Midnight snack
- Continental breakfast provided in our Waves Café
- Depart at 9.00am
Halloween ARTea Afternoon Tea Makes a Spooky Appearance at Lancaster London
This Halloween, indulge in a truly ghoulish experience at Lancaster London with the hotel’s exclusive Halloween-themed ARTea Afternoon Tea.
Available from 17 until 31 October 2016 and priced at just £35 per person, the Afternoon Tea includes a host of spooky sweet treats such as: Spider web lollypops; Shattered glass cupcakes; Frankenstein macaroons; and Bloodied finger éclairs. Fresh-out–the- oven pumpkin scones will be served warm, with cremated blood orange marmalade plus artists’ tubes of home-made strawberry jam and Cornish clotted cream.
The Afternoon Tea also includes savoury classics with a fantastically frightful twist such as: Axe carved beef with horseradish; Smashed egg and crazy wild cress on blood bread; Cucumber coffins; and Devilled chorizo tartlets accompanied by a selection of fresh loose leaf teas.
New spine-tingling attractions at Warwick Castle
22 – 31 October
Six new spine-tingling attractions will turn Warwick Castle into The Haunted Castle between 22 and 31 October. By day, there are fun and friendly scares for all the family including the Horrible Histories Maze; the chance to conjure up spells in The Witches Tower; hear enchanted tales in the Haunted Hollows garden; watch a ferocious Halloween fire joust and, new for 2016, prepare for disturbing encounters in Tormented. As night envelops the Castle, the Central Courtyard falls silent for the arrival of the plague doctor, brought in to treat the grotesque, plague-ridden souls in Outbreak 1349, a knuckle-clenching live-actor experience. Down in the Dungeons, over 10’s can uncover the darkest and bloodiest aspects of the Castle’s history. During half term, Warwick Castle will open until 9pm – when the ghastly ghouls of the Castle’s turbulent 1,100 years of history return to life. Advance day tickets cost from £17.60 per person. Entry after 5pm costs £14 per person. The Knight’s Village lodges are also open for their first Halloween for guests who want to stay after dark. www.warwick-castle.com
‘Ripley’s Wicked Halloween Week’ is an exclusive collaboration incorporating the already-weird and wonderful artefacts of Ripley’s with the mighty West End show Wicked, which is currently celebrating its 10th Anniversary in London. Ripley’s London will become the emerald of the West End as sfx lighting will illuminate No.1 Piccadilly witch-green. The library gallery will exhibit costumes and props worn and used by some of the biggest names from the hit show. Face painters will be on hand to turn little apprentices into characters from the show, such as the iconic Elphaba and Glinda. Modellers will craft balloons into broomsticks, witch’s hats and other Wicked themed items for the kids to take home. Treats aplenty await those attempting the interactive Wicked Explorer Trail with pick ‘n’ mix rewards and a chance to win tickets to see Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. The first 1,000 Ripley’s Halloween tickets are being sold for just £10 each, saving up to 64% compared to the door price. Bookings can be made online at www.ripleyslondon.com. All activities are included in the ticket.
Reputedly playing host to hundreds of ghosts, with bats and frogs aplenty, creepy tunnels, spooky locks and misty towpaths, Britain’s 200-year old canal network provides the perfect backdrop for a haunting Halloween. On 30 and 31 October, Staffordshire’s Stourport Basin is hosting guided walks led by the ghost of the great canal engineer James Brindley, who will take visitors on a night-time tour to learn of the development of the basins and how the town of Stourport has grown since his death. Book in advance by emailing email@example.com. Alternatively, hear about a Killing at Kidsgrove, where the Trent & Mersey Canal’s Harecastle Tunnel is said to be home to a shrieking boggart – the ghost of Kit Crewbucket who was murdered and his headless corpse was dumped in the canal. Hire the seven-berth ‘Vale’ from Drifters’ canal boat hire base at Great Haywood over Halloween for £591 for a short break (28-31 October). Price includes boat hire, damage waiver, gas, car parking, tuition on arrival, first pet, buoyancy aids, bed linen and towels. Fuel is extra – a £50 deposit is taken for a short break. Visit www.drifters.co.uk for more information.
Bad Halloween Tour – Murder Most Foul, Brighton
Not for under 16’s or those of a nervous disposition, this after dark Halloween murder tour will uncover a fresh batch of grisly murders, ghosts and ghastly goings on on the streets of Brighton. Discover the stories of the first Brighton Trunk Murder in ‘Lovers Lane’; the sensational confession of Constance Kent, one of the most infamous child murders of Victorian times and the Deadly Dr Warder, who poisoned his wife on prescription. The tour meets at 7.30pm at the Brighton Clock Tower and costs £5.00 per person. www.meetup.com/guided-walks-
‘Scream Park’ Farmaggedon, Ormskirk, Lancashire
1 – 31 October (selected dates)
This interactive horror experience is themed with roaming zombies and creatures of the night. Visit three horror houses, Psychosis, Meat Locker and Terror of the Farm, plus blast some zombies in a unique paintball experience. Farmaggedon is open from 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm on October 1, 6-9, 12-16, 19-23 and 26-31. Under 15’s must be accompanied by an adult. Prices start at £16. www.visitlancashire.com www.farmaggedon.co.uk
Back with a brand new route for 2016, this October sees the return of popular behind-the-scenes torch lit tours of England’s greatest Elizabethan house. Burghley’s Spooky Tours will offer a chance to journey by flickering torchlight into the creepy cellars to explore the forbidding outbuildings and centuries-old cloisters, unearthing Burghley’s secret history. The special tours, led by local ghostly expert Martin Tempest, take visitors around some of the less visited areas of Burghley, on the edge of the Georgian stone town of Stamford in Lincolnshire. The 50 minute trails take place at 6.30pm, 7.30pm, 8.30pm and 9.30pm daily (excluding Sundays) and are designed to be scary, but fun – and although not recommended for children under 11, Burghley leave it up to parents to decide! Places are limited and usually sell-out fast, so the advice is to book early.) Tickets cost £15 per person. www.burghley.co.uk/events/
Looming over the town of Bodmin in north Cornwall, this imposing jail was built by Napoleonic prisoners of war in 1779. It held more than 150 prisoners and witnessed 55 executions, with the last hanging taking place in 1909. The creepy corridors and claustrophobic cells are said to be haunted by former prisoners protesting their innocence and rattling keys. Explore after dark with the jail’s resident medium and hunt for ghosts in the spookiest spots. The tour begins at 8.45pm with a three-course meal in the former Governor’s Hall. Specific workshops then run through the night before returning guests to the land of the living at 5am. Halloween weekend dates (29, 30, 31 October) are currently available for £90 per person. www.bodminjail.org
The Adventure Farm is bringing Screamfest back to the forest and they are warning visitors to be prepared for the most terrifying encounter yet. Find out whether life after death exists at Night Bringer, enter a chilling maze to discover the nightmare of a terrifying childhood and join the soul seekers crew as they investigate an abandoned hotel. This event is recommended for children aged 12 and over, although under 12s are able to enter the Adventure Farm if they are with a consenting adult. Tickets cost £14.00 plus 50p booking fee when booked in advance. www.screamfest.co.uk/
Bram Stoker’s Illuminated Abbey, North Yorkshire
26 – 29 October
See Bram Stoker’s inspiration for Dracula’s castle in a new light as Whitby Abbey is bathed in dramatic illuminations. As visitors explore its gothic splendour, costumed characters will introduce the darker side of the past with tales of grave robbing and witch trials, with a live performance of Dracula to complete the visit. The event takes place between 18.00-21.30 and costs £9 adult (10% discount for online bookings before 21 October). www.english-heritage.org.uk/
An hour north of Manchester, Pendle Hill is the site of the most famous witch trial in English history. In 1612, 10 women were hung for crimes including witchcraft and murder and the site is now said to be so haunted that locals refuse to walk on the hill after dark. Join a guided tour to hear about the area’s terrifying history and leave plenty of time to explore the surrounding villages and soak up the stunning Lancashire scenery. The 3-hour Pendle Witch Country Tour takes place on 30 October and costs £16.00 per person. www.pendlewitchexperience.com
There’s a lot at stake at The York Dungeon this Halloween
It’s big, it’s bold and its new spine-tingling show is sure to make you laugh in the face of fear! The Home of Halloween, The York Dungeon, will bring you face to face with the infamous and most Wicked Women of York from Monday 17th to Monday 31st October.
Visitors will be plunged into a cool, cloudy day in York’s Market Square, in 1649. The Spring Assizes are underway and 21 criminals are awaiting their fate. Nostrils are filled with the revolting smell of fire and death and reports of witchcraft are rife!
Among the 21 are stranglers, poisoners, arsonists and child murderers, but none are as disturbed as 32 year old Isabella Billington. Nobody knows what lead Isabella to crucify her mother in Pocklington on the 5th January. After nailing her mother to a cross she even sacrificed a calf and cockerel. She must have been a witch after all!
Can you evade the questions of the Witch Pricker; nasty, vindictive and filled with a sense of righteous fury. The Pricker sees witches everywhere and is suspicious about the smallest things. Will you be accused of being a Witch? Will you escape the same fate as the convicted witch and temptress Isabella?
If this wasn’t enough, visitors will be immersed in a world-first bloody Viking battle in the brand new interactive show, Vengeance of the Vikings, where guests can get to know the torturous techniques used on Saxons, including public blood-eagling and a viper pit!
Visitors will be on edge as they’re taken through 10 live interactive shows and are put to the test by the witches, torturer, courtroom judge and even the plague doctor that they meet along the way. Senses will be on fire as guests see, hear and even smell the horrible history that comes to life around them.
The attraction has been completely revamped from bottom to top, with new scripts, sets and state of the art special effects following a £1 million investment. It’s more thrilling than ever with new and improved themed rooms and shows that leave visitors trembling but wanting more.
Even better, the attraction is located in the heart of York, so there’s no excuse not to delve into York’s gruesome past.
The Dungeon is a unique attraction that has had a complete overhaul after the flooding from December and it will take you back to the past’s most horrible bits. See, hear, smell and feel the city’s darkest hidden stories as they come to life before your eyes as frighteningly funny characters transport you through time. You’ll laugh, you’ll jump and you may even find yourself in the dock…
Avoid horrible disappointment by pre-booking tickets online before your visit thedungeons.com/york
K West Hotel & Spa Hosts the Suicide Squad this Halloween
Hubble bubble, boil and trouble! K West Hotel & Spa has fully embraced the spooky spirit this Halloween by transforming itself into London’s very own antihero hotel especially for Monday 31 October 2016.
Following the release of 2016 super-villain movie, Suicide Squad, starring Margot Robbie, Will Smith and Cara Delevingne, the hotel will be transformed.
While the ‘suicide squad’ hotel team roam the halls dressed head-to- toe in creepy costumes, the hotel’s uber-cool Studio Bar will be decked out with devilish décor – the perfect place to enjoy a Halloween fright-night.
Throughout the day and night, bar staff will be concocting Halloween cocktails at the Studio Bar. The team has devised two chilling cocktails for guests to try. Those with a penchant for spine-tingling spirits will enjoy the Creepy-crawlers Sensation.This beverage combines Courvoisier brandy, Captain Morgan Dark Rum, Mozart Liqueur, Magners and is finished with gummie worms. The Creepy-crawlers Sensation cocktails will be available for £11.95 each.
Alternatively, why not opt for the Franken-tastic Smash? Inspired by Halloween royalty himself, this Frankenstein-focused cocktail features Absolut Citron, Midori Liqueur, pineapple juice, lemon juice, whipped cream, cherry syrup, and a garnish of lychee and blueberries.
The Franken-tastic Smash cocktails will be available for £11.50 each. K West Hotel & Spa’s fun and vibrant ambience is fused with ultimate relaxation in a prime location. Situated in one of London’s most up-and- coming districts, Shepherd’s Bush, the urban retreat is on the doorstep of Westfield shopping centre, one of the largest retail destinations in Europe with over 240 shops. Fashionable areas such as Notting Hill, Portobello Road and Kensington are also just a short walk away.
K West Hotel & Spa, Richmond Way, London W14 0AX
For reservations, call: 020 8008 6600 or visit www.k-west.co.uk
A CELEBRATION OF GOTHIC HORROR AT BALANS SOHO SOCIETY, KENSINGTON HIGH STREET THIS HALLOWEEN
As the autumn light begins to slowly fade, ushering in the unforgiving darkness of winter, the veil between this world and the next becomes dangerously thin. Evil spirits, fiends and beasts will walk among us.
On Saturday 29th October 2016, from 7pm to midnight, Balans Soho Society invites you to an evening dedicated to celebrating the demons to be found both without and – perhaps most disturbing of all – those found within…
Unlock your inner demons this Halloween with cursed cocktails made with, amongst other terrifying tidbits, the hollow screams of the abandoned or tincture of tears of an innocent man, carefully distilled in-house.
There will also be an especially prepared, devilishly depraved and not for the faint of heart, ‘Blood Feast’ menu.
TO START, perhaps the tender and juicy Chicken Heart Yakitori served with crunchy Asian Slaw (£7) will get the heart racing. Or delicious Devilled Kidneys served with Wild Mushrooms on toast (£8) will live up to the promise of its name.
TO FOLLOW, a sumptuous Braised Lamb’s Heart is stuffed to bursting with softly melting chicken liver and pistachio, served with creamy mashed potato and a rich gravy (£14) How ironic that such a warmly decadent dish can make the blood run ice cold.
ANY LAST WORDS? How about ‘I’ll have the Spiced Apple Mousse served with a brandy snap and salted caramel I-Scream…’? (£7) It’s guaranteed to finish anyone off. Balans Soho Society is also delighted to welcome the satanic song stylings of Miss Philippa Leigh and her uncanny ukelele to provide the evening’s entertainment. Simon Costin, the internationally renowned designer responsible for all the new Balans Soho Society interiors and for whom Halloween is a way of life, not just another day on the calendar will be casting his stylish spell over the restaurant. Old black and white movies will flicker over the walls, cobwebs will be spun, lights will glimmer blood red.
Whatever your pleasure, Balans Soho Society promises you a night to die for.
Balans Soho Society – Kensington High Street, 187 Kensington High Street, London, W8 6SH