Year on year we seem to be upping our game in the UK when it comes to Halloween – I note that my local supermarket is getting in on the act with several crates of full-sized American pumpkins. I remember when we had to settle for swedes…
Here’s a list of interesting Halloween-themed events in London that have caught our eye. Most are family-friendly and let’s be honest, kids having fun is what Halloween is all about:
- The lovely Museum of London is putting an evening of weird and wonderful activities on Monday 31 October from 7 until 9:45pm, to coincide with their current special exhibition, ‘Doctors, Dissection & Resurrection Men’. Eleanor Crook, sculptor and medical artist will be leading a wax-modelling workshop, St Bart’s Hospital Pathology Museum and the Museum’s artist-in-residence Geoff Harrison will be running a Halloween card-making session and of course there will be special tours. Museum curator Jelena Bekvalac will be guiding visitors on an ‘object in focus’ tour looking at the gruesome exhibits they have on show at the moment. Tickets are priced at £5 (£4 concessions) and you can find them online here.
- On Tuesday 30 and Monday 31 October the Round Chapel (Powerscroft Road, Hackney) will be holding two nights of pop-up cinema, ‘Halloween Screaming‘. Early evening movies are be suitable for children, while the later ones are more geared for adults. The programme is ET The Extra-Terrestrial and Ghostbusters at 5pm on Monday and Tuesday, with 8:30pm screenings of Shaun of the Dead and Halloween. Afternoon tickets cost £9.50 and evening tickets cost £11.50.
- Smithfield Market will be the starting point for a special guided walk, ‘Sinister Smithfield On Halloween’, on Saturday 27 October. The walk will feature body snatchers, ghostly apparitions and the horror of the Great Fire Of London.
- Ham House over in Richmond is hosting spooky tours for families as part of ‘Halloween At Ham House’. Taking place at 11:15am October 29 through 1 November, visitors will be able to investigate the house’s mysterious nooks and crannies. For adults there are evening torch-lit tours on 27, 28 and 31 October focusing on the more sinister residents of this famous building, with drinks and canapes in the orangery afterwards. Daytime tours are priced at £8.50 per person with night tours at £22 per person. Activities will also be taking place in the grounds which are free of charge if children come along in fancy dress, including a ghostly garden and arts and crafts activities.
- From 27 October through to 4 November, Up At The O2, the new attraction that invites people to climb up and over the dome of this iconic London attraction, is putting on ‘Climb Of The Cursed‘ over Halloween. Base Camp will be decked out in a suitably creepy fashion, and during the climb there will be shocks and scares throughout. Arriving at the summit, participants will be provided with a gothic map of London that points out the most horrific spots in the city. The climb is suitable for children aged 10+ and is priced at £28 – rather expensive but it is a pretty unique experience.
If you’re artistically inclined, you can of course still visit Sue Kreizman’s ‘Dare To Wear‘, which occupies the crypt of St Pancras Parish Church until 4 November. John William’s display dedicated to the Wicked Witch Of The West is suitably creepy…