Spooky UK Halloween Events
Fancy a combination of a trick and a treat this Halloween? Then get yourself and the kids to one of these 30 top UK Halloween Events for families. And by best I mean bloodiest and goriest. And of course the scariest, that goes without saying. In this Halloween Events UK Roundup Post for 2020 we bring you news of events and attractions around the UK that will frighten you a little or completely out of your skull, depending on your taste for the ghoulish. From zombie haunts in London to scary pooch parades in Manchester and ghosts walk in the bowels of Edinburgh, here’s our pick of Halloween UK events and experiences…
Haunted Castle Tours Kick Off the UK Halloween Events 2020
Castles are naturally filled with stairs to the scares. These tend to lead to dungeons, towers and windswept turrets. Be careful who you follow up there and check your guide isn’t a ghoul in disguise before heading off on a tour with him or demanding a group selfie and tagging your mum. If you are in a city for Halloween you might want to make a whole day of it and do some other spooky activities.
1 Ghosts at Muncaster and Lowther
At Halloween the Lakeland castles are alive with ghoulish stuff. Lowther Castle offers you a ‘ghastly, ghostly walk through Lowther’s past.’ Stories come from the castle’s archives and professional actors, while there’s added entertainment is from a band of stilt walkers, fire jugglers and lantern makers. Meanwhile, Muncaster Castle in West Cumbria gives all Halloween England events a run for their money. Last year for the over 5’s there were Halloween Ghost Tours of the Castle (booking essential) and the Twilight Owl Display. (Tickets required as numbers are limited). Kids got lost in the Scary Maze, recommended for under 12’s. There’s often Halloween entertainment like the Muncaster Monster Cabaret with aerialist shows. In the stable yard you will find the ghostly grotto with spooktacular stories, lantern making and drumming workshops. Get involved in the act of Cannon ‘Firing’ on the Cannon Bank with Foppletwig the Genie Hunter, and there are witches in the castle too; ready to teach the kids about spells, charms and potions. Bring fancy dress, a brave face and a torch. Here’s a little taste of this ‘most haunted’ castle in its Halloween glory.
2 Carlisle by Torchlight
At Carlisle Castle English Heritage offers spooky half term storytelling. Bring your little ones in frightening fancy dress. There’s also after dark torchlight tours for adults and spooky cinema. The tour takes you around the dark corridors and rank dungeons of the most besieged castle in the country. Bring a torch and try and shine it on the lonely ghost said to wander the grounds. Or not!
3 Warwick Castle’s Most Haunted
Warwick Castle’s Halloween Week returns every year and gets bigger and better. The latest edition introduced a Wondrous Witches show, as well as a Falconers Quest show with up to 50 birds of prey. People could meet the crew of the Paranormal Encounters TV show as they recorded their Warwick Castle special, attempting to discover why the ghosts of Warwick are unable to leave. And you can always get lost in the UK’s only Horrible Histories maze. The scare factor is ramped up for Daring Dukes activities. Booking early and online saves up to 25% off some admission tickets. One of the past scary experiences was Outbreak 1349 in which you stood a good chance of catching the plague. But it was given a run for its money by Seance, an intense sonic performance that tested susceptibility to a visit from the other side. Oh and there’s the Dungeon Lates for 18+ only. Can you stomach it? Here’s a taste of a previous year’s Haunted Castle encounters…
4 Paranormal investigations at Newcastle Castle
Newcastle Castle is a great place to get into the spooky spirits. Or let the spooky spirits get into you! Last year the castle hosted a Halloween Paranormal Investigation where you become the paranormal investigator for the night using the spirit box to try and make communication or a temperature guns to sense a change in temperature, as well as EMF readers and static sensors.
Ghost Walks and Tours
Ghost tours are popular all over the world and you’ll find them all around the UK. They range from the simple, family friendly walks with a guide telling spooky stories to full on live action role play events that aim to scare the living daylights out of you. Do check what you’re in for before you take the little ones! If walking is too much for you, you could always try a Ghost Bus Tour in either London, York or Edinburgh. Just check the driver is alive before setting off as the undead don’t tend to stop at traffic lights.
5 Tours Under Edinburgh
Halloween Scotland is so much a thing even the undead are signing up for tickets. Here’s our Edinburgh Halloween round up of the fun. If you are in the city for a short time a ghost tour is a priority. City of The Dead Tours were named Britain’s Best Ghost Walk by Scare.com and offer several different tours including a tour of The Underground City of the Dead and a Haunted Graveyard tour. There are lots of extra tours scheduled for Halloween week. Or you could organise your own using the Haunted Edinburgh app.
Edinburgh’s Mercat Tours also have a wide selection of Halloween tours available with something to suit all ages and interests. This year you can sign up to a Spirits of Halloween tour with a witches brew at the end, or you can raise the dead, first in the vaults and then in Cannongate Graveyard. Or if you n get a babysitter you can do the 11pm adults only tour of the old town. There’s also the Halloween Underground and Haunted Halloween tours if you are made of steel. Here’s a taste of what we experienced when we visited the Blair Street Vaults: you should probably know that this was done in the height of summer:
6 Meet the Ghosts of York
In York the Ghost Hunt of York runs all year round, departing every night (except Christmas) from The Shambles at 7.30pm. No need to book, not even for these popular Halloween walks but do turn up early as it will be busy. Reductions are available for boils and ghouls.
7 Medical Gore in London
If you are closer to London why not visit the Old Operating Theatre for a disturbing look into old medical and surgical practices. They often have a series of graphic gory talks on during October and November including murdering mothers of the 19th century. It wasn’t about murdering your mother -that’ different talk altogether! There are also films. Booking is recommended as capacity is limited. And be aware the museum is only accessible by a 52 stair spiral staircase. On Halloween itself, there’s often an immersive art and musical performance and fancy dress competition too.
8 Ghostly Theatreland
Staying in London, if medical gore isn’t your thing and you want something more cultured, what about a Haunted Theatreland Walking Tour? A great way to discover some of the capital’s haunted theatres. Tours are on demand and will introduce you (hopefully not literally) to the ghost clown, the phantom prompter and other characters from the theatre’s dark side. If culture’s not your thing, check out these other London Ghost tour ideas,
9 Ghost Tours in the Dark in Newcastle
In Newcastle and Durham Alone In The Dark Entertainment run ghost tours and events all year round. There are lots of different walks, guides and haunted locations and there’s a special programme of events for Halloween week. In Newcastle their number one ghost walk “Till Death Do Us Part” is very popular and booking is recommended.
10 Farm scares
In Durham, strange events take place at the very Haunted Finchael Farm with scary stories, ghost sightings and paranormal activity expected in a haunted woodland with ruins and barns dating back to the 1100’s. All tours feature free Halloween candy so that should calm nerves, shouldn’t it?
Staying in the north east, Lintz Hall Farm last year provided an ‘intense adult event’ – The Psycho Path. Described as a horror that is lurking, a nightmare you’ll never forget, and an event that shakes you up so much that stays in your mind forever, this Fear Ground is in action for most of the month. Who needs a theme park when you can visit a Scream Park over 700 acres?
11 Zombie Apocalypse
If ghosts are not your thing and you like a walk with a theme, you might enjoy a zombie walk or run. At many of these events you can take part as either a runner or a zombie, assuming you have a zombie costume? Dates will be forthcoming. Here’s a taster of a past event in Newbury.
Spooky Boat Tours
Ghost ships, sea monsters, creatures from the deep; what could be scarier than being out on the water? If you’re a water baby you might like these ideas for a Halloween boat trip. And if you’re scared of the water, then maybe you should do them anyway.
12 Ghostly Galleon
Up in the North, Ullswater Steamers are offering their annual ghostly galleon cruises with departures from Glenridding. Treats include monster balloon, sweeties and tea/coffee or pumpkin squash. Dogs are not permitted. Unless you can see through them.
13 Royal Maritime Greenwich Ghost Tour
If you like the idea of a watery grave then why not head to Greenwich to discover the darker side of this maritime obsessed part of London. Learn about the drunken sailors sent to “Shanghai”, hear about the Cutty Sark Curse, explore hidden lanes, the creepiest tunnel in the UK and visit Charles Dickens’ favourite haunted pub. Royal Maritime Greenwich Ghost Tours run on assorted Saturdays in September and October from outside the entrance to the Cutty Sark and last 90 minutes.
14 Halloween Mini Cruise
If you want to go further afield, P&O Ferries are offer a ‘Hulloween’ mini cruise to Amsterdam, complete with Wizard Workshops and a live rock tribute band.
Dungeons, Fright Nights & Scarefests
If you want to take the family somewhere more action packed, then a few of the UK’s big attractions are getting in on the Halloween act. And I mean they are trying to outdo each other in a scarily big way. Bigger and scarier each year it seems.
15 Scarefest at Alton Towers
Alton Towers Scarefest always spooks in October and November. There’s a range of Halloween themed activities during the day and you can board your favourite rides after dark in the Scare Zones. We recommend the fiery Wicker Man ride. For an additional ticket over 15’s can get lost in terrifying Scare Mazes. These include Project 42 and Sub Species The End Games – a death race deep underground in a post-apocalyptic sewer system where you will be split up and required to appease ‘the creature.’
16 Fright Nights at Thorpe Park
Not to be ‘overshadowed’, Thorpe Park is planning some awesome Halloween UK events again with its Fright Nights offering under the label of FEAR. Last year saw two new live experiences within eight attractions designed to scare, like the reliably terrifying scare mazes. The fright night attractions are described as intense and not recommended for anyone under 13. All that and the usual thrilling rides in the dark including the Swarm, the UK’s first winged rollercoaster, SAW – The Ride’s 100ft ‘beyond vertical’ drop and Stealth, one of Europe’s fastest and tallest rollercoasters. Read our review of when family travel blogger Laura Hitchcock visited a fright night with her kids or watch the video for a taster of the kind of thing you can do and see.
17 Vampires at the Beach
Vampires regularly take over Blackpool Pleasure Beach and last year was no exception. The park was transformed into a danger zone filled with hordes of zombies and vampires, loosed from their prison in the catacombs of the park. Lougarock the Werewolf has been known to roam the park scaring riders, and you might find a Creepy Hollow in Planet Rock in the Park. There are journey to hell ‘freak nights’ and Nickelodeon Land asks you dress up an go ‘Nick or Treating.’ Film buffs can go to a drive in Scream Screen movie. Snacks are provided. Don’t forget to check out Icon the Ride.
18 Witches in the Dungeon
Staying in Lancashire, the Blackpool Tower Dungeon cooked up an exciting Pendle Witches story for 2020. We sent mum of five Laura Keeler and two of her kids to experience plague, invisible cabbages and witching mischief and in this post looking at the three best attractions in the UK at Halloween she gives us her verdict on just how scared they were.
19 Happy Halloween for Tiny People
Paultons Park hosts ‘Happy Halloween‘, described as a ‘friendly, frightful, fun fest.’ Enjoy the display of 4000 pumpkins, ghosts and spooky meet and greets. There’s a fancy dress competition, The Legend of Paultons Manor theatrical show, and a Little Monsters Ball finale each day. Peppa Pig World joins in, with Peppa and George appearing daily in their trick or treat outfits. Wonder at Grandpa Pig’s biggest ever pumpkin, get up close to Mr Skinny Legs the spider.
20 Dreamland becomes Screamland
Kent’s atmospheric amusement park, Dreamland, wakes up on a dark October night as Screamland. Interactive scare mazes are the centre of the action. A Screamland ticket includes access to all seven of them as well as unlimited rides. You can also buy a ‘No Scare’ ticket for the little ones if they just want to ride but not get lost in the maze. And new for last year the Woman in Black was let loose in the park. Sadly the no scream ticket didn’t offer any protection against her!
21 Walk into London’s Dark Past
The London Bridge Experience and Tombs claims to be the UK’s scariest all year round attraction. Inside you take a journey around the dark streets of London exploring the secrets and smells that lie beneath the world’s most famous and haunted bridge. Beyond the bridge you visit the Tombs where humans and animatronics will help you laugh, scream and cry as you come face to face with dark characters from London’s past. If you are visiting with little ones (or are a bit of a scaredy cat yourself) you can ask for a Guardian Angel tour to avoid the scariest encounters.
22 A Month in Captivity
If you think the Halloween events UK season just gets longer and longer you may be right. The London Dungeon, ‘the home of Halloween’ marks it with a whole month of putrid goings on. While the Dungeon is scary all year round, the scares are ramped up for Halloween month with 19 live shows, twenty actors and two rides. You can check the countdown clock to the big night on their website which lists the days minutes and seconds to spookageddon. Early bird tickets are available for some nights at £15. The events do sell out so get your ticket quick. Under 16’s must be accompanied. Scottish families might prefer The Edinburgh Dungeon. It’s not more comfortable but perhaps a little more convenient.
23 A Spooky Twilight at The Tower
At the Tower of London on selected Sundays in November you can take a Twilight Tour visiting Traitors’ Gate and the Bloody Tower. The stories of the wardens are sure to horrify you. But give the scaffold a wide birth just in case.
24 Scale the Dome
If you’re in London and like being out in the dark then you could go looking for ghosts up high. Down at the Greenwich Peninsular you won’t need a broomstick to fly over the Thames; you can take a twilight cable car on the Emirates Airline Cable Car. While you’re there visit the 02 Arena and you can climb up and scale the dome, climbing over the roof on a special walkway. Book onto a sunset or twilight tour with a few ghoulish sweets in your pocket for that special Halloween feeling.
City tours and fun days
25 Manchester’s Mad Science
Manchester’s Halloween festival is a star of UK Halloween events nationwide. Halloween in the City lights up some of the city centre’s most iconic buildings in gory green for Halloween.
26 Red Letter City Treats
Stuck for a gift idea? Red Letter Days offer a selection of ‘untreats.’ These include a zombie infection experience, and murder mystery overnight breaks for two,. You can sign up to a Pullman trip where you are embroiled in romance and murder as you relax on a journey routed via Kent from London Victoria, with a five-course meal.
27 Meet a Potter star at Haddon Hall
Haddon Hall is magic at Halloween. The Little School of Sorcery was a big success last year with birds of prey arriving at the hall in Derbyshire, including a Snowy Owl who played Hedwig in several of the Harry Potter films. There were ghastly games and the chance to create potions with medieval herbs gathered in the gardens, and hat and broom making and wand decoration. School of Sorcery is free and caters for the under 12’s. For the more grown up there’s a Witches Marks Graffiti Tour with the option of cocktail and cake – now that’s what I call spine chilling fun!
28 Holker Pocus
Holker Hll near Grange over Sands in Cumbria also offered children the chance to check out the magic of Wizarding School in an immersive theatre experience on October 25th and 26th. There was also a pumpkin trail in the gardens. The best photo taken in the hall’s giant selfie frame and posted with the #hauntedholker hashtag won tickets to meet Father Christmas. At Christmas of course; it would be far too spooky to meet him at Halloween.
29 Room on the Raby Castle Broom
At Raby Castle Julia Donaldson fans lst year did a Room on the Broom walk, following the witch and doing fun activities, with ghostly marshmallows around a campfire at the end too. (That would just be the white ones then?) You can also explore the 200-acre deer park. There’s a Halloween Trail through the Park and Gardens, and a reward for solving clues. where children can search for clues to claim their reward. Slots are at 10:30am- 12pm and 1:30pm – 3:00pm. Most suited to ages 3 – 8 although younger and older children are welcome at parental discretion.
30 Potter in the City
There are many ways of immersing yourself in the world of Hogwarts on Halloween. The Warner Bros Studio Tour near Watford always put on a good show. Last year there was 100 floating pumpkins and a Halloween Feast in the Great Hall and the chance to learn wand combat moves in an interactive experience with Wand Choreographer, Paul Harris, and duel with Death Eaters in the Studio Tour’s backlot. You can get up close with the followers of the Dark Lord, the Death Eaters.
Or in Edinburgh you can go on a free Harry Potter walking tour or read letters left to JK Rowling by fans in the place where she wrote her books.
31 Owls, tricks and treats at Test Valley
In Hampshire’s Test Valley the Hawk Conservancy Trust hosts Owl-O-Ween , a wild adventure of craft, storytelling and owls flying in the moonlit grounds. Prices include a hot dog, pudding and a drink – who could want more? Meanwhile Hillier Gardens has a Hallowe’en Family Trail promising ‘creepy fun in the gardens.’ Or you could sign up to a Hallowe’en bushcraft session with craft, fun, spooky songs and stories around the fire. Popcorn and marshmallows guaranteed.
Ideas for Outdoor Halloween Activities
For more Halloween Ideas check out this post on 13 cheap and free things you can do outdoors for spooky Halloween fun.