25 Spooky UK Halloween Events – 2019 edition
Fancy a combination of a trick and a treat this Halloween? Then get yourself and the kids to one of the top 25 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 2019 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
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.
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. For the over 5’s there are Halloween Ghost Tours of the Castle (booking essential) and the Twilight Owl Display. (Tickets required as numbers are limited). Kids can get lost in the Scary Maze, recommended for under 12’s. There’s also Halloween entertainment from 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. There might also be the terrifying sight of the audience playing ukuleles. Bring fancy dress, a brave face and a torch. Here’s a 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. ‘The Haunted Castle’ is reputed to put on one of the best UK Halloween events for families and welcomes visitors to choose Halloween activities ranging from the Scaredy Squire to the Brave Night. The day time Scaredy Squires shift offers Spooktacular shows, wondrous witches, a haunted hollows trail and a flight of the eagles at the Bird of Prey centre. And you can get lost in the UK’s only Horrible Histories maze. The scare factor is then ramped up for Daring Dukes who battle the clock to set the knight free in the escape room or seek their fortune in the abandoned house of wax. There’s fire jousting too. At night Brave Knights can terrify themselves with a special extended opening; booking early and online saves up to 20% off some admission tickets. Last year’s scariest experience 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 A Fright Filled Film Programme at Newcastle Castle
Newcastle Castle is a great place to get into the spooky spirits. Or let the spooky spirits get into you! There’s a programme of scary films this year at this ancient fortress in the North East of England. Just be careful who tries to put their severed fingers in your popcorn.
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. You can pick it up near the castle. 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. In Edinburgh there are many different ghost tours to choose from. 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. There are special Gory Story tours suitable for families with young kids and older teens will probably enjoy the special late night midnight ghost walks. Here’s a taste of what we experienced when we visited the Blair Street Vaults.
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 have a series of graphic gory talks on during October and November on diverse themes like Tales from the Dissecting room and The Victorian séance. There are also films including Son of Frankinstein. Booking recommended as capacity is limited. And be aware the museum is only accessible by a 52 stair spiral staircase.
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.
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?
10 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.
11 Ghostly Galleon
Up in the North, Ullswater Steamers are offering a ghostly cruises with departures from Glenridding..Cruises include monster balloon, sweeties and tea/coffee or pumpkin squash. Dogs are not permitted. Unless you can see through them.
13 Canal chill trips
Back in London, the Canal Museum is offering Halloween themed narrowboat trips through the dark dank Islington Tunnel. The boat will be specially decorated for trips and driven by a supernatural being with witches for crew. Let’s hope they’ve passed their test! Places are limited on each trip, which run several times a day. There are also some Halloween activities in the museum itself including a ghost storyteller, face painting and a spooky performance by students. After all that you never know your little ones might be wanting to go to bed before dark!
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 from early October and last 90 minutes.
14 Halloween Mini Cruise
If you want to go further afield, P&O Ferries are offering a ‘Hulloween’ mini cruise to Amsterdam, complete with Wizard Workshops and a live rock tribute band. This year it is on Friday 1st November. Prices start at £89 for two nights accommodation, entertainment and transfers.
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 is spooking people 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 two Scare Zones. A brand new terror for last year was the fiery Wicker Man ride. For an additional ticket over 15’s can get lost in terrifying Scare Mazes.
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. There’s likely to be new live action experiences and plenty of old favourites will be returning, 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. Here’s a taster of last years horror:
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. If you are up for even more scares check out the newest ride. Here’s our review of Icon the Ride. Check it out before daring to climb aboard.
18 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.
19 Into the Dungeon with You
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.
20 A Spooky Twilight at The Tower
At the Tower of London 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.
21 A Right Royal Spooking
Last year Hampton Court Palace, Henry VIII’s former home became the venue for a Beast Quest. The interactive experience got everyone to complete a series of tasks to get rid of the beasts unleashed in the palace. Halloween also sees the return of the spine tingling Halloween Ghost Tours including Family Ghost Tours (min age 8) where you will hear stories of ghostly apparitions and paranormal activity at the palace. An adult ghost tour also runs on assorted dates. (min age 15). And the late night special for the over 18s? I’m afraid if I tell you more about this I’ll have to kill you. But it’s advised you book tickets early. Tours also run on selected evenings throughout the year so if you can’t make Halloween, check the website for alternatives.
22 Scale the Dome
If you’re in London and like being out in the dark then you could go looking for ghosts up over London. 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
23 Festival of Northern Gore
Manchester has a Halloween festival with plenty of tricks and treats. It’s a star of the UK Halloween events nationwide. Come nightfall some of the city centre’s most iconic buildings will be lit up in a gory green for Halloween. There’s scary theatre in a shipping container, a trick or treat trail, a spooky pooch parade and a record breaking attempt of the most people wearing bedsheets and pretending to be frightening. Head to Market Street, St Ann’s Square, Exchange Square, Deansgate and King Street for two days of Halloweekend family friendly fun. While in Manchester you might want to pit yourself against the Blood Baron at the Crystal Maze Experience. As a time vampire and master of manipulation he will use his powers to steal time from your team.
24 Red Letter City Treats
Stuck for a gift idea? Red Letter Days offer a selection of city based ‘untreats’ including a Vintage Jack the Ripper haunted London bus tour for two, a retreat to a London zombie battle bunker and a chance to become a zombie yourself and scare the punters going to the London Bridge and Tombs.
25 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. 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.
26 The Devil has the best tunes
Take older teens to find out how the grown ups party at the Hotter than Hell concert at Edinburgh night club The Hive- just off the Royal Mile.. This Kiss Tribute on 1st November 2019 , with special guests, is the perfect antidote to the supermarkets’ sugar and saccharine version of Halloween. Over 18’s only -ID will be checked. Staying in Edinburgh, the Annasach Ceilidh Band has a Halloween party and dance with a prize for best costume on 31st October 2019.
27 Chainsaw Skalloween
On 31st Oct 2019 Manchester band Baked A La Ska promise to take a bloodied chainsaw to spooky classics at Band on the Wall in the city. Fancy dress is encouraged. Skanking is guaranteed by this band of assembled oddballs and pranksters. the Manchester Evening News called it utterly bonkers but irresistible. Anyone over aged ten is welcome. There is no upper age limit although preference will be given to the living.
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.