Halloween is just a couple of days away and it’s the perfect time to enjoy all of London’s spookiest attractions! Some are year-round ways to scare yourself silly while others are seasonal events to inject some extra magic into your Halloween experience. London’s centuries of gory and ghoulish history provide the perfect backdrop to a season of frightening fun: stick to authentic tales and real-life horrors or indulge in a little fantasy, it’s up to you.
The Tower of London is the first stop for a spooky tour of London. With its history as a castle and a prison, it’s seen London through many of its darkest times as well as witnessed plenty of grisly deeds within its walls. Take a tour and find out some of the dastardly things Londoners have done to each other in the past, and you might just spot a ghost or two. More spiritual spookiness can be found at Hampton Court Palace, where the Haunted Gallery is said to still be home to the departed soul of Catherine Howard, ill-fated fourth wife of Henry VIII. And walk the dark streets of Whitechapel on a Jack the Ripper tour to see murder sites and hear the true story of those grim days.
But if that’s a little too old-school for you, head to the London Dungeon. Still historically-focused, this attraction uses live actors, realistic models and a slightly cheesy host to transport you back through 1000 years of fire, plague, civil war and more. And for the ultimate dose of fantasy, you can’t go past the Warner Bros. Studio Tour’s Dark Arts Experience – a Harry Potter-themed screamfest only open in the two weeks before Halloween.
Closer to Paddington Court London theatre district has plenty of hair-raising fun on offer. Thriller The Woman In Black is back onstage in the West End this year, after a successful film adaptation starring Danial Radcliffe and 26 years of scaring crowds of theatregoers. Some theatres, however, don’t need to create horror on the stage: they have their very own resident ghosts. The Theatre Royal Drury Lane is well known to be haunted by a poltergeist known as Joseph Grimaldi – or, terrifyingly, the King of Clowns.
If the supernatural doesn’t chill you, there’s always the natural world. Test your nerve at the Sealife Aquarium where you can walk across the top of the shark tank and go even further at ZSL London Zoo’s new In With the Spiders exhibit, where you can walk through a cage filled with huntsman, black widow and giant bird-eating spiders.
If body horror is more your thing, check out the Grant Museum: a building full of 68,000 creepy-looking things in jars, including a preserved brain collection. There’s more variety at the Wellcome Collection, including shrunken heads, a mummy and a bone chandelier.
The Real Appeal of the Halloween
Of course, the real appeal of Halloween for many is the excuse to gorge on junk food. London has you covered here too with plenty of shops selling Halloween-themed cupcakes, chocolates, cake pops and more. But get yourself down to Hoxton Street Monster Supplies for a well-crafted fantasy experience – here you can buy treats labelled Eyeball Cubes, Earwax and Dentures and the staff will keep up the illusion the whole time.
Lastly, don’t forget the cemeteries: London’s oldest boneyards have a beautifully spooky atmosphere with old mausoleums and gravestones whose inscriptions are half worn away, guarded by headless angels. Head to Brompton or Kensal Green for maximum chill-factor.
Make the most of the Halloween excitement and pick up a great value London hotel offer now. With just days to go, we’re about to hit the peak of the excitement – don’t miss out!