The origins of Halloween can be traced to an ancient Celtic festival and the Christian celebration of All Saints’ Day. Despite its varied roots, Halloween has evolved into a non-religious knees-up to celebrate all things spooky.
This frivolous fright fest gives people of all ages the perfect excuse to dress up in ridiculous costumes, tap their neighbours for treats and frighten themselves and other people silly.
So, what’s on offer if you’re spending Halloween in London?
London Ghost Festival
If you like your ghosts and ghouls then check out the London Ghost Festival. This is only its second year but with so many spooky locations dotted around the city, it’s bound to be a resounding success.
Events are at various locations (23rd-31st October). Highlights include ghost bus tours, haunted walks and a night vigil at the Cabinet War Rooms.
If these don’t send a shiver of anticipation down your spine, you could bag a ticket for the grand finale: a Halloween Ball at “haunted” Charlton House.
The Scare Witch Trials at The London Dungeons
As if The London Dungeons aren’t scary enough on a normal day of the week, this year they’re going all-out to put the frighteners on you.
You will have to stand trial and witness the horrors of the tunnel of wicked witches. Nerves of steel are required for this grizzly outing, which runs at The Dungeons from 17th to 31st October.
Ghost Tours at Hampton Court Palace
If you like being scared witless in a quieter and less blood curdling fashion, you might prefer the more sedate but equally spine-tingling ghost walks around Hampton Court Palace.
As you’d expect from a large and draughty old building, there are ghost stories aplenty. Actors play the roles of the palace’s long dead inhabitants.
Tours take place every Friday and Sunday night and the first one is – very appropriately – on Halloween. Do book your places well in advance.
Finally, a haunted hotel for your stay…
Rumour has it that the superbly-refurbished Langham Hotel is haunted.
The hotel was bombed in the 2nd World War and it is rumoured that the ghost of a German soldier roams its hallways.
There have also been rumours of Edwardian and Victorian ghosts bounding around its corridors. Room 333 is thought to be the most haunted.
Stay there on Halloween at your own risk!
Photo credits: Langham Hotel.