Yes, it’s that time of year already! The nights are drawing in and the ghouls are coming out… well, some fancy-dressed kids (big and small). If you’re looking for an alternative Halloween this year, then look no further, as we bring you the best of the UK’s events…
The best alternative events for adults
Enjoy an immersive production of Frankenstein
When: 16th October – 3rd November 2018
Where: Sutton House, 2 – 4 Homerton High Street, Hackney, London E9 6JQ
£: Tickets cost £19 or £15 for concessions. Discounts available for local residents and young people. Suitable for ages 13+
What is it?
This Halloween, Tea Break Theatre’s immersive production of Mary Shelley’s twisting tale will transport you away from everything safe and familiar, into a world of uncertainty, experimentation and danger. Enter Sutton House, step into the past and be swept away into a story which seeks to answer the ultimate question… who is the monster?
Tea Break Theatre’s production of Frankenstein sees Victor bringing a female creature to life; the ideal woman who fails to live up to his expectations. The fear, bloodshed and torment that follows is intentionally double-edged as the audience will be torn between whether the true villain is the creature or, in fact, the creator. Through these ideas the company put a feminist twist on the well-known novel, exploring how female identity is shaped by patriarchy and how women are then punished for failing to live up to it.
The production is inspired by a period in the 1980s, when Sutton House was occupied by a group of female-led squatters who saved the house from destruction. Using puppetry, shadows and scares, the production will bring both the story and the building to life.
More info: www.teabreaktheatre.com
Indulge in A Night of Voodoo at The Mansion Halloween Ball
When: 27th October 2018, 9pm – 4am
Where: London (the location will be revealed to ticket holders 48 hours before the event)
£: Tickets cost from £30
What is it?
Prepare to enter into a world of voodoo as The Mansion Halloween Ball returns to cast a spell and enchant guests with an evening of live performances and hypnosis.
A secret location will be transformed with the dark masterpieces of artist Froso, three unique dancefloors, cage dancers, captivating shows and hearts roaring with fire throughout the night. Guests can expect the atmosphere to be set alight with musicians including, master sax player Aaron Liddard, percussionist Sam Baws, Paolo Forcellati beating the rhythms with Amin Sane and famous flamenco guitar player Martin de Seda.
Guests will be met with host of ghostly greetings, as artists including street hypnotist David Bolton, will be found roaming around, taking control of the mind, whilst a marabout will be consulting all night long (think love, money, success), and a team of make-up artists will transform guests into scary ghouls.
Dress to impress and become a Voodoo queen, a Bokonon priest or an enchanted giant doll, as all guests are in with the chance of winning a holiday to the home of all things haunted, New Orleans, experiencing the vibrant Louisiana voodoo first hand.
More info: www.themansionlondon.com/next-event
Creep around The Alnwick Garden after dark
When: 27th October – 31st October 2018, 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Where: The Alnwick Garden, Alnwick, Northumberland NE66 1YU
£: Admission to the Scare Garden costs £6 per person
What is it?
This Halloween, The Alnwick Garden will be offering the chance to visit their garden after dark. The Scare Garden Spooky Walk will challenge brave guests take a wander as the darkness of the night crawls over the garden and a change in the air starts to happen. A once beautiful and enchanted place is set to change into a hideous zombie infested realm.
If you’d rather make a daytime visit to the Northumberland attraction, why not take a guided tour of the Poison Garden instead?
More info: www.alnwickgarden.com
A Buffy The Vampire themed evening, with cocktails, sketching and screenings
When: 27th October 2018
Where: The Book Club, 100 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4RH
£: Tickets to the screening are free. Tickets to the club night are £5
What is it?
This Halloween, The Book Club in London is transforming… Welcome to your (new/oldest) favourite club, The Bronze. Gather up the Scooby Gang and head to the local watering hole on the wrong side of town to listen to some rockin’ alt tunes, 90s hip hop and dance music classics in this homage to all things Buffy.
Sketch the gang with Art Macabre, watch the iconic episodes and sip on some delicious ‘Slayers Sour’ Cocktails made with Four Roses Bourbon, Solerno Blood Orange liquor, lemon, egg white and a bloody rim.
Resident DJs will be playing some of the best songs of the era; playing tunes from bands like The Cranberries, Hole, Mazzy Star and Dingoes Ate My Baby to set the tone. But then, as things get later and darker and the tunes louder, the vampires will appear…
More info: thebookclub.eventcube.io/events
Head to the farm for a Frightmare Halloween Festival
When: 6th – 31st October 2018
Where: Over Farm, Over, Gloucester
£: Tickets cost from £17.50 per person
What is it?
Now in its 17th year, Frightmare (which takes place at Over Farm in Over, Gloucester) is the south west’s largest Halloween scare festival. The event brings together five heart-stopping live-action attractions, to provide a spine-tingling experience that is all tricks and no treats.
Frightmare’s experienced ‘creative scare experts’ have been plotting five live attractions for this year’s festival goers to face. The festival is promising more fright than before, with updates to existing attractions and some spooky new faces.
More info: www.frightmare.co.uk
Or have a Screamfest at an adventure farm
When: 11th October – 3rd November 2018
Where: National Forest Adventure Farm, Postern Road, Tatenhill, Burton on Trent DE13 9SJ
£: Tickets cost £16 – £24.50 (Suitable for 12+ years)
What is it?
Screamfest, located at the National Forest Adventure Farm, will be unveiling their new nightmare themed scare attraction, Insomnia, at this year’s event. Insomnia will be the farm’s biggest indoor scare maze yet and promises to transport you into the worst kind of nightmare; one you can’t escape. Based around the real fear that nightmares can create, the attraction is set to run alongside Screamfest favourites Demonica, Freak Out, Love Hurts and the maize maze-based Dia de los Muertos.
Expect extreme performers, street theatre, a bar, live DJs and Hillbilly Joe’s Zombie Paint Ball Shootout.
More info: www.screamfest.co.uk
Too scary? Well, there’s no trick (just treat) with the Chocolate Ecstasy Evening Tour
When: 31st October 2018
Where: Central London
£: Tickets cost £59 per person
What is it?
Whilst children go knocking on doors for their sweet treats, adults can also indulge themselves with an evening chocolate tour in London. The tour starts with a hot chocolate and an introduction to chocolate, then moves on to the important business of sampling truffles, gelato and more; before finishing with a bespoke Halloween chocolate cocktail.
More info: www.chocolateecstasytours.com/evening-chocolate-tour
The best quirky events for kids and families
Carve a turnip with the Isle of Man’s traditional Hop-Tuu-Naa
When: 28th October 2018
Where: Cregneash, Port St Mary, Isle of Man
£: Costs £8 for adults and £4 for children
What is it?
They do things differently on the Isle of Man. Rather than Halloween, they celebrate the tradition of Hop-Tu-Naa. So, if you fancy something a little different, head to Cregneash and soak up the atmosphere of Hop-Tu-Naa with traditional activities such as crafts, music, singing and dancing. Visitors will have the chance to meet Jinny the Witch and see her make herbal spells in her cottage. Turnips are traditional for these celebrations, rather than pumpkins, and a turnip lantern parade will end the day’s events.
More info: www.visitisleofman.com/whats-on
Sleep with the sharks at an aquarium
When: 20th – 28th October 2018
Where: National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth, Devon
£: Tickets cost £7 – £30
What is it?
Visitors to the NMA this October will be amongst the first to see its three new Sandbar Sharks, the only sharks of this species to be on display in a UK aquarium. Taking residence in the Atlantic Ocean exhibit, the new sharks have joined NMA’s other inhabitants, including a Lemon Shark, Sand Tiger Sharks, Nurse Sharks, and Ocellated Eagle Rays.
The aquarium will be hosting a Halloween-themed Sleeping with Spooky Sharks event, offering the perfect chance to learn more about the marine environment, whilst tucked up in sleeping bags watching the sharks swim overhead.
The NMA is also encouraging visitors to put on their scariest Halloween fancy dress outfits and join in the fangtastic fun for their Family Fright Night. During the evening, families can enjoy pumpkin carving, cupcake decorating, face painting, trick or treating around the aquarium and a spooky Fright Night show. This special themed event will teach visitors of all ages about the ghosts, ghouls and myths living at the bottom of the ocean.
More info: http://www.national-aquarium.co.uk
Draw with light and avoid a fright at THG
When: 27th October 2018, 5pm – 9pm
Where: Thelma Hulbert Gallery (THG), Honiton, Devon
£: Free admission
What is it?
The Thelma Hulbert Gallery (THG) in Honiton will be throwing a Halloween Party as part of the national Big Draw Festival and the Museums at Night festival.
The evening will have a theme of Play and will see artist Sam White help families play and draw with light. Visitors will also be invited to step inside artist Brendan Barry’s incredible ‘Caravan Camera’ to trace what they see around THG or have their portrait taken.
As it is Halloween, kids will be able to get up close to lizards, snakes and spiders, and stroke them if they dare. Local food will be on offer, including wood-fired pizzas and hot chocolate for the little trick-or-treaters.
For the adults there will be a pay bar and a chance to catch the last day of the Experiencing the Landscape exhibition.
More info: www.thelmahulbert.com