All Hallows’ Eve, Halloween or spooky season, whatever you call it, it’s here! And that means parades, pumpkins and lots of fun. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a kid or big kid, there’s a quirky event that’s right up your street. So, why not read our round-up of the best alternative and unusual Halloween events?
Explore the dark side of culture with The Horror Show!
The Horror Show!: A Twisted Tale of Modern Britain is an exhibition at London’s Somerset House. It features more than 200 artworks and culturally significant objects that are rooted in horror. From 1970s punk and social division in the 1980s, to a hyper-connected generation and modern witchcraft, horror has played a part of cultural rebellion throughout recent history. The exhibition’s on until 19th February 2023, with tickets priced at £16.50 or £12 for concessions, and it’s recommended for those aged 12+ years. A special alternative art store has also opened up for the exhibition, so you can take home a suitably gothic memento.
Go gothic in Whitby
If a gothic-themed Halloween is what you’re after, then head to Whitby in North Yorkshire. Not only is there Whitby Goth Weekend to enjoy with music, stalls and other entertainment, but Whitby Abbey is illuminated every evening between 6pm and 9pm until 31st October 2021. Tickets for the Abbey event cost between £7 and £37 and it’s suitable for everyone. As part of they event, they have performances of Count! and refreshments including fish and chips, Dracula Ice-Screams and Dracula’s Grave gingerbreads, as well as hot chocolates and Lighthouse Toddies for the adults.
No tricks, just treats
If Halloween-themed treats are all you’re really after, then there are plenty of these at Royal Lancaster London. They’re offering ghoulishly sweet treats and fang-tastic fizz for their afternoon teas until 1st November. It’s served between 1pm and 4pm and costs £35 – £39. A great idea for adults who want to outdo the kids at getting spoilt this spooky season.
Drink stranger things at a retro gaming arcade
Retro arcade bar, NQ64 is hosting gaming horrors and cocktail treats in its Manchester, Newcastle and Liverpool venues over Halloween. These Halloween parties are free to attend, with student and industry discounts on offer. The cocktails, including Corroded Coffin and Vecna’s Twist, are inspired by Stranger Things. As you’d expect, there’ll be plenty of retro games and there are prizes for best costumes, so it’s worth getting into the spirit of things!
Feasting, folklore and festivities in Derry~Londonderry
Derry Halloween claims to be Europe’s largest Halloween festival, and with a full programme of events until 31st October, it may be true. There’s a fantastic parade that ends with a firework display, which is free to attend. Plus, lots of bars are hosting after-dark events. But there’s lots to do in the daytime too, with zombie laser tag, spooky stories and lantern tours amongst many other things.
Do Halloween differently with Hop Tu Naa
Over on the Isle of Mann, they do things differently by celebrating Hop Tu Naa rather than Halloween. So, instead of carving pumpkins, they carve turnips, sing songs, tell stories and take part in a special folk dance. There are family-friendly Hop Tu Naa festivities taking place across the island, including at Cregneash and Douglas.
Colourful and creepy at Stockeld Park
Stockeld Park in North Yorkshire has scary adventures for the big and small this Halloween. This includes zombie laser tag, a Day of the Dead themed forest experience, and attic and basement escape rooms. Plus, there’s pumpkin picking and a Monster Mash Halloween panto show. Admission is from £16, with an extra fee for the laser tag, escape the room events and panto show.
Get the Shivers at the Grant Museum
On Saturday 29th October, experience a spine-chilling performance and an after-hours poke around the wonderful Grant Museum in London. Hear a classic chiller read by Laura Sampson, with accompaniment by Sally Child on waterphone, adding a unique soundscape to proceedings. Tickets cost £10 (or £8 for concessions) and includes entry to the museum beforehand. The show is suitable for 12+ years.