A weekend or even mid-week getaway has long been a popular and affordable holiday option for many people. Why not put a seasonal twist on it and treat yourself to a spooky city break this October? If you’ve booked a room for an autumn getaway, you should make the most of the supernatural celebrations with local chills and thrills instead of pampering and relaxation. Here are some of the haunted historical cities and eerie experiences on offer in the UK…
What to Do for Halloween in Edinburgh
The capital city of Scotland is home to a wealth of ancient buildings and the ghostly legends accompanying them. Aside from being a hotspot for history, alcohol, and food, Edinburgh hosts several spooky tours. Explore and learn the gruesome history of the Blair Street Underground Vaults and Canongate graveyard on the “Doomed, Dead, and Buried” tour with Mercat. There are adults-only or family-friendly versions to suit any group. If you would prefer to take a driving tour rather than walk, the Ghost Bus Tours have you covered. It will give you a different view of some of the most famous sites in the city, as well as insight into the terrifying tales surrounding each landmark. For an entertaining and interactive experience as hysterical as it is horrifying, take a trip to the Edinburgh Dungeon. During the month of October, the Dungeon hosts special scary events like séances with Burke and Hare’s murder victims.
What to Do for Halloween in Newcastle
In the North East of England, Newcastle is a great place to be for Halloween. It isn’t necessarily spooky, but if you want to experience a traditional Oktoberfest, visit Times Square between 25th – 28th October. Take in the evening view of the Quayside with a circular storytelling walk, featuring ghosts, witches, and bodies in the river. Or you can take a “Walk on the Dark Side” with a tour of the city’s haunted spots and Halloween traditions. There are a host of events at the medieval Newcastle Castle, including classic horror film screenings throughout October. Uncover the grisly details of its 2,000-year history on a ghost hunt with paranormal investigators. Do you dare to stay overnight for ghost walks and vigils with Alone in the Dark Entertainment? If you can make the journey to the nearby County Durham, frights await visitors to Beamish Hall. Experience the Terror in the Trees walk or the Hotel of Horror party.
What to Do for Halloween in York
The Northern English city of York claims to be one of the most haunted in Europe, with 504 recorded hauntings. Fifteen different spirits are reported to haunt the historic Golden Fleece alone. It is the oldest and most haunted pub in York – and you can even book a room at the B&B. For a more fictional horror experience, visit the purpose-built haunted house Hell’s Domain. Or attend Hallowscream at York Maze, with five haunted houses and plenty of sideshows. Of course, there are several walking tours available in the city centre. One of them claims to be the first ever Ghost Walk in Britain, which has been running for decades. York Dungeon markets itself as being the home of Halloween in York, so visiting is a must. There are new creepy shows, adults-only versions, and late night openings. Further afield in Yorkshire are eerie attractions like Yorkshire Scare Grounds in Wakefield and Fright Night in Leeds.
What to Do for Halloween in Cardiff
The Llandaff Ghost Walk in Cardiff has been running for almost a decade. Visit the capital city of Wales and join the atmospheric walk through the paths around Llandaff Cathedral. Your Ghost Walk guide will tell true tales of ancient and modern tragedies and the ghosts that remain. Cinephiles and horror fans alike can enjoy film screenings in the 15th-century Undercroft at Cardiff Castle. This year the films include A Quiet Place, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Lost Boys, Hocus Pocus, The Nightmare on Elm Street, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Experience Halloween Nights at St Fagans National Museum of History. There will be costumes, spooky stories, craft workshops, a Scare Zone, and a burning Wicker Man. Limited “Dark Tours” are also available at St Fagans Castle and St Fagans Museum. These aren’t actually paranormal investigations, but late night walks with genuine ghost stories and no staged gimmicks.
What to Do for Halloween in London
There will no doubt be hundreds of Halloween parties and events to choose from in England’s capital city. Why not get the true tourist experience, but with a Halloween theme? Many of the major attractions in London offer special events in October. However, most of the horrible histories that are suitable for Halloween are also told year round. You can mix horror, fun, and education with a visit to the London Bridge Experience and London Tombs. Theatrical sets with storytelling actors lead onto an equally immersive scary maze. For £300, two of you could even book the Zombie for a Day Experience and become a scare actor in the attraction! Visit the London Dungeon for Screamfest, with 20 stories and 2 rides for thrillseekers. Or take to the alleyways and retrace the steps of the infamous Jack the Ripper. A historical expert will lead guests on a ghastly guided tour, recounting the shocking serial murders of 1888.
What to Do for Halloween at Alton Towers
Halloween parties are fun, but hosting them yourself can be too much work – and club nights are always the same, even if everyone is in costume. Take your Halloween party to an attraction like Alton Towers instead. Your group of friends or family can book a short break to stay over for the Scarefest experience. The theme park is open until late so you can enjoy the attractions in the dark. It’s the perfect time to try the new rollercoaster, Wicker Man, with a six-storey-high burning effigy. Family fun is available in the House of Monsters and Scaremosphere if there are younger members in your group. For older visitors in search of properly spine-tingling chills, there are several themed scare mazes. Tour the murderous mines, the Wicker Man cult, apocalyptic sewer dwellings, and a secret new experience called Project 42. Don’t forget to try the thrill rides in the dark, such as the dark and mysterious TH13TEEN freefall.