London has a dark and blood-soaked history, ripe for exploring at this spooky time of year. Whether you’re after chilling tales and terrifying gore, or something spook-tacular for the kids, London has a lot to offer.
See London from a spookier perspective this October with eight of the best attractions for this Halloween:
The London Dungeons may be spooky all year round, but at Halloween, things get turned up a notch. Discover the horrors of London’s gory history down in the dark dungeons – what could be better at Halloween?
Featuring live actors and special effects, the gruesome tales of the capital are brought to life in the grimy light of the dungeons. With Jack the Ripper and Sweeney Todd for company, you’re in for trick, rather than a treat.
The London Dungeons have also rustled up something especially for Halloween, with dungeon brew, trick or treat lollies and a pumpkin-filled production of horrors.
This beautiful palace is another attraction brimming with tourists all year round, but beneath the splendour, is a dark past.
Many believe the palace to be haunted – by not one, but five ghosts. The two most popular stories involve Henry VIII’s fifth wife, Catherine Howard and ‘Skeletor’, an eerie presence which stands at the entrance.
The ghost of Catherine Howard is rumoured to haunt the gallery, where she was kept under house arrest shortly before her execution. Whether or not it is true, the eerie tale of her shrieking voice echoing through the corridor is a glimpse into the palace’s dark history.
‘Skelator’ is a more recent addition to ghostly inhabitants of the palace. The figure was first spotted on CCTV in 2003 and caused security guards to rush to the spot, only to find no one there.
If you’re looking for chilling ghost stories, as well as a glimpse into the beauty and history of London, then Hampton Court Palace would be a spooky day out – perfect for Halloween.
The Tower of London has been home to many prisoners over the centuries and is now one of London’s most popular attractions. The lure of glittering jewels and doomed prisoners pacing the tower is enough to pull the tourists in.
Despite its popularity and the inevitable queues, the tower never fails to disappoint. It’s spooky enough for Halloween and yet the gleaming treasure shows a brighter side to the tower.
As winner of the UK’s best scare attraction 2009-2013, you know you are going to be in for a rough ride. The experience combines two exciting London attractions, the Tower Bridge and the Catacombs.
Experience the fire, war and murder that have led to the bridge’s blood-soaked history. The story of the famous bridge is told through a gruesome cast of actors, including a menacing fellow named ‘the keeper of the heads’.
Next, your journey down into the catacombs, where the dead have risen from their graves. This zombie-filled tour is not for the faint-hearted!
The Circus of Horrors
First conceived at Glastonbury in 1995, this shock ‘n’ roll tour of the seventieth century is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. With a clever blend of murder, humour and circus acts, the cast takes you through the history of London – from the plague to the great fire.
You can catch the performance at the Lyric Theatre in the West End from the 28th October 2013 until 16th September 2014. This performance is perfect if you prefer your Halloween to be fun, rather than terrifying!
This chilling tale has enthralled theatre audiences for 20 years and has recently begun terrifying cinema audiences too. Now, this much-loved ghost story is back in the west end, just in time for Halloween.
You can catch Stephen Mallatratt’s adaption of Susan Hill’s classic story at the Fortune Theatre until 26th July 2014.
Boo and the Zoo
If you have small children, you may be looking for something a little less terrifying to do this Halloween and the London Zoo has just the event.
London Zoo is getting a Halloween-inspired makeover this October. There is also a spooky schedule of events running throughout October half-term including crafts and storytelling.
Follow in the footsteps of one of the world’s most infamous killers – this chilling tour takes you back to 1888 when his crimes gripped the capital in horror.
Explore the streets which became known for his crimes, where residents lived in fear and discover what might be lurking in the shadows of history. This intimate tour is a chilling way to spend Halloween and you’ll also get to explore London at the same time.
The capital is filled with spooky events this Halloween – with something to suit everyone’s fear threshold. From the theatrical to the historical, London has a lot of dark tales to tell. I hope this inspires you to do something different this Halloween and head to the capital in search of scares!
There are plenty of hotels in Westminster which would provide the perfect base with your spooky explorations so why not have a Halloween city break and make the most of the atmosphere?
Do you know of any spooky events this Halloween? Have been to any of these attractions? Share your thoughts below.
About the author: Gavin Harvey is an avid traveller. He loves to explore the streets of London and is always on the lookout for new things to see and do. He particularly recommends visiting the capital at Halloween, where things get ghostly and gruesome.