From shocks to frights and devious delights, Halloween has got to be one of our favourite days of the year. With its ghostly dungeons, haunted tower and bloodthirsty history, we can’t imagine a better place to celebrate Halloween 2014 than the city of London. So, with your London hostel booked and your costume ready to go, we’ve put together a list of our top ten things to do to celebrate All Hallows Eve. The best bit? They’re all for under £25…
1. The Raveyard Shift
Cost: £10 (early bird), £15 (on the door)
No, it’s nothing so soul destroying as an overnight shift in the office, though it does run into the wee hours of the morning. For the ultimate Halloween party, check out The Vault’s Halloween Raveyard. Held in the dark, damp depths of the old train tunnels of the Waterloo Necropolis Railway – the lines that transported the dead bodies from overcrowded London out to the graveyards in Surrey – it’s sure to be spooky as hell. Accompanying its oh-so-perfect location will be some absolutely ace DJs playing floor-fillers until 2am. Be there and be scared.
Where? The Vaults, Leake Street, SE1 7NN
When? 30th & 31st October, 1st November, 2014
2. Zombie Crawl
Cost: £20 (in advance)
Since this is what zombies do when they’re legless, this seems kind of fitting. Besides, you’re in London folks, so it’s any excuse for a pub crawl! Pretty self-explanatory really. Dress up as a zombie and join 1 Big Night Out and the hordes of your fellow undead as you stumble through five of the best bars and clubs in the West-End of London with all entrance paid, queue-jump entry and incredible drinks deals and free shots throughout. Also, prizes for the best dressed!
Where? Meet at Verve Bar, WC2H 9NY
When? 31st October, 2014
3. Shock ‘n’ Roll
Anyone that knows London knows that if there’s one place to be for Halloween, it’s Camden. This year, Camden is going to the extreme and throwing a full on festival to cover the entire Halloween weekend. All the best venues and music pubs in the area will be participating and putting on some of the best bands coming out of the UK punk, metal, alternative and indie-rock scenes at the moment. Promising to be the biggest Halloween Party London has ever seen, tickets for Nightmare on Camden High Street festival cost only £20 and gives you entrance into all participating venues. So dress up, join the hordes and rock out!
Where? All over Camden, NW1
When? 1st & 2nd November, 2014
4. Get Chills in the Chapel
Cost: £15 (members)
Head to the Union Chapel in Islington for a fright fest. Chills in the Chapel is a special Halloween event designed with the simple aim of scaring you silly. This year there will be a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, with the chilling score brought to life by the Live Film Orchestra. Come as your favourite horror hero as there’s a big party in the bar afterwards to show off your togs and your moves on the dance floor. Tickets are £15 for members, £22.50 otherwise, and must be applied for online.
Where? Union Chapel, N1 2UN
When? 31st October 2014
5. Check out a haunted pub
Cost: FREE (+ pints!)
Whether once frequented by Jack the Ripper or merely a poltergeist haunt, there are numerous bars and pubs in London that lay claim to being haunted. What better night to check if the rumours are true than on Halloween itself?
For those keen on some serious supernatural activity, The Grenadier in Belgravia is said to be haunted by an 18th century officer who was flogged to death after being found cheating at cards. Other favourites for some serious ghostly activity include The Spaniards Inn in Hampstead, The Old Bull & Bush in Golders Green, The Old Queens Head in Islington and the Morpeth Arms near Pimlico, the cellar of which is said to be haunted by the unhappy souls that didn’t quite make it to being shipped off to Australia – monitored constantly by CCTV.
Some of these make the round-up in our 40 London bloggers’ favourite pubs.
6. Laughs, screams and underground rides at The London Dungeon
Cost: £17.50 online adult ticket, buy here
Live shows desgined to scare you silly, sepcial effects, storytelling and a free lollipop, can you think of reason no to go?
You’ll meet a whole host of horrible characters in the Dungeon, from Mrs Lovett to Jack the Ripper. Scary rides include drop ride Drop Dead and The Tyrant Boat Ride, where you can experience first-hand the final journey taken by so many who were condemned to death by King Henry VIII.
Where? London Dungeon
When? 1st October – 2nd November 2014
7. Follow in the steps of Jack the Ripper
Take a tour with expert Ripperologist Donald Rumbelow. He was once a City of London Police Sergeant, he’s the curator of the City of London Police Crime Museum and was also the Chairman of the Crime Writers’ Association. He knows his stuff and is the go to guy for all information on The Ripper. He’ll guide you through the city revealing all about the gruesome subject. Be prepared for some horrific facts over the tour’s two hours.
Where? Around London, starting from Tower Hill Undergound Station
When? 7:30pm, every day
8. Take a London ghost tour
Cost: £10 (£8 concessions)
We have to say, the dark alleyways of London can be pretty darn scary at times… and all the more so on All Hallow’s Eve! Why not get yourself well and truly terrified by partaking in a ghost walk around the city streets? Our top pick is the ‘Hauntings and Hangings’ Halloween tour departing from the Museum of London on Thursday eve. Expect to be thoroughly creeped out by tales of churchyard murders, public executions, body snatchers, ghostly monks, dead Scottish patriots and more…
Where? Museum of London
When? 6.30 – 8.30pm, 31st October and 1st November 2014
9. You’ll Swing for This
Fancy something a little more calm over the Halloween period, then check out The Silver Ghosts, Upstairs at the Ritzy. Evoking the spirit of dances from the 20’s and 40’s, bringing you authentic jazz and swing sounds. A perfect Halloween celebration for those that don’t want things to be too Halloween.
Where? Ritzy Picturehouse, Brixton, SW2 1JG
When? 17th October 2014
10. Host your own party
Hosting your own house party is a great way to save cash splurged on cover charges, cocktails and cabs on a Halloween night out! And, while it may take a little time and effort to plan, you could also have a lot of fun in the process. Why not come up with your own spooky theme (Malice in Wonderland, Dead Idols or Twilight Uncensored to name a few…)?
Then let your creative juices fly! Turn your bathroom into a murder scene. Bake some creepy cookies and cakes. Project horror movies from your television. Set up a graveyard in your garden. Concoct an eye ball cocktail… how far you want to take it is completely up to you!
Looking to get away from the city this Halloween? Check out our list of the most haunted hostels across the world for some great creepy holiday ideas.
Can you recommend any other cheap thrills for this Halloween? Share them in the comments…