31st October is celebrated globally, where groups of children dressed in scary costumes move from house to house, demanding “treat-or-treat.” Householders hand over many treats in the form of sweets, chocolates, and candy to avoid devious tricks from these little miscreants. Halloween dates back thousands of years when the Celts roamed the lands we now know as Britain, Northern France, and Ireland.
The origins of Halloween can be traced back to the pre-Christian Celtic era when Samhain and growing seasons marked the end of the harvest and summer. As the dark winter approached, the festival symbolized the boundary between the world of the living and the dead. The Celts believed the ghosts of their dead would revisit the mortal world on 31st October, and huge bonfires were lit in each village to ward off evil spirits. Celtic priests, and druids, led the Samhain celebrations and ensured the hearth fire of each house was e-lit from the embers of the sacred fire. This was believed to protect the people and keep them warm through the long, dark winter months.
For the past 2,000 years, Halloween has remained the most significant, spookiest, and spine-chilling celebration of the year. If you visit London during the festivities of carving pumpkins, synthetic weeds, and fright-filled fun, there’s a lot for you to do with your friends and family. Whether you enjoy themed cocktails at a seasonal joint or lantern-lit ghost tours, there’s something for everyone. You don’t need to be an expert at ghost-busting to enjoy Halloween in London; we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the best Halloween events in 2022.
The Horror Show: A Twisted Tale of Modern Britain
If we have learned anything in the last couple of years, gut-wrenching horror is closer to home than you think. Somerset House’s new show, “The Horror Show: A Twisted Tale of Modern Britain,” exhibition explores horrors in the past fifty years that have informed creative rebellion. This allows us to view horror beyond just a genre but a provocation and reaction to the country’s troubling times.
Come and experience the last five decades of modern Britain’s history recast as frightening tales, from the disruption of the ’70s punk to the radical potential of contemporary witchcraft. The aim is to focus more on life’s ghoulish and supernatural side to help us understand it better. The show comprises over 200 artworks and culturally significant objects. These include work from Noel Fielding, Pam Hogg, Don Letts, Derek Jarman, Poly Styrene, and many other creatives.
If you are a London Resident, you know Phantom Peak, but you probably have not heard of Hallowed Peak. Whether new to the event or returning, prepare to get yourself back to see how things have changed. This is where the steampunk meets the western world, guaranteeing a once-in-a-lifetime Halloween treatment. Hallowed Peak is the place to be in London this Halloween if you prefer the scary experience.
Hallowed Peak offers 13 all-new trials exclusive to make your experience at the event memorable. Enjoy live music and carnival acts, and lose yourself in a 30,000sq ft. immersive experience that London offers. There’s something new and more exciting every year; this year is no exception. Prepare to be amazed by different acts as you interact with other like-minded people.
Kraken’s Scream Fest VI: Here We Come
Hide and seek holds fond childhood memories for most people, but Kraken’s Scream Fest will ruin those memories. The harmless children’s pastime is transformed into a nightmare that takes your Halloween experience to a new level. To show how intense the game can be, players must be over 18 years and sign a waiver before participating. If you are daring enough to take the leap, be prepared to hide from the malicious masked seekers hiding in the nooks and crannies in The Ditch (Shoreditch Town Hall).
This event is not recommended for people with claustrophobia because of the narrow spaces, like filth-encrusted bathtubs, rusty lockers, and many more. If you are lucky enough to make it through to the end of the scary game, you are treated to some themed cocktails in the adjacent bar to calm your nerves after the experience. There are also “accursed” arcade machines to help you relax and reminisce fun childhood memories.
BucketRace Scavenger Hunt: Halloween Edition
Moving away from the phobia-inducing Halloween fun, the BucketRace Scavenger Hunt is designed to keep the Halloween spirit strong through simple, engaging tasks. You are given a list of tasks to complete within 4 hours – the fastest team earns the most points. The event takes you across London as you solve clues along the way.
The tasks can range from finding specific landmarks within the city to more miscellaneous, like entertaining a stranger. Video or photo evidence is the way to prove you’ve completed the task, and the grand prize is tickets to your favorite amusement park for a fright night. If it’s your first time in London, this is the best event to help you experience what the city is all about while having fun.
There’s no place in London where Halloween events are taken more seriously than Clapham Grand. The popular local venue, home to Bongo’s Bingo, puts on a fifteen-event marathon from 22nd October to 8th November dedicated to Jack-o-lantern flaunting holiday. Some of the famous highlights of the event include The Grand’s Halloween Party, Hocus Pocus Movie Night, and Twisted Circus.
The Grand’s Halloween Party is a big celebration that sees over 15oo revelers descend on The Grand for a ghoulish gathering like no other. This year the event boasts an impressive lineup of performances and DJs, guaranteeing a memorable experience. If you are looking for an extra bang this Halloween, grab your ticket to the “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” which happens earlier in the evening to usher you into the Halloween party.
Whisk yourself into your favorite horror films, where you get to enjoy a soothing and magical musical performance by candlelight. This brings about a scary feeling when you find yourself in a room decorated entirely with candles. The shadows around the room bounce around because of wavering flames, enhancing the overall experience.
At the same time, you’ll hear live renditions of tracks from some of the best horror films like The Shining, Stranger Things, Psycho, and many more. Candlelight concert is one diet horror that will send chills down your spine. The talented string quartet will keep you engaged throughout the performances.
The Ancient Witch Trial
The breathtaking Chelsea Physic Garden provides an idyllic and peaceful vibe for those who prefer bone-chilling horror. From October 24-31, you’ll find yourself stepping back in time to 1664 to Chelsea Hamlet as a character in the ancient witch trials. You must unravel what’s been happening and investigate the mysterious events happening around you.
If you are intrigued by the mysteries of dark magic and the corrupt world of the Witchfinder General, then Chelsea Physic Garden is the place to be this Halloween. However, time is of the essence, and the verdict is announced when the clock strikes twelve. You will know what happens after the judgment is issued, adding suspense and excitement to the overall experience.
50 Berkley Square
One of the most popular and scenic places to be this Halloween is The London Dungeon, which tells of past tragedies and horrors. Things are about to change this Halloween as they aim to outdo themselves-which means you are in for a fantastic treat. The event runs from the 15th to the 31st of October, giving those brave enough to descend into the dungeon an opportunity to venture into the attic of the most haunted house in London.
Once you are in the dungeon, it is nearly impossible to track your way back as the story unfolds around you. Whether you like what you hear or not, it is up to you to master all the courage to get through the scary ordeal. The truths of “50 Berkley Square” are not easily uncovered unless you are mentally and physically prepared.
Skylight offers a range of events at their Tobacco Docks and Peckham sites. If you are looking for some fright night fun, head to the Tobacco Docks for an experience of a lifetime. Besides the DJs and fancy attire, they have something special to go alongside the festivities: a nice rink. The fun goes on until 11 pm, allowing you to visit the Peckham site, where the fun goes on until dawn.
Enjoy drinks as you take in the beautiful views of London and ghoulish fun and games to culminate the whole experience. Skylight is a revered Halloween event in London, which gives you an overall feel of everything that makes Halloween great. From fantastic music to scary events, there’s always something for everyone.
Day of the Dead at the Old Victorian Bath House
Elevate your Halloween night with the enthralling and scary “Day of the Dead” event at the Old Victorian Bath House. The event celebrates the dead, transforming the venue into a one-of-a-kind experience. A spirited DJ provides the ethereal vibes throughout the Night, and expert MUAs enhance the Halloween fit.
The Night is more than just partying, as guests are treated to bubbles and canapés on arrival before being served exquisite food and enchanting cocktails throughout the Night. All these are included in your ticket price, alongside your entry into the exclusive VIP area.
It would only be Halloween with a private party in a hidden location within London. Courtesy of The Mansion, you can attend a private party at a place yet to be revealed. Prepare for a fantastic experience filled with all the bells and whistles that make up an unforgettable Halloween event. Tarot Readings, fire shows, vintage horror films, three dancefloors, amazing MUAs, and sumptuous street food-what more could you possibly want?
However, fancy attire is mandatory for this one, and the venue’s location is only revealed to ticket holders 48 hours before the event. The tickets tend to sell out, so get yours early to avoid inconveniences.
Nautical Space Nightmare
Located in Flat Iron Square, Beavertown is taking over with a six-day bender where the entry charge is free. Guests can expect live DJ sets, beer, macabre performances, and décor. There’s a special one-off beer offer for Halloween called “Blood of the Mariner,” alongside other fan favorites. The event runs from the 25th to the 30th of October, with live performances from Wednesday to Saturday. If you are looking for something different this Halloween, Nautical Space Nightmare is the event for you in London.
Halloween at Sky Garden
London residents don’t need a lot of persuasion for this exclusive event held 35 floors up in one of the gorgeous venues in London. The classy venue provides sublime panoramic views of the city as you enjoy delicious meals and drinks surrounded by like-minded individuals. Halloween doesn’t have to be entirely scary, and a little boogying enhances the Halloween spirit and feel.
Dia De Los Muertos at Mama Shelter
You are probably familiar with Mam Shelter after going viral on the popular social platform TikTok because of its risqué theme throughout the hotels. They are also known for their exceptional service and ability to create a comfortable atmosphere that is nothing short of excellence. Experience their ethereal and luxurious celebration of divine mortality when the veil between life and death is almost nonexistent.
Creepy cocktails, devilish plates, face painters, and more are out to make your Halloween experience an unforgettable memory. Prepare for a disturbingly good night that changes your perception of Halloween.
These are some of the must-attend events in London this Halloween, especially if it’s your first time celebrating the scariest holiday in the British capital. As the spookiest Night of the year nears, we hope you have costumes ready and pumpkins curved to immerse yourself in the spirit of the celebrations fully. Enjoy a fantastic time with friends and family or, should is say, “ghouls and ghosts.”