Hal­loween events

When the nights draw in and the leaves start to fall, you know Hal­loween is just around the cor­ner. Jo Caird braves the most spooky events and creepi­est haunts in the cap­i­tal – visit them at your own peril!

Where London - - Contents -

Are you brave enough to walk in Hamp­ton Court Palace’s Haunted Gallery af­ter night­fall? It’s here that the rest­less ghost of Cather­ine Howard, the fifth wife of King Henry VIII, is said to linger, re­liv­ing the mo­ment when she es­caped her guards and ran down this cor­ri­dor to plead with Henry for her life in the lead-up to her ex­e­cu­tion in 1542. Cather­ine is not the only spirit to haunt the palace – Henry’s third wife, Jane Seymour, has been spot­ted walk­ing through the cob­bled court­yard of Clock Court, while a dog has been seen and heard in the Wolsey Closet. Nab a spot on the palace’s Ghost Tour (from 31 Oct; p. 26) for a chance to glimpse these fig­ures for your­self, and hear the spine-tin­gling sto­ries that sur­round them.

It’s just one of the ghostly go­ings-on in Lon­don this month to mark the ar­rival of Hal­loween. Ben­jamin Franklin House (p. 37) and Han­del House Mu­seum (p. 37) are open late on 30 Oct as part of the na­tion­wide Mu­se­ums at Night fes­ti­val – the only re­main­ing res­i­dence of the US Pres­i­dent is host­ing a talk about the spooky skele­tal re­mains of up to 10 peo­ple found be­neath the base­ment floor, while there’s mu­sic by can­dle­light at the home of the great Baroque com­poser, Han­del. Mys­te­ri­ous hap­pen­ings are ex­plored at Kens­ing­ton Palace, too, on the Eerie Evening Tour (from 29 Oct; p. 28), a chance to ex­plore the se­crets of roy­als and courtiers past at this beau­ti­ful palace.

There are spe­cial Hal­loween events tak­ing place at The Lon­don Dun­geon (p. 28) all month, with a new char­ac­ter, the Master of Tricks, tak­ing up res­i­dence and chal­leng­ing visi­tors with for­feits, dares and hor­ri­ble sur­prises.

At The Lon­don Bridge Ex­pe­ri­ence & Tombs, Phobo­pho­bia (24-31 Oct; p. 28) brings to life your worst night­mares, from be­ing held hostage to be­ing locked in a cage.

If you love the idea of adren­a­line-pump­ing Hal­loween fun, head to theme park Thorpe Park for its Fright Nights, where you’ll find hor­ror mazes based on films such as The Blair Witch Pro­ject and SAW (from 10 Oct).

Younger visi­tors to the cap­i­tal and their fam­i­lies should check out the Witch Academy at the Coca-Cola Lon­don Eye (24-31 Oct; p. 28; above), where green-tinged ‘teach­ers’ lead sto­ry­telling ses­sions high in the sky for as­pir­ing witches and wizards and their fam­i­lies. And there’s pump­kin carv­ing and other creepy crafts tak­ing place at Art Deco man­sion Eltham Palace (26-31 Oct; p. 26; left), so you can per­fect your skills in time for the night it­self. Happy Hal­loween!

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