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17 horribly scary Halloween activities in London

Written by
Nick Thompson

Cover your head with a sheet and brace yourself for some genuinely ghoulish and gruesome goings-on. Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year, but that doesn’t mean the celebrations are subdued. Instead, Londoners will be getting their creep on for an entire week. Here are 17 horribly scary things to do in London this Halloween: 

‘The Addams Family’ in Concert. Royal Albert Hall. Knightsbridge tube. Thu Oct 26. From £25. Go in your best fancy dress and make sure you’ve got your fingers clicking as Barry Sonnenfeld’s goth comedy ‘The Addams Family’ (1991) gets a screening accompanied by a live orchestra playing Marc Shaiman’s inventive score. 

‘Nosferatu’ with Live Score. LSO St Lukes. Old Street. Thu Oct 26. £15. Catch a screening of FW Murnau’s expressionist classic ‘Nosferatu’ (1922) accompanied by a chilling live score by The Cabinet of Living Cinema. Expect a truly cinematic experience, with the contemporary piece performed over the silent film. 

Rivoli Ballroom’s Halloween Horror Film Marathon. Rivoli Ballroom. Crofton Park rail. Thu Oct 26, Fri Oct 27, Tue Oct 31. From £12. Head down to the ’50s Rivoli Ballroom for screenings of ‘Poltergeist’ (Oct 26), ‘The Exorcist’ (Oct 27) and ‘28 Days Later’ (Oct 31). There’ll be plenty of popcorn, ice cream, hot dogs, plus wine, draft ale, beer and cider. Scare yourself senseless in the beautiful surroundings – one of London’s last remaining dancehalls – at this Halloween horror film marathon.

The Death and Debauchery Tour. Various London locations. Fri Oct 27. £12. Learn all about the murders, executions and ghostly happenings that have ensured London is a city with one hell of a grisly past. This two-hour Death and Debauchery Tour through central London will uncover all ghastly goings-on that have occurred on London’s infamous streets.

Halloween in the Sky

The Famous Ghosts and Infamous Murders Tour. Various London locations. Sat Oct 28. £12. This two-hour walking tour will squeeze down London’s narrowest alleyways, visit plague pits of the past, venture through haunted tunnels and learn about a murder mystery that gripped the city long before Jack the Ripper. Discover the Famous Ghosts and Infamous Murders that haunt the capital as you wander through the backstreets and courts of London’s West End.

The Unbelievers Ghost Walk. Various London locations. Sat Oct 28. £5. These irreverent, informative tales are suitable for anybody interested in ghost stories – sceptical or otherwise. London Fortean Society host Scott Wood will lead this guided walk through Smithfield and Farringdon, sharing the stories of Screaming Anne, Bleeding Heart Yard and plenty more ghouls and spirits from the city’s past. You don't need to believe in ghosts to get properly spooked on this tour. 

Crazy Circus Party. Pop Brixton. Brixton. Sat Oct 28. £5. Run away to the circus this Halloween at Pop Brixton’s Crazy Circus Party. Watch in awe at aerial acrobats and mystical monsters and glimpse your future inside Pop Brixton’s greenhouse, which is being transformed into a giant Gypsy Crystal complete with fortune tellers and a glitter bar. 

The Horniman Halloween Fair

The Horniman Halloween Fair. The Horniman Museum. Forest Hill Overground. Sat Oct 28 and Sun Oct 29. Free. Head to the Horniman Museum this Halloween, where the little ones can meet creepy-crawlies in the Wild Fangs cave, while adult witches and wizards browse the arts and crafts market. Dress up and get down to the fair for a day of frightening fun and games. Don’t forget to try the devilishly delicious food and drink from a variety of stalls.

Becoming Blood: Halloween Weekender. Science Gallery London. Sat Oct 28 and Sun Oct 29. The Science Gallery’s show ‘Blood: Life Uncut’ – telling the story of the live-saving substance pulsing through our veins– is pulling out all the stops for Halloween with a weekender packed full of free events. 

All Dogs Matter Halloween Dog Walk and Show. The Spaniards Inn. Sun Oct 29. £5 per dog. Pups that don't mind fancy dress may well be in for a treat following this charity walk, where there are prizes for the best-dressed dogs. There are prizes for owners, too. A raffle and the prize-giving will follow at The Spaniards Inn. Entrants must arrive by 11am, the walk starts at noon and all proceeds go to the All Dogs Matter charity.

Teeth Film screening. The Book Club. Old Street tube. Tue Oct 31. £7. 'Teeth' is a film about a woman’s vagina sprouting a vengeful set of fangs. Perfect Halloween viewing. After this ludicrous, glorious b-movie screening, feminism and horror expert Amanda Digioia will be on hand for a Q&A. Trust us, you will have many, many questions. Proceeds will go towards launching the world's first Vagina Museum, an opening that's long overdue.

Halloween Light Parade at King’s Cross. Tue Oct 31. Free. Ghosts, ghouls and giant spiders are making their way to King's Cross for a chillingly brilliant Halloween Light Parade and Party. Follow a ghostly, illuminated parade as it winds its way from the Bird Cage to Granary Square, where circus performers and conjurors from the Magic Circle will be waiting to wow you with tricks and treats. 

Ghouls and Company. Soho. Tue Oct 31. £38. Balls & Company becomes Ghouls & Company tonight, filling diners with devilish dishes and special Halloween-themed cocktails. A three-course meal will be available upstairs in the restaurant for £38, while downstairs will see a Doctor’s Lab where eyeball martinis and ‘blood transfusion’ beverages will be concocted. Entry to the Doctor’s Lab only with a welcome drink is £10 and bookable here.

Ghouls and Company

The Viktor Wynd Museum’s Third Hendrick’s Birthday Party. The Viktor Wynd Museum. Tue Oct 31. Free. Spend Halloween partying among the weird and wonderful curios of The Viktor Wynd Museum, as the surreal curiosity shop celebrates its third birthday complete with some lip-smacking glasses of Hendrick’s gin. 

Death: A Portrait. Dulwich. November 3. £12. Can you look death in the face? That’s what this exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery will be asking of you, presenting you with pictures of death from commemorative portraits to the gallery’s Mausoleum where its founders are buried. The morbid evening will feature everything from talks, tours, death cafes, memento mori workshops, gruesome salons and the walls of the mausoleum will be brought to life through sound, vibration and poetry. Sounds dead good to us.

Tower of London Twilight Tours. Tower Hill. November 5 (and every Sunday). £27.50. Join one of these twilight tours hosted by uniformed Yeoman Warders to hear all about The Tower of London’s spooky stories and gruesome history. The tour takes place outdoors over uneven cobbles and up spiral stone staircases. Suitable clothing is advised. Booking essential. Ages 12+.

Beauty and the Feast. Waterloo. Everyday. £45. This interactive, silly-season theatrical dining experience, ‘Beauty and the Feast’ is based loosely on its almost namesake and is a load of fun – much like any pantomime-meets-banquet should be! Dance on the tables and just let go, everyone else does. The food’s on point too, in fact, it might be the best part.

Looking for more horrible things to do this Halloween? Check out the spookiest locations in London, horrifying Halloween parties and our guide to Halloween in London.  

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