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londonmatt/Flickr
Photograph: londonmatt/Flickr

Top ten Halloween events in London

Frighten yourself silly with our pick of terrifyingly good Halloween events and activities in London 2020.

By Time Out London Things To Do
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We won’t be able to let our synthetic wigs down at a huge Halloween party this year. Trick or treating and apple-bobbing are definitely off the cards. But, thanks to the capital’s ever-inventive venues and event-planners, there’s still some spine-chilling fun to be had this Halloween in London, which falls on Saturday October 31 2020.

Whether you want to watch horror films in a creepy forest, join a lantern-lit cemetery tour, or learn all about graveyards, there’s something out there to get you spooked. Rather stay in this year? Feast your peepers on the 100 best horror films of all time. 


RECOMMENDED: Your ultimate guide to Halloween in London

The best Halloween events in London

Natural History Museum
Natural History Museum
Photograph: The Trustees of the Natural History Museum

1. Museum After Dark

Things to do Walks and tours Natural History Museum, South Kensington

The Natural Museum is inviting visitors through its doors after closing time to follow a ‘Terror Trail’ past some of its scariest specimens. Coming from a museum that houses pickled deep-sea fish and dinosaur skeletons, when they say ‘scary’, they really mean it. 

texas chain saw massacre
texas chain saw massacre
Photograph

2. Ciné-Real Halloween

Things to do Film events The Castle Cinema, Homerton

If you’ve yet to go to a Cinè Reel cinema night, you’re in for a real treat. Created by trained projectionist Ümit Mesut, these screenings exclusively show movies on 16mm in the art deco diamond that is The Castle Cinema. Watch Ümit project an epic line-up of spooky showings especially for Halloween: Hammer Horror’s Dracula (1958) in Technicolour print and Tobe Hooper’s grizzly ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ on feature-length Super 8mm print.   

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Forbidden Forest
Forbidden Forest
Photograph: Pop Up Screens

3. Forbidden Forest Cinema

Things to do Film events Copeland Park, Peckham

It’s a horror fanatic’s dream: watching chill-you-to-the-bone scary films in the middle of a huge, creepy forest. Now, immersive film folk Pop Up Screens are making it a reality. Peckham’s Copeland Park is being turned into a ‘Forbidden Forest’ (thanks to some inventive design work and imported foliage) for a series of Halloween fright night screenings like ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’, ‘It’, ‘Beetlejuice’, ‘Scream’, ‘The Shining’, ‘The Craft’ and ‘The Blair Witch Project’. 

 

Warner Bros Studio Tour
Warner Bros Studio Tour
Photograph: Warner Bros Studio Tour

4. Celebration of Slytherin at Warner Bros Studio: The Making of Harry Potter

Things to do Walks and tours Warner Bros Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, Hertfordshire

Potter buffs who dig the darker side of Rowling's creation should head to Warner Bros. Studios in the run-up to Halloween, where the most mysterious house of Hogwarts School is getting all the limelight. The special Slytherin tour will be decorated with the house colours and fans can discover stories behind the costumes and props belonging to Severus Snape, Draco Malfoy, Dolores Umbridge, Tom Riddle (aka Voldemort) and Albus Severus Potter.

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Photograph: Rivoli

5. Rivoli Ballroom Pop-Up Cinema

Things to do Film events Rivoli Ballroom, Crofton Park

The beautiful Rivoli Ballroom – one of the last remaining ballrooms around – is open again for its pop-up film screenings. In celebration of fright night, it’ll be showing films of the spooky and scary variety including ‘Psycho’, ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ and ‘The Shining’. The series comes to a heady conclusion on Halloween with three classics back to back: ‘Hocus Pocus’, ‘Scream’ and ‘Halloween’ (1978). 

Photograph: Cemetery Club

6. All Hallow’s Lantern-Lit Tours

Things to do Walks and tours Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, Mile End

Walk among the tombs of an East End cemetery. Guides armed with lanterns will introduce you to come of Tower Hamlets’ Cemetery Park’s 350,000 inhabitants, from opium den owners to music hall stars, bringing remarkable old East End characters back to life

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 Eltham Palace
 Eltham Palace
Photograph: Eltham Palace © Jonathan Bailey

7. Ghost Tours at Eltham Palace

Things to do Walks and tours Eltham Palace, Eltham

Art deco mansion Eltham Palace (one of London’s architectural treasures) is inviting visitors into its beautiful interiors to hear ghost stories set in the building’s 1930’s heyday. Join storytellers on an eerie journey around the deserted pile accompanied by chilling tales of supernatural sightings and horrible happenings. Bring a torch - things are going to get dark! 

Graveyard
Graveyard
Photograph: Elizabeth Jamieson/Unsplash

8. ‘A Tomb with a View: The Stories and Glories of Graveyards’

Things to do Talks and lectures Southwark Cathedral, Borough and London Bridge

Want to know who London’s outcast dead are and why David Bowie is their guardian angel? Or, why a Bristol cemetery is the perfect wedding venue for goths? Find out in this talk from writer, journalist and graveyard enthusiast Peter Ross, who’ll be uncovering their stories and histories at this talk, exploring what the patches of crooked headstones tell us about how we remember the dead. 

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Lost Boys Pizza
Lost Boys Pizza
Photograph: Lost Boys Pizza

9. Halloween at Lost Boys Pizza

Things to do Food and drink events Lost Boys Pizza (Camden), Mornington Crescent

London’s only vampire-themed pizza joint is holding a fright night pizza party. Lost Boys will still be putting on a spooky show with tarot readers (£10) and a costume parade where the best dressed will win ‘prizes to die for’. Tickets include a pizza and three cocktails.  

Death Drawing
Death Drawing
Photograph: Lost Boys

10. Death Drawing

Nightlife Alternative nightlife Lost Boys Pizza (Camden), Mornington Crescent

Say RIP to boring life drawing classes. This bunch of macabre artists is inviting budding scribblers to this sketching sesh with ‘alt-models’ laden with gothic props. Tickets include wine or beer and one of Lost Boy’s famous charcoal-base pizzas. 

 

Wanna be scared all year round?

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