Halloween and other spooky events in and around London
September 19, 2018 4:07 PM   Subscribe

Any recommendations for year-round or seasonal haunt or horror themed events or activities to check out in London in October?

I'm planning to spend the second half of October there specifically to check out how Halloween is being celebrated. Especially interested in "home haunts" or people who set up elaborate decor at their home, but anything especially Halloween related fits!
All of the local listings there put a heavy emphasis on Halloween parties, which is not what I'm interested in. But haunted houses, ghost tours, anything spooky and interactive, scary decorations, etc. works.
posted by Unsomnambulist to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Ah, I hate to be a bummer but when I was there close to Halloween of last year, I found the city surprisingly lacking when it came to Halloween festivities. Of course I was just a one-time visitor so maybe I just don't know where to find the good stuff, but I mainly saw the barest bits of halloween decor in a few shops.

But you could definitely take a trip out to some neighboring towns. This is an older list but it indicates a possibility for more spooky festivities around Britain in general, not directly in London. But overall I think it seems it's not as big a deal over there, which was a tad disappointing.
posted by sprezzy at 4:19 PM on September 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

Halloween is not really a “thing” in the UK (although it’s bigger than in was when I first moved here 16 years ago). It’s viewed as mainly an American import and/or something for kids and/or a reason for a party. It isn’t taken seriously and many people regard it fairly cynically as just imported marketing hype. The only people here I’ve seen particularly show an interest in Halloween are American expats, some children, and people looking to have a house party and dress up. I’ve had Halloween candy ready at all the places I’ve lived for 16 years and never once had a trick or treater.

I have literally never heard of a “home haunt” type thing here.

I’m happy to be proven wrong though by more answers. I work in an area with a lot of rich Americans (Primrose Hill) and on the day of Halloweeen there is a nice vibe going with kids trick or treating, some jack o lanterns and a few decorated houses, but that’s it. Pretty notable for London but not really much by American standards.

Sorry to be a downer but if this is the reason for your trip (?) then you are really going to struggle I fear! I’m sorry!
posted by peanut butter milkshake at 6:57 PM on September 19, 2018 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Tower of London is pretty legit.

London Dungeon has mixed reviews.

Jack the ripper tours!

Any good murder and ghost tours.
posted by Jacen at 7:11 PM on September 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

If you're here for 5th November, you could check out a good Bonfire Night celebration. That's much more of a British tradition than Halloween (and maybe why Halloween had a tough time getting attention, being less than a week before Bonfire Night). This is a famous one.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:15 AM on September 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Agree that Halloween decorations on homes are pretty rare outside of neighbourhoods with N American expat communities - Notting Hill/Ladbroke Grove is another one. And that Bonfire Night is really the bigger occasion.

However, there is London Month of the Dead, which seems to fit the bill pretty well.
posted by featherboa at 4:14 AM on September 20, 2018

Best answer: I think the most scared I've felt in my life was standing outside 50 Berkeley Square at night having read extensively about its grim past. It seemed to suck the light out of the air.
posted by Jellybean_Slybun at 10:06 AM on September 20, 2018

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