Happy Halloween! As the pumpkins start to get carved and the horror movies get replayed over and over, a distinctly spooky atmosphere descends over the country as people look for spooky and frightful experiences to give them a good old fashioned scare. From haunted inns to ancient Celtic celebrations here are 10 of the best places in the UK to celebrate Halloween.
Edinburgh is a fantastic city break destination all year round, but with more than its fair share of haunted and spooky locations Halloween is the perfect time to visit! Immerse yourself in horror with one of Edinburgh’s famous ghost tours, enjoy the jump scares at the Edinburgh dungeon, head to Edinburgh Castle for some unique tales of murder and torture or head to the vaults for a glimpse into the cities dark past. One of the best reasons for visiting Edinburgh at Halloween though is the Samhuinn Fire Festival, a local celebration deeply rooted in Edinburgh’s community and celebrates the ancient Celtic tradition of the transition from Summer to Winter. Just head to the top of Caltons Hill at Halloween and you can’t miss the costumes, fire dancers and music!
Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire.
Kenilworth Castle is a partially ruined fortress dating back to the Norman conquest of England. This once formidable fortress has more than its fair share of medieval battles, royal scandal and Game of Thrones esque intrigue to fuel its Ghostly goings on, and Halloween sees the turrets and grounds come alive with ghost tours, tales of witch hunters and supernatural events.
Shrewsbury Prison, Shropshire.
England’s very own entry on the worlds most famous dark tourism sites, Shrewsbury prison is so much more than just a fascinating insight into a working prison. The prison is an essential part of the darker side of UK heritage and offers a unique glimpse into prison life from the late 18th Century. You can explore Victorian prison wings that were still in use up until its closure in 2013, descend into Georgian cells and listen to tales and stories from the ex prison guard tour guides that will tell you the dark history of all those who were sentenced to death by hanging in these walls. It isn’t all doom and gloom though, as the prison also offers axe throwing and escape rooms, you can go ghostbusting on a very unique ghost hunting tour and if you have ever wanted to try out your very own prison break, there is no better place to do it than an actual prison!
Fonmon Castle, Wales.
Want to undertake your very own paranormal investigation? Fonmon Castle in Wales runs extra special tours guided by a professional team of Paranormal investigators. Heading to parts of the castle that are not normally open to visitors, you will be briefed on the history of the castle, guided in the use of the equipment and help with ongoing studies to find proof of the supernatural.
The Ten Bells, London.
Having a drink at the Ten Bells in London is made much scarier on Halloween if you know a little bit of its dark past. Now to be fair it is hard to find an old pub in London without a bit of a dark past, but the Ten Bells has connections to the infamous Jack The Ripper himself, as this was the pub where his last victim was last seen leaving just before she was murdered and mutilated. But hers isn’t the only ghost haunting the pub, the Victorian landlord murdered with an axe is said to roam the upper floors looking for his revenge, and the cries of countless murdered babies can be heard in one of the upstairs rooms.
The London And Edinburgh Dungeons.
The self proclaimed home of Halloween, the London Dungeon celebrates the dark and horror filled history of one of the western worlds’ oldest cities. With actors to scare you with a wide variety of haunted tales and a numbier of spooky rides to put your hackles up, the Dungeons are practically a Halloween tradition in the UK at this point. The Edinburgh Dungeon offers a similar experience for Scotland’s capital.
Alton Towers, Staffordshire.
Since the sad demise of my childhood favourite Camelot, Alton Towers is the premier theme park in the UK. Built on the former country estate of the Earl of Shrewsbury in Staffordshire, the park still retains a lot of the former historical grandeur of the estate, with a few added extras such as Nemesis, Air and Oblivion, not to mention the UK’s first wooden rollercoaster to be built in decades (and one of the best rides in the park), the Wicker Man. Halloween sees the theme park transform into a spooktacular event for the Scarefest Festival, with the Alton Towers Dungeon rivalling those in London and Edinburgh, spooky themed mazes, actors in costume and more making this the scariest theme park in the country!
Scare City, Manchester.
Actually located just outside of Manchester in Chorley, Scare City is the longest outdoor horror attraction with a huge 2km horror trail! With various themed sections like the Forest of Fears and the Medieval Murder zone all with live, costumed actors, you are in for an interactive horror filled treat!
The Mermaid Inn, Sussex.
The Mermaid Inn in east Sussex is one of the oldest and most haunted Inns in the UK. Built in the 12th Century, guests can stay here if they dare on Halloween and face the lady in white who is said to sit by the fireplace in room 1, or cross paths with the unknown figure who is said to have woken many guests up by staring at them from the bottom of their bed and objects are known to have been thrown across the room with no warning. It has been used as a location by the Most Haunted TV series and has laid claim to many celebrity guests over the years.
Newcastle’s Castle Keep and Black Gate.
As one of the UKs most haunted cities, Newcastle in general offers a wide variety of ghost walks, some general and some centred around a specific theme, from witche’s homes to ancient smugglers tunnels. It is the eponymous castle and the notorious Black Gate that really give the city its supernatural pull. The castle itself is one of the UKs finest examples of a Norman Keep, and is a focal point for ghostly sightings, poltergeist activity, strange mists and even unseen hands scratching and pushing visitors. Perhaps the saddest tale is the reports of a faint smell of flowers just before sightings of a young girl. The infamous ‘poppy girl’ was a flower seller imprisoned for her debts before being raped and beaten to death in the cells.
Whether you are a true believer looking to find evidence of supernatural activity or someone simply looking for a bit of scary fun, the UK has a lot to offer visitors on Halloween!
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I think the UK is probably the most haunted place on the planet! I don’t know why more people don’t make more if a big deal about that in October!
I think there are many places that are starting too, but Halloween has never really been a huge holiday in the UK traditionally.
I had the chance to go to o e of those scare festival things this year but turned it down,I really couldn’t bare the idea of those actors jumping iut and grabbing me! I’d have a heart attack!
To be fair they aren’t for everyone, I get it!