Guide to what’s on in London for Halloween 2014
With the onset of October, people inevitably start thinking about the fast approaching winter and Christmas festivities. But first we’ve got Hallowe’en to mark first. Every year, the scarefest seems to be getting bigger and bigger and 2014 will be no exception. If you’re a fan of the spooky holiday, there’s plenty going on in the capital for both adults and children alike. Parents looking for some half-term ideas to keep their children occupied will also find some inspiration. I strongly advise booking in advance to many events as those who just turn up without a ticket may be disappointed.
This guide is for 2014, for the new 2015 guide to London at Halloween, click here.
- 28 – 29 October : Little Shwop of Horrors
To get prepared for the Hallowe’en festivities, why not head down to M&S and Oxfam’s pop-up which will sell fancy dress and items donated by the likes of Jessie J, Nadine Coyle, Simon Pegg and Naomie Harris. Shoppers are encouraged to bring their own items to ‘shwop’, with proceeds from sales going to fight poverty worldwide. Open 8am-9pm. Marks & Spencer Marble Arch, 458 Oxford Street, W1C 1AP. Nearest tube: Marble Arch. To find out more about shwopping, visit the M&S website.
- 1 October – 2 November : Halloween at the London Dungeon
Of course, one of the city’s scariest places is the London Dungeon, who are making the most of All Hallows Eve with a month of frightful goings-on. As well as the usual features, the Hallowe’en festivities will also include the new character The Master Of Tricks and his Wheel Of Misfortune and some other special surprises. London Dungeon, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, SE1 7PB. Nearest tube: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information and booking, visit the London Dungeon website. For Metro Girl’s review of the London Dungeon, click here.
- 1 October – 3 November : Halloween Show @ The London Bridge Experience
The experience will be running its usual adventure with a Hallowe’en twist. Open 10.30am-5pm Sun-Fri, 10am-6pm Sat. Tickets: Adults £20, Children 5-15 yrs £16, Students over 17 £18. London Bridge Experience, 2-4 Tooley Street, SE1 2SY. Nearest tube/rail: London Bridge. For more information and booking, visit the London Bridge Experience website.
- 25 October – 1 November : Witch Academy on the London Eye
Imagine you’re on a broomstick and can soar into the sky over London… then open your eyes and realise you’re on the London Eye as part of the Witch Academy. As well as a 30 minute ride on the big attraction, an academy experience also includes a Hallowe’en character host, storytelling for four to nine-year olds and a free goody bag. Tickets: Children – online in advance £17.93 or £19.92 on the day, Adults £24.25 online in advance or £26.94 on the day. London Eye, near Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB. Nearest tube: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For more information and booking, visit the London Eye website. For Metro Girl’s review of the London Eye, click here.
- 25 October – 2 November : Glamoween @ Madame Tussauds
Some of Hollywood’s biggest stars (well, their waxwork doppelgangers at least…) will gather at a Halloween party at Madame Tussauds. Children dressed in Hallowe’en costume will get in free with a paying adult (£24 in advance online, £55.80 on the day). Madame Tussauds, Marylebone Road, NW1 5LR. Nearest tube/train: Baker Street or Marylebone. For more information, visit the Madame Tussauds website.
- 28 October : Family Day Hallowe’en @ Benjamin Franklin House
Walk along the creaky floorboards of this 18th century house before a spooky storytelling by Benjamin Franklin’s friend Polly Hewson and other ghoulish goings on. 4-5pm. Tickets £5 for children, free for adults. Benjamin Franklin House, 36 Craven Street, London, WC2N 5NG. Nearest tube: Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information, visit the Benjamin Franklin House website.
- 30 October – 1 November : Eat Your Heart Out pop-up cake shop
Food art curator Miss Cakehead is celebrating Halloween with the most gruesome looking cakes you’ve ever seen, such as three slaughtered little pigs or giant spiders. A three day pop up will be open at the Hoxton Hotel which is free to visit. Hoxton Hotel, 81 Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3HU. Nearest tube/Overground: Old Street or Shoreditch High Street. For more information, visit the Miss Cakehead website.
- 30 October – 2 November : Day Of The Dead Festival
Embassy of Mexico has teamed up with tequila brand Jose Cuervo and Arte Mexico to bring the 3000 year old Mexican celebration, Dia de los Muertos to London’s Southbank. Featuring Day Of The Dead art displays, Jose Cuervo masterclasses, children’s art and crafts workshops, and a screening of Under the Volcano. Free, but workshops require registering in advance.11am-6pm. Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, South Bank, SE1 9PH. Nearest tube/train: Waterloo or Blackfriars. For more information and registration, visit the Oxo Tower website.
- 31 October : Halloween Family Fun Day @ Queen’s House
Visit the stunning 17th century Queen’s House with the family for a spooky day out featuring ghostly activities, spooky entertainment and storytelling. Fancy dress encouraged with prizes for the best costumes. Free entry. 11am-4pm. Queen’s House, Romney Road, Greenwich, SE10 9NF. Nearest train/DLR: Cutty Sark or Maze Hill. For more information, visit the Royal Museums Greenwich website.
- 31 October : Spooky Ships @ Cutty Sark
Family fun day out at the Cutty Sark featuring the usual displays as well as spooky shadow puppet shows and a special Hallowe’en souvenir to take home. Tickets: Children £7, Adults £13.50, family tickets £24-£35. Spooky Ships takes place at 11.30am-1.30pm and 2-4pm, although the Cutty Sark is open normal hours 10am-5pm. Cutty Sark Clipper Ship, King William Walk, Greenwich, SE10 9HT. Nearest train/DLR: Cutty Sark, Greenwich or Maze Hill. For more information, visit the Royal Museums Greenwich website.
Things that go bump in the night
- 13 – 31 October : London Horror Festival
The Etcetera Theatre hosts ghoulish and creepy theatre, comedy, performance and spoken word in the run-up to Hallowe’en, including Frankenstein: Unbolted, Scream Queens Anonymous, Shakespeare In Hell and Darker The Night. Ticket prices vary, but many around £8-£10. Most events take place at the Etcetera Theatre, 265 Camden High Street, Camden, NW1 7BU. Nearest tube/train: Camden Town or Camden Road. For more information, visit the London Horror Festival website.
- 16-18, 23-25 and 30 October – 1 November : 2.8 Hours Later: Survival
Night-time street game 2.8 Hours Later comes to the capital, giving you the chance to experience what it would be like if London was overrun with zombies. If you manage to escape them, then you can dance the night away at the Zombie Disco. Tickets: £40-£60. For more information and tickets, visit 2.8 Hours Later website.
- 25 October : Dark Circus Party Halloween Special
Kick off the festivities a week early, Dark Circus brings their weird and wonderful world to Bloomsbury, featuring macabre thrills, costumes, death-defying circus acts and cocktails. Tickets: £25. 9pm-3am. Bloomsbury Ballroom, Bloomsbury Square, WC1B 4DA. Nearest tube/train: Euston or Russell Square. For more information, visit the Dark Circus Party website.
- 25 October – 1 November : PhoboPhobia at the London Bridge Experience
Hallowe’en spectacular at the London Bridge Experience and Tombs, featuring a ‘shocking and unnerving show’ alongside the usual horror maze and mind-bending experiences. Tickets: £24. Time slots available between 6-10pm. London Bridge Experience, 2-4 Tooley Street, SE1 2SY. Nearest tube/rail: London Bridge. For more information and booking, visit the London Bridge Experience website.
- 27 October – 2 November : Hot Tub Cinema Halloween
Watch your favourite horror film while swilling a beer or bubbly in a hot tub in the old Shoreditch Underground station. Films include Beetlejuice, The Craft, The Lost Boys, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Shaun Of The Dead, 28 Days Later and Scream. Tickets £35pp or £190 for a private tub for up to six people. Former Shoreditch Underground station, Pedley Street, Shoreditch, E1 6SE. Nearest tube/train: Bethnal Green, Shoreditch High Street or Whitechapel. For booking, visit the Hot Tub Cinema website.
- 30 October : Musical Bingo Halloween Ball
Musical bingo is very similar to regular bingo – except they play music instead of shout numbers. Guests are encouraged to dress up for a night of bingo, music and ghoulish fun. There will also be prizes for the best dressed. Tickets: £10. Event starts at 7pm. Concrete, 56 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JJ. Nearest Overground: Shoreditch High Street. For more information and booking, visit the Billetto website.
- 30 – 31 October : The Nomad Cinema’s Spooky Screenings
Pop-up cinema company Nomad Cinema comes to Hyde Park with a selection of horror films, including Ghostbusters, The Wicker Man, Little Shop Of Horrors or The Blair Witch Project. There will be Hallowe’en themed drinks such as ‘Singapore Slime’ and a horror photobooth where you can dress up and pose. Tickets £25 include screening, a glass of bubbles, a delicious hot wrap from Souvlaki Street Food, hair-raising Halloween themed activities and a fire-pit for toasting marshmallows. Proceeds from sales go to charity. The Lookout, Hyde Park, London W2 2UH. Nearest tube: Hyde Park Corner or Marble Arch. For more information and booking, visit The Nomad website.
- 30 – 31 October : Halloween Ghostly Tours & Ghoulish Supper @ Old Royal Naval College
The Old Royal Naval College will be hosting a spooky evening of events for adults including a lantern lit tour of the building where you can find out about the dark history and ghostly happenings, before dinner and drinks in the Painted Hall. 6.30-10.30pm. Tickets: £35. Old Royal Naval College, King William Walk, Greenwich, SE10 9NN. Nearest train/DLR: Greenwich, Maze Hill or Cutty Sark. For more information and booking, visit the ORNC website.
- 30 – 31 October : Barts’ Annual Yelloween Party
Exclusive Chelsea bar Barts hosted their annual spooky celebration in association with Veuve Cliquot. Fancy dress encouraged, but there will be a dressing up box and face painting for those unprepared. 6pm until late. Barts, Chelsea Cloisters, 87 Sloane Ave, Chelsea, SW3 3DW. Nearest tube: Sloane Square or South Kensington. For more information, visit the Barts website.
- 30 October – 2 November : Pop Up Screens Halloween Weekender
Open-air cinema company Pop Up Screens will be hosting screenings of classic scary films at the 20th Century Cinema in Notting Hill including Friday The 13th, Poltergeist, Nightmare On Elm Street, Ghostbusters, Pet Sematary, Evil Dead II, Dark Crystal and Candyman. Will also be a bar and popcorn stand. Tickets £20. 20th Century Theatre, 291 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, W11 2QA. Nearest tube: Westbourne Grove or Notting Hill Gate. For more information and booking, visit the Pop Up Screens website. For Metro Girl’s review of a Pop Up Screens event, click here.
- 30 October – 2 November : Butcher’s Basement
The Four Quarters arcade bar in Peckham will be opening its basement (in an old butcher’s, hence the creepy butchers’ tables and band-saws) for a four day horror extravaganza with two surprise screenings nightly. Tickets: £10 advance or £15 for both screenings. ‘Movie A’ starts @ 6.30pm and ‘Movie B’ @ 8.30pm. Four Quarters, 187 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4TP. Nearest Overground/train: Peckham Rye. For more information, visit the Facebook event page.
- 31 October : An Evening Of Fear And Wonder @ The Shard
Late-night opening of View From The Shard with a Halloween party in partnership with the BFI and supported by Crystal Head Vodka. Entertainment at 800ft includes BFI screenings of iconic scenes from classic horror films, DJs and a live performance from the star of Wicked. 10pm-2am. Tickets: £39 include a complimentary cocktail and treats from Krispy Kreme and Cadbury’s. The View From The Shard, Joiner Street, SE1 9SP. Nearest tube/train: London Bridge. For more information, visit The View From The Shard website. For Metro Girl’s review of a party at View From The Shard, click here.
- 31 October : Halloween Festival Twisted Circus
Spooky club night featuring circus acts, face paint, cupcakes and glow sticks, with music from Colin Francis, Maze and Masters, Moses Midas and Maestro. 9pm until late. Tickets from £15. IndigO2, Peninsula Square, Greenwich, SE10 0DX. Nearest tube: North Greenwich. For more information and booking, visit The O2 website.
- 31 October : LATE at the Library – The Sorting
Late night opening at the British Library, with award-winning theatre company Les Enfants Terribles creating a funeral inspired experience featuring macabre performances, live music, DJs, bar and a late night opening of the exhibition. 7.30-10.30pm. Tickets: £15. British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1 2DB. Nearest tube/train: Euston or King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information and booking, visit the British Library website.
- 31 October : West End Film Club presents The Rocky Horror Picture Show
West End Film Club hosts two screenings of the cult 1975 film at the Century Club in Soho. As well as suitably themed drinks and snacks, guests will also receive a ‘Partici-pation Pack’ featuring props for an immersive experience. Following the film, there will be a party on the roof until 2am with music from The Roustabouts. Screenings at 8pm and 10.45pm. Tickets: £8.50-£10 (not including booking fee). Century Club, 61-63 Shaftesbury Avenue, Soho, W1D 6LQ. Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the West End Film Club website.
- 31 October : Discopath @ Disco
Celebrate Halloween ’70s-style at Disco in Soho. After checking in Pan-Am style, where you receive your boarding pass and your coat is whisked off down a conveyor belt, head into the 1970s Manhattan-style house of Disco. During an interactive spooky film screening, the Retro Discopathe menu will be served courtesy of Stax Diner, along with an abundance of alcoholic ‘Hard Milkshakes’. There will be dancing until late in the night, roller-skating table service, best dressed competitions and a dance off. Doors open 7.30pm, film starts 8.30pm, club night starts 10pm. Tickets £20 earlybird, £25 on the door. Disco, 13 Kingly Court, Soho, W1B 5PW. Nearest tube: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Disco website.
- 31 October : Ghost Tour @ Museum Of London Docklands
After being greeted with a hot drink, you’ll visit the haunted locations on the quayside before an intimate and exclusive after hours tour of the museum. 6.30-8.30pm. Tickets: £25. Museum of London Docklands, No.1 Warehouse, West India Quay, E14 4AL. Nearest tube: West India Quay (DLR). For more information and booking, visit the Museum Of London Docklands website.
- 31 October : Pirates Of The River Thames Boat Party
Pirates Of The Caribbean-themed boat party down the River Thames. On a three level, 400 capacity boat with licensed bar and DJs playing old and new school, as well as the odd horror track. Tickets: £15 (and includes access to after-party at Shaka Zulu, Camden). Booking must be done in advance. Leaves Tower Hill Millennium Pier @ 7.15pm. Nearest tube: Tower Hill. For more information, visit the Xclusive Touch website.
- 31 October : Chills In The Chapel – Alfred Hitchcock
Screening of Psycho accompanied by Bernard Hermann’s integral score bought to life by the Live Film Orchestra. Tickets: £22.50 or £15 for members. (NB: Tickets for the Bates Motel Ball after party has sold out). Union Chapel, Compton Terrace, N1 2UN. Nearest tube: Highbury & Islington. For more information, visit the Union Chapel website.
- 31 October : 80s Slasher Mash-Up @ Maggie’s
Eighties-themed Chelsea nightclub Maggie’s will celebrate the best of the decade’s slasher movies in a recreated film set and a mash-up of DVD screenings. There will also be drinking, dancing and a prize for the best dressed. Fancy dress required. 10.30pm until late. Tickets: £20. Maggie’s, 329 Fulham Road, Chelsea, SW10 9QL. Nearest tube/Overground: South Kensington or West Brompton. For more information, visit the Maggie’s website.
- 31 October : Halloween at The Grant and Gentleman Of Horror at The Petrie
After hours opening of the Grant Museum of Zoology at UCL, featuring Halloween-themed display and drinks. No need to book, just pay £5 on the door (adults only). 6.30-9pm. Grant Museum of Zoology, Rockefeller Building, University College London, University Street, WC1E 6DE. Alternatively, nearby there is a London Horror Festival (see above) performance of Gentleman Of Horror at UCL’s Petrie Museum Of Egyptian Archaeology. 6pm. Tickets: £10. Petrie Museum Of Egyptian Archaeology, Malet Place, Camden, WC1E 6BT. Nearest tube: Russell Square, Euston Square, Goodge Street or Euston. For more information, visit the UCL website.
- 31 October : Halloween – Subterranean Scream @ London Transport Museum
The London Transport Museum’s Lates night has a scary twist, featuring a gruesome makeover stand, tarot reading, 2-4-1 ghoulish cocktails, story-telling ghosts wandering the galleries and talks from Scott Wood, author of London Urban Legends: The Corpse on the Tube and Other Stories. Tickets: £10, £8 concession. London Transport Museum, Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 7BB. Nearest tube: Covent Garden, Charing Cross or Embankment. For information and tickets, visit the LTM website.
- 31 October – 1 November : Halloween Weekend Of Horrors @ Bunga Bunga and Cocobananas
The Italian and Brazilian bars of Battersea are teaming up for a thrilling weekend of horror. There will be drinking, dancing and fancy dress on the Friday and Saturday nights from 6pm-2.30am. Free entry to Bunga Bunga (over 21s only), and free before 11pm at Cocobananas, then £10 after. There will also be a Halloween Brunch at Bunga Bunga on Saturday 1 November from 12-5.30pm. Serving a four course meal and lots of prosecco with entertainment from DJ John dragoween Sizzle. £38-£48 per head. Bunga Bunga, 37 Battersea Bridge Road, SW11 3BA and Cocobananas, 101 Howie Street, SW11 3BA. Nearest train station: Clapham Junction, Queenstown Road Battersea or Battersea Park. For more information visit the Cocobananas or Bunga Bunga websites.
- 31 October – 1 November : Candlelight Club’s Halloween Spooktacular
Celebrate All Hallows Eve 1920s-style at pop-up vintage nightspot Candlelight Club. Featuring entertainment from Top Shelf Band and DJ Auntie Maureen, tarot readings, dining and spooky cocktails. Tickets: £20. In a secret London location. For more information, visit The Candlelight Club website. For Metro Girl’s review of the Candlelight Club, click here.
- 31 October – 1 November : Four Quarters Halloween Weekender
Peckham’s arcade bar Four Quarters are hosting two days of spooky revelry featuring the best Northern Soul, Garage, Disco and House Collectives. Horror classics will be screened on the projector while there will be horror-themed video games to play in the chill out room. Special late license until 4am. Slasher creep fancy dress. Free entry before 10pm, £5 after. Four Quarters, 187 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4TP. Nearest Overground/train: Peckham Rye. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.
- 31 October – 2 November : Halloween Movie Mash Up Weekend
Three day pop-up cinema event featuring Hallowe’en themed food and drink, sing and dance-a-longs, dressing up boxes, pumpkin carving, apple bobbing and trick or treating. Screenings include The Lost Boys, The Shining and Little Shop Of Horrors. Tickets: £5.50 (including booking fee). Portobello Pop Up Cinema, 3 Acklam Road, W10 5TY. Nearest tube: Westbourne Park. For more information, visit Tees and Cees website.
- 31 October – 5 November : Backyard Cinema presents Apocalypse
An immersive cinema experience from the Backyard Cinema crew, featuring screenings of Evil Dead, 28 Days Later, Zombieland, Shaun Of The Dead, Day Of The Dead, Planet Terror and Cockneys Vs Zombies. Taking place in a secret East London location, stock on food and drink before entering the Secret Zombie Testing Facility. Includes fully-licensed bar, live actors, street food and an end of the world party. Tickets £30 (over 18s only). For more information and tickets, visit the Backyard Cinema website.
- 1 November : The Mansion London Presents The Halloween Ball
Exclusive themed party hosts The Mansion mark Halloween with a spine-chilling ball hosted by Baron Vrykolakas. With electro from Fabrizia Corsi and DJ Femi Fem playing funk, groove, disco and soul in the second room, accompanied by Sam Baws’ African Bongo. There will also be singing and sax from the talented Glacomo Smith and dancing female vampires suspended above the dancefloor. Psychic Laura Boyle will be telling your fortune, while face and body painter Miss Anna will be transforming revellers. Fancy dress mandatory. Tickets: £16.50. 9pm – 3am in a secret London location. For more information, visit The Mansion London website.
- 1 November : Nightmare on Camden High Street
One day festival in Camden, featuring live music and parties at venues across town including Brewdog, Dingwalls, Electric Ballroom, Jazz Café, Hawley Arms, The Barfly and Our Black Heart. Acts include King Charles, Blood Red Shoes, Inme, Howling Bells, Night Engine and dozens more. Tickets £20 for a wristband which allows you access to various events, capacity depending. Nearest tube/train: Camden Town, Chalk Farm and Camden Road. For more information and listings, visit the Nightmare Festival website.
- 1 November : Bourne & Hollingsworth Presents: A Grimm Halloween
Halloween extraordinaire featuring ‘macabre thrills’, live perofrmances, themed rooms, B&H cocktails, dancing and a bar hosted by A Curious Invitation. The hall will be decked out in overgrown creepers giving an enchanted forest feel. Tickets: £25. The Grand Hall St Pancras, Euston Road, WC1H 9JE. Nearest tube: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, check out the B&H website.
- 1 November : Zombie Pirate Ship Party
Boat party cruise down the Thames and then after-party action to follow on dry land. DJs include D.Ramirez, Momentum, Dean Griffiths, Triggerfunk, Fabio Nunes, Donna Love btb Ashley Knights, London Sound Factory, J n R, Van George, Tribal Infector and Ves. Boat departs Tower Pier @ 8pm, returning at midnight, before moving on to a secret location. Fancy dress optional. Tickets start from £30. Nearest tube: Tower Hill. For more information and tickets, visit the Resident Advisor website.
- 1 November : The End Is Nigh – Winterwell Halloween 2014
The team behind boutique festival Winterwell are hosting a farewell shindig in West London. In an old brick warehouse overlooking the St Mary’s Cemetery in Kensal Green, the party will feature DJs, pervasive and interactive games and theatre and live performances in three different rooms from acts including London Afrobeat, Sink The Pink and Count Sizzle. 9pm-4am. Tickets: Early bird £20, regular £25. The Loft Studios, 77-81 Scrubs Lane, Kensal Green, NW10 6QW. Nearest tube/train: Kensal Green or Willesden Junction. For more information, visit the Winterwell website.
- Nightly : London Ghost Bus Tours
Although they take place all year round, the Ghost Bus Tours are particularly fun during Hallowe’en. Departing from 8 Northumberland Avenue (near Trafalgar Square) at 7.30 and 9pm every night, they take in the darker side of London with on-board horror theatre. Tickets: £22 adults, £16 concessions. Nearest tube: Charing Cross, Embankment or Westminster. For more information, visit the London Ghost Bus tours website.