The toffee apples on the shelves can mean only one thing: it’s almost Halloween! But who says it’s just for kids? Sure, you probably can’t get away with full-blown trick or treating without a miniature goblin in tow, but you can stuff your pockets full of fizzy fangs and head into town to experience something just that little bit different…
The unassuming streets of Hammersmith hide an urban history of ghosts and ghouls, and a fearless audio guide is ready to take you on an adventure that will send chills down your spine. Skulk through shadowy scenes to gory revelations and tales of terrified residents and uncover the unexplained as you meander through mysterious milestones to a soundtrack of spooky classics. Drink in hand, discover the true story (and spirits) haunting W6 and dare yourself to dance in the dark. After all, no one’s watching. No one alive, that is…
Silent Tours Hammersmith: Fridays, 8pm
If asphyxiation masks, 27 degree heat and a rationed water supply sounds like something out of a horror film, the reality of the current climate emergency is far more terrifying. And Gymbox’s new ‘Extinction Training’ class serves as as much of a warning as it is an experience - a reminder that if we don’t act fast in the war against climate change, scorching temperatures, dangerous levels of air pollution and a shortage of fresh drinking water could very well be the norm in 2050. Raise your heart rate and your awareness in a brief but “brutal” exposure to the “harsh realities of our future world”. With the clock ticking in the fight to save our planet, it’s serious fun with a sobering message.
Outrun your metaphorical zombies in the moonlight. The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is opening its grounds for the annual London Halloween Run and as usual has a few tricks in store along the way. Grab your trainers and creepiest costume for a chip-timed 5 or 10k in a race to reach the finish before pumpkin time!
Stratford: Thursday 31st October, 7pm
As one of the world’s most haunted capitals, London has its fair share of drinking establishments steeped in horrible histories and accounts of eerie activity after dark. With legends of body-snatching gangs, hangings and murders, creaking taverns built next to cemeteries and in the grounds of historic jails, tales of everything from poltergeists and mischievous spirits to uniformed phantoms and ghostly steeds abound. Prop yourself at the bar and prepare to be petrified: patrons have reported sudden bangs, flickering lights, gusts of icy wind and - gulp - inexplicable cigarette burns. One thing’s for sure, you’re going to need a stiff drink.
Locations across London, opening times (and paranormal activity) vary
Fancy a nightcap and feeling brave? Why not spend the night. I hear Room 333 at The Langham is rather nice…
Backyard Cinema’s winter pop-up returns, and as usual they’re showing all your Halloween favourites. Blanket at the ready: whether you’re more Time Warp or train from platform 9 ¾, there’s something for everyone. Nestled under the trees in the depths of an enchanted forest glowing with twinkly lights, even for those tucking into their popcorn over something truly terrifying, it promises to be magical.
Wandsworth: Dates and showing times vary
52 steps above the old St Thomas’ Hospital, an early eighteen-century church conceals Europe’s oldest surviving surgical theatre, and a cadaverous collection of immersive events, workshops and screenings is on the operating table. Atmospheric, educational and brimming with gruesome stories, get your venomous creative juices flowing by stirring up potion, pick up a poison pen and cast a witches spell, or hunker down for a night of something far more haunting: psychological screenings, horrific hilarity, even a surgical reenactment. Adult-only content or fun for all the family...whatever you choose, you’re never too old for a bit of Hocus Pocus.
Herb Garrett: Events, dates and times vary
Bourne & Hollingsworth’s Big Top is back in town and ready to immerse you in a spine-tingling, cocktail-doused bazaar of ghoulish performances and voyeuristic curiosities. On a twisted bill of ethereal meets treachery, follow this garish troupe of Sideshow Freaks and carnival misfits down an enthrallingly macabre rabbit hole of fire breathing, sword swallowing and abandoned dancing. With costume essential and hungry lions awaiting those daring to step into the fray in civilian attire, this spectacular night of freaks and geeks is not for the faint of heart. You have been warned...
Secret London Location: Saturday 2nd November, 9pm
Step into Viktar Wynd’s very own ‘Little Shop of Horrors’. Tucked away in the cavernous basement of weirdness and wonderment, a hall of mirrors reflects a world suffused with miracles: The Last Tuesday Society’s Museum of Curiosities. Tiptoe past two-headed kittens and displays of Dodo Bones in this tiny Wundercabinet, where an obsession with the obscure and obscene is as incoherent and inexplicable as it is intoxicatingly bizarre. Let this captivating collection of the spectacularly surreal steal your time...and your sanity. Mystique - and utter madness - awaits.
Hackney: Wednesday to Sunday, Event dates and opening times vary
Save the jelly worms for the little devils: Smith & Sinclair has the big kids covered with their mouthwatering selection of boozy (see what I did there) gummies, ‘Gincredible’ sherbets and edible fizz.
Craving something more authentic? Head east to London’s oldest supplier of goods for the living dead and undead, where the monster selection of edibles and antidotes has everything you could possibly need to satisfy your sweet tooth and soothe your ailments. Or not... jar of escalating panic, anyone?
Hoxton: Thursdays to Saturdays, opening times vary
Hold those toffee apples, people. Halloween is definitely not just for kids and this year we’re all over it. Now, where are those fizzy fangs?
FURTHER SPOOKY READING: London's Most Haunted Places