Halloween 2020: The Most Spooktacular Events in London
Halloween is the spookiest season of the year – and it’s one we always look forward to in London, when the shops, restaurants and streets are festooned with appropriately fearsome decorations, and many houses have grinning pumpkins in the window. This year, however, it’s set to be a little different: but just because you can’t go trick or treating doesn’t mean the capital doesn’t have lots of festive fun on offer!
Who knows what will be waiting in the woods if you go to Pop Up Screens’ ‘Forbidden Forest’ movie nights…
Scary movies to make you shiver
Forbidden Forest by Pop Up Screens
If you’re in the mood for al fresco cinema in a bone-chilling setting, head over to Copeland Park throughout late October and November. Immersive specialists Pop Up Screens have transformed the woodland setting into a freaky forest, and will be screening a collection of creepy movies over the next few weeks: from classics like Halloween and The Shining to The Blair Witch Project, there’s a terrifying tale to suit any taste.
Forbidden Forest Cinema, Copeland Park, 133 Copeland Road, SE15 3SN. Purchase tickets at Pop Up Screens.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show at The Clapham Grand
As ever, The Clapham Grand – a beautiful, traditional theatre with a modern twist – is putting on a spooky selection of events in honour of Halloween. From screenings of Hocus Pocus to a special Halloween ball (hosted by well-known drag queens Crystal Methyd and Sum Ting Wong), the next week is full of frightening fun. If we had to pick one night at the Grand, though, it’d be their celebration of cult film The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Halloween itself. Visitors are encouraged to wear their very best Rocky Horror-inspired costume, and there are screenings of the classic musical at 4 pm and 8 pm. Let’s do the Time Warp again!
The Clapham Grand, 21-25 St John’s Hill, SW11 1TT. Tickets available via the website.
Experience devilish delights underground at The Vaults…
Fearsome theatrical events
Dante’s In Furlough at The Vaults
The tagline to this new immersive experience, which runs until 30th December, is: ‘Devil is getting hitched, and given what's going on at the moment, there’s no better time to accept an invitation to the underworld.’ Pretty appropriate for Halloween – and 2020 – right?
This Covid-safe, socially-distanced, interactive show (which was inspired by Shel Silverstein’s epic poem ‘Billy Markham and the Devil’), relies on the premise that the entrance to Hell is, in fact, the front door of Waterloo’s The Vaults theatre. Your mission? To navigate the many circles of Hell in order to reach the wedding of the millennium. Whether you travel with your nearest and dearest or fly solo, the motto is clear: betray or be betrayed. Enter if you dare…
The Vaults, Leake Street, SE1 7NN. Tickets available via the website.
Halloween at the Phoenix Arts Club
Forget Beyoncé: for Halloween, we want to indulge in a Séayoncé! Fortunately the Phoenix Arts Club in London’s West End are happy to oblige, and are throwing a scary Halloween-themed séance, presided over by comedy drag queen Séayoncé. In this creepy cabaret, Séayoncé will summon great icons from history, calling on them to possess the bodies of London’s best performers. It’s set to be a night of hysterical laughter, fantastic live performances, and plenty of thrills and chills!
The Phoenix Arts Club, 1 Phoenix Street, WC2H 8BU. Purchase tickets at phoenixartsclub.com.
Are you brave enough to wander through a historic graveyard?
Spine-tingling strolls filled with ghosts
All Hallow’s Eve Lantern-Lit Tours
Head to the heart of the East End this Halloween to learn more about the lives - and deaths - of the infamous inhabitants of this historic neighbourhood.
From the moment you step into Tower Hamlets’ Cemetery Park, you’ll feel the presence of the 350,000+ people that are buried there. As you walk among the tombs by the eerie light of a lantern, your experienced guides will turn back time, telling the tales of opium den owners, animal importers and music hall stars. History has never been so spooktacular!
The tour starts at The Soanes Centre, Southern Grove, E3 4PX. Tickets available via EventBrite.
London Ghost Walks
These ‘hauntingly’ entertaining and informative tours, which take place in the heart of London (starting from either St Paul’s, Bank or Mansion House stations), are run by Richard Jones: a fully qualified and licensed Blue Badge Tourist Guide. Jones has been an expert on the ghosts of Britain and Ireland for thirty years, and his walks (which he’s been running since 1982) were the first official haunted tours of the city – so you’re in very good hands!
Taking place on selected Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, there are three atmospheric ghost walks to choose from: ‘The Condemned and the Cursed’; ‘The Doomed and the Dead’; and ‘The Dead of Night’. From the spot where Dickens set Scrooge’s Counting House, to tumbledown churchyards watched over by a ghostly monk, to the last-known location of London’s most famous ghoul, each tour covers different haunted sites and features a range of scary London ghost stories. If you love things that go ‘bump in the night’, this is the Halloween outing for you…
Tours start from a variety of central London locations. Tickets can be purchased via the website.