10 spooky Halloween happenings in the UK

10 spooky Halloween happenings in the UK

by Stacy Roman
Stripes Europe

Halloween shenanigans aren’t just an American thing anymore. Over the past few decades, the creeptacular holiday has made its way across the pond and infiltrated European towns and cities. With a plethora of haunted castles and manors, infamous underground tombs and alleys, as well as a host of murderous myths and legends, it’s only natural Halloween has taken hold in the U.K. This year, October half-term British school break coincides with the ghoulish date, which means plenty of events to choose from.

Ghost Tours, York
With almost 2,000 years of history, the city of York is the self-proclaimed “most haunted city in England.” Witness the sites for yourself on the 75-minute Ghost Bus Tour. The 11 stops include the impressive York Minster, Black Swan Pub, Knavesmire Gallows and the grave of the infamous swashbuckler Dick Turpin. Crank up the creepy factor and partake in the Graveyard, Coffin and Plague walking tour. 

Hidden & Haunted Late Night Tour, Edinburgh
Just one glimpse at Edinburgh’s Old Town will have your imagination running wild. Dark, foreboding closes give way to whispers of treachery. The adults-only Hidden & Haunted tour takes you through the ghosts of Edinburgh’s past and into the underground of the Blair Street Vaults. Need a little more family-friendly fare? Try the Gory Stories tour, which delves into fun ghost stories and also ends in the Blair Street Vaults. 

Samhuinn Fire Festival, Edinburgh
Celebrate the Celtic New Year and origins of All Hallows Eve atop Calton Hill at the Samhuinn Fire Festival. Taking place on Halloween night, witness the epic battle of the Summer and Winter kings which includes spectacular musical and dance performances. Join the torch-lit procession to the hill and usher in the cooler months of the new Celtic year. 

Jack the Ripper Tour, London
Follow the footsteps of one of London’s most infamous serial killers, Jack the Ripper. Terrorizing the East End neighborhood of Whitechapel in 1888, the unidentified murderer was never apprehended. Visitors can walk the dark alleys and be transported to shadowy depths. Tours are just under two hours and include knowledgeable experts and guides.

London Bridge Experience and London Tombs, London
The nefarious stories of the London Bridge (not to be confused with the Tower Bridge) dates back to the 14th century, when the head of William Wallace appeared on a pike at the southern gatehouse. This gruesome tradition of displaying the severed heads of traitors lasted more than 350 years. The London Bridge Experience takes visitors through the tumultuous history of the bridge, as well as the haunted tombs below. 

Royal Maritime Greenwich Ghost Tour, London
The regal buildings in Greenwich may seem like any other UNESCO World Heritage site, beneath the surface lies mystery and harrowing tales. Take a guided tour and learn dark secrets of the Royal Family, the curse of the Cutty Sark tall ship and other devilish stories of delight. Make your way through the Greenwich tunnel – one of the most haunted in the city. 

Dark Arts, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
'Tis the season for floating pumpkins, Dementors and Death Eaters at Hogwarts. Harry Potter fans won’t want to miss the Dark Arts and Hogwarts After Dark at the Warner Bros. Studio. Discover the making of the Death Eater masks, and enjoy a live duel demonstrating how well you know your Defense Against the Dark Arts. Don’t forget the Butter Beer! 

The Haunted Castle, Warwick Castle
Nearly 1,000 years of stories and histories are guaranteed to deliver ghoulish ghost tales and fun. With different scare levels, the Halloween festivities at Warwick Castle are perfect for all ages. Little ones can play games, wander through the pumpkin patches and join a ghost hunt, while older kids can brave the castle dungeon, learn Horrible Histories and fight off the jump-scares in the maze. 

Scarefest, Alton Towers
This popular amusement park turns into a Halloween Scarefest during the month of October. With a festive play area and happy monsters, little ones can join in all the fun. For those seeking a little more adventure, make your way through the creepy mazes and discover the thrill of rollercoasters in the dark. 

Fright Nights, Thorpe Park
If the U.K.’s fastest rollercoaster isn’t scary enough for you, don’t worry … Thorpe Park has plenty of spooky adventures waiting for you during Fright Nights. Award-winning mazes, including ones based on “The Walking Dead” and “The Blair Witch Project,” the terrifying horror attractions will test your fear limits. 

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