Britain’s scariest Halloween events

Prepare for a fright this Halloween with our pick of the best spooky events taking place across the UK in 2019 at ancient castles, museums and historical landmarks.

Castle with owl

There’s a chill in the air as the spookiest event of the year draws near… Here is our pick of the best Halloween events taking place across the UK in 2019 at ancient castles, museums and historical landmarks.

A Halloween Tale – Mysteries of the Cave, Cheddar Gorge & Caves: 23rd October  – 3rd November

Famous literary figures (Dracula, Dorian Gray and Frankenstein’s Monster among them) come to life and take up residence inside Gough’s cave as they seek help in unravelling the mystery of strange happenings inside Gough’s Cave. Visitors will be given case files containing important clues as they journey down into the prehistoric cave filled with spectacular secret caverns, hidden chambers and remarkable rock formations. www.cheddargorge.co.uk

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Halloween at Muncaster Castle, Cumbria –  31st October – 2nd November

Muncaster Castle is the perfect setting for an atmospheric Halloween experience with cabaret entertainment, drum processions, canon firing, a Ghostly Grotto, scary maze and majestic Twilight Owls display, plus learn about witches and folklore and even brew your own potion. muncaster.co.uk/halloween-week

Country pub

 Samhuinn Fire Festival, Edinburgh: 31st October

Scotland’s castles and historic sites are filled with ancient traditions and superstitions. Samhuinn Fire Festival is just one of many Halloween events taking place across Scotland.

With tales from ancient folklore, fire, musical and street theatre performances, the Samhuinn Fire Festival on top of Edinburgh’s Calton Hill is a spectacular site.  Experience the traditions of Samhuinn and mark the pagan celebration of the end of the harvest season and arrival of winter at this Celtic festival. beltane.org/about-samhuinn

See more Scottish Halloween events  

Halloween Film Festival, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery: 31st October

Join a night of Halloween screenings in partnership with Bristol Film Festival at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery this Halloween. Films showing include; Hocus Pocus, The Witches and The Conjuring.

 You can visit the Magic exhibition beforehand to discover the real examples of witchcraft and the supernatural. www.bristolmuseums.org.uk

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Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Bristol/Credit: Getty Images

Illuminated Whitby, North Yorkshire: 25th October – 2nd November

One of many English Heritage Halloween events taking place across the UK, discover the darker side of history among the bright lights of Whitby Abbey. Explore the soaring gothic ruins as they’re illuminated in a breathtaking display of colour and light. Afterwards, hear tales from Count Dracula and come face to face with a coven of witches roaming about the ruins. Meet a sinister witch-finder to learn about the devious tricks of his trade, and keep out the cold with some delicious hot food and drink. www.english-heritage.org.uk

See all English Heritage Halloween events

Haunted Halloween at Tatton Park, Cheshire: 26th- 31st October

The Old Hall at Tatton Park is thought to be one of the most haunted buildings in England. The Great Wizard’s Gathering takes place in the Medieval Old Hall and includes; outdoor ghostly games and scary halloween crafts. www.tattonpark.org.uk

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Just one of the haunted-looking exteriors at Tatton Park (Getty)

Spooky Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight: 26th October – 3rd November

Grab your broomsticks for a day out at Carisbrooke Castle this Halloween half term. Make creepy crafts and take on a wicked witch-themed quest. There’s also the chance to meet some amazing animals – including snakes, spiders and more – and learn all about these creepy crawly creatures. www.english-heritage.org.uk

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Look for ghosts at Carisbrooke Castle (Getty)

See all English Heritage Halloween events

History and traditions of Halloween in the UK, plus how to carve a pumpkin and recipes ideas

Halloween celebrations today are mere echoes of our ancient, chilling Celtic customs. All Hallows Eve and autumn festivities can trace their roots to three pagan traditions and festivities from centuries past.

Our guide looks at the history of Halloween customs in the UK, its ancient origins, plus tips on how to carve a pumpkin(safely!) and tasty pumpkin recipe ideas.

Children making Halloween Jack O’lanterns

Halloween Family Fun Run, Wallington, Northumberland: 31st October

Join the family fun run, a 2.5km led run around the property with a medal waiting for you at the finish line for everyone who takes part! Why not wear your fancy dress to add to the fun? www.nationaltrust.org.uk

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Dress and run with your family this Halloween/Credit: Getty Images

See all National Trust Halloween events

Spooky Halloween at Beaumaris Castle, Anglesey: 31st October

Take a spooky castle tour and carve your own pumpkin or make a scary mask to take home. This 13th Century Castle is a magnificently atmospheric location to welcome in Halloween. cadw.gov.wales

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Beaumaris Castle is open to explore this Halloween- if you dare…/Credit: Getty Images

See other Halloween events at Welsh castles and historical sites

The Ghost train at the Vale of Rheidol Railway, Aberystwyth: 29-31st October

This haunted train ride leaves Aberystwyth at 6pm for a trip around the valley to Devil’s Bridge, returning at 9:30pm. Fancy dress is encouraged, with a prize given to the best children’s costume. www.rheidolrailway.co.uk

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Terror Island, Isle of Wight: 19th October – 2nd November

Embark on a horror night in Britain’s oldest and perhaps most haunted amusement park, built into the cliffs of what is often referred to as ‘ghost island’. Said to be cursed by a 16th century monk after a monastery on the island was destroyed by orders of Henry VIII​. With so many tales of paranormal activity, Terror Island promises to be a horrifying sensory Halloween experience with characters of famous ghosts from the area, within the cliff’s ‘cursed mill’! Only suitable for aged 16 +.  blackgangchine.com