From pumpkin picking to zombie survival runs, we uncover the best haunts for a spooky adventure.

Pick Your Own Pumpkin, Kent

Throughout October

It just wouldn’t be Halloween without a jack-o’-lantern glowing in your window. Strap on your wellies and find the perfect pumpkin the traditional way at this pretty, family-owned pumpkin patch.

With over ten acres of the iconic orange veg, you could bring home enough to make lanterns, pies, soups, spiced lattes and any other treats your Halloween heart desires.

Says manager Jemma Thompson, “We grow just under two million each year, so we know quite a bit about pumpkins and how to grow them!”

Hunt for all shapes, sizes and colours including the green Crown Prince and white Ghost. You need only pay for what you pick, from £1 for small squash to £4 for a “monster pumpkin”—that’s assuming you can carry it home! 

Read more: 10 Wonderful ways with pumpkin and squash

 

All Dogs Matter Walk, London

October 29

From four-legged phantoms to doggy Draculas and murderous mutts, hundreds of hounds and their owners descend on Hampstead’s haunted Spaniard’s Inn pub each year to raise money for the local dog rehoming charity shelter All Dogs Matter.

There’s a creepy costume contest and spooky stalls offering tricks and treats for man and best friend alike, all rounded off with a steaming bowl of pumpkin soup. And if your pooch doesn’t like fancy dress? Not to worry. There are prizes for their human counterparts too.

Says events coordinator, Rowena, “It’s great to see so many people turning up on a misty morning to support our charity and join in a bit of Halloween fun! Look out for our witches, wizards, ghosts and ghouls across the Heath; the walk is quite a sight to behold!” 

Read more: 15 Animals who dressed up for Halloween

 

Bodmin Jail, Cornwall

Throughout October

Built for King George III in 1779, Bodmin Jail has held and hanged many criminals over the centuries—what better place to get in touch with ghouls this haunting season?

The “After Dark Experience” offers wannabe ghost-hunters the chance to spend the early hours of the morning in Bodmin’s darkest depths.

Beginning with a three-course meal, paranormal lovers are invited to delve into the history of this eerie site before a psychic medium leads them behind bars to encounter the “ghosts” of the former county jail.

Scare highlights include a look at the Execution Shed—a 4.5 metre-deep Victorian hanging pit. As the only one left in the UK—and a working execution site up until 1909—it’s sure to give you the heebie-jeebies. 

Read more: 10 of the world’s spookiest ghost towns

 

Tanfield Railway, Tyne & Wear

October 28–29

For one weekend only, Halloween adventurers are invited to board the world’s oldest railway for a white-knuckle ride they’ll never forget.

With creatures lurking in the dark and things going bump in the night, this family escapade will have both adults and children on the edge of their seat as witches dare you to try their potions and ghouls enrol you in gruesome games.

Says commercial director David Watchman, “Expect everything from abattoirs to forgotten forests, science experiments to zombie-infested carriages and talking pumpkins… we’ve got a lot up our sleeves! New for this year will be the haunted engine shed—would you dare walk through it? It has a few haunting stories to tell…including the tale of the headless engineer!”

Originally built sometime in the 1600s, the long history of this railway alone is enough to make your hair stand on end. 

 

Halloween Nights, Cardiff

October 29–31

Experience a real “night at the museum” at St Fagans National Museum of History, where visitors make for a spooky spectacle, decked out in fancy dress and carrying home-made pumpkin lanterns to guide them around the dark grounds.

Bernice Parker, public events officer at the museum, explains, “Wales is rich with traditions and stories associated with Halloween, or Calan Gaeaf—the time when summer turns to winter. Our curators have dug into the darkest corners of the museum’s collections to find spells, songs and witchcraft that make this a uniquely Welsh affair.”

Watch a straw Wicker Man burn and walk in the lantern parade all in the spectacular grounds of this open-air museum, which chronicles the history of Welsh culture through more than 40 buildings. 

 

Zombie Survival Run, Berkshire

October 28

Do you scoff at the ineptitude of the humans in zombie films? Think you’ve got better survival skills? Time to prove it!

Willing victims—sorry, competitors—get lively with the undead on this booby-trapped zombie fun run. Not only do challengers have to negotiate a five-kilometre inflatable obstacle course, but they’ll be evading
live zombies.

Each runner is equipped with a tag belt decked out with three “lives”, so they can encounter three brushes with death and still make it to the end of the world…ahem…finishing line. Get through all that unscathed and you can proudly say that you’ve survived
a zombie apocalypse.

You can choose to take on the course as a human, or, if you’re feeling particularly contagious, douse yourself in fake blood and enter as a zombie. 

Read more: The evolution of zombies

 

Halloween in the City, Manchester

Throughout October

Unsuspecting tourists in Manchester are in for a scare during October—the entire city has been taken over by fright-night fever. Pumpkin lanterns will light the streets, huge inflatable monsters will invade city centre buildings and upon nightfall, the iconic Manchester Town Hall will glow a ghastly green…

The family-friendly festival, dubbed “Halloweekend”, includes a city-wide Trick or Treat, haunted mazes and the biggest “mass dress up” in Halloween history. Winning contestants will join DJs on a main stage catwalk, so be sure to dress to impress.

It’s the perfect opportunity to trick the little ones with education wrapped up as a treat—head down to Big Fish Little Fish where bats have winged their way over from Chester Zoo and experts are at hand to explain the science of slime and spiders. 

 

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