Freak Out: The Culture24 Guide to Halloween Fun

By Ben Miller | 28 October 2010
A photo of a ghost in an ancient hall
Vamp up the fear factor at Smithills Hall in Bolton this weekend
Culture24 has mined its events and listings database to bring you the pick of Halloween happenings at haunted historic sites and museums across the UK. Scroll down for some of the best Halloween horror shows across the country this weekend...

Pendennis Castle, Falmouth

The Tudor Kitchen at Pendennis Castle is usually off-limits, possibly because its incumbent is a ghostly chef thought to walk the underground tunnels listening for the gallop of horses destined to be eaten by their owners during a Civil War siege. Take a tour of the haunted underpath with daytime sessions for children and late-night, adult-only sessions supplemented with mugfuls of soup.

Family tours at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3pm, over-16s tours at 7.30pm and 9.30pm (castle open 10am-4pm). Admission to family tours £3-£6 (family ticket £15), adult tours £15. Call 01326 316594.

Smithills Hall, Bolton
At least one corner of Lancashire appears to be twinned with Transylvania this year. It’s Vampire Week in Bolton, with a free quiz and prizes for everyone in fancy dress as well as storytelling sessions and Halloween crafts on Sunday.

Storytelling takes place 2pm-2.30pm and 3pm-3.30pm until Friday. Halloween crafts on Sunday, 1pm-4pm. Admission £3/£2 (free for children), call 01204 332211.

Bolsover Castle, Chesterfield
Join a team of Time Travellers to find a hidden tomb with a mystery dead guest wrapped neatly inside it, make your own decorations in a craft area or stalk the ancient grounds of Bolsover with a ghost hunter who gleefully spouts gruesome tales along his intrepid way. There are late-night openings of the illuminated castle on Saturday and Sunday.

Admission £3.70-£7.40 (family ticket £18.50, £1 additional charge may apply for some activities). Call 01246 822844 or 01246 823349.

Cannon Hall, Barnsley
An appearance in the Domesday Survey and a cruel and violent fugitive murder hundreds of years ago suggest this glorious Yorkshire country pad might have a few ghouls to get shot of. It hosts a raucous play in its Victorian Ballroom on Saturday and a series of Halloween Ghost Walks on Sunday.

Haunted! Play tickets £9, booking essential (unsuitable for young children). Tours take place hourly between 6pm and 9pm, admission £5.50/£4.50. Booking essential, call 01226 790270.

Ryedale Folk Museum, York
Any old excuse to dress up for the team at Ryedale – take a look at their blog and you can already spot dastardly types hunched over tables, clad thick with the contents of a Boots make-up counter and chomping their fangs into bits of the local history surrounding York’s open-air gem. Tours, outfits and a big bad party make for a devilish Saturday evening.

6pm-8pm. Call 01751 417367 for full details.

Queen Street Mill Textile Museum, Burnley
Almost 30 years after it closed its doors for the last time, the last surviving operational steam-powered weaving mill on the outskirts of the textile town creaks back into life on Saturday with a haunted Weaving Shed and an endless disarmament of horrors.

Admission £4.50 (suitable for 7-14-year-olds). Booking essential, call 01282 430220.

Red House Museum and Gardens, Christchurch
“When darkness engulfs the streets and graveyards of Christchurch, and dark shadows flit across the face of the moon, you will breathe easily knowing that your fearless guide will lead you safely back to the Red House Museum for treats,” promises Dorset’s finest. Unfortunately they also accept no responsibility for the potential disappearance of stragglers, so keep your wits about you.

Admission £7.50, call 01202 482860.

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle and Gateshead
“We are ordering lots of pumpkins, but expect them to go quickly,” warn BALTIC. With the public’s help, they’re aiming to carve 1,000 of the orange beauties between Friday and Saturday, although visitors are welcome to bring their own as long as they adhere to the timing system implemented by the pumpkin planners.

Admission free. Call 0191 478 1810.

Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, Great Missenden
For some people, Halloween is just another annual excuse to stuff themselves with chocolate. If that sounds like you, head to Buckinghamshire on Sunday to mould a chocolate cat, fill a cauldron with jellyworms and concoct Gothic scenes with toads and cauldrons. Witches and creepy crawlies will be in attendance.

Sessions at 11.15am, 12.30pm, 1.45pm and 3pm. Admission £10 (includes museum entry), call 01494 892192.

East Fortune Airfield, East Lothian
Ghosts with an unusually refined sense of direction at the National Museum of Flight, where the spirits of cockpit aces from World War I and World War II haunt the huge hangars. Dress in a scary costume for workshops and themed fun on Sunday.

Admission £9/£7 (free for under-12s). Call 0131 247 4238.

Want more ideas across the country this weekend? Check out Culture24's Halloween listings on our events pages, where you will find lots more ideas for a heritage themed Halloween.
  • Back to top
  • | Print this article
  • | Email this article
  • | Bookmark and Share
Museum Crush digest sign up ad