Here’s our pick of the most interesting, unusual and amusing ways to mark Halloween which, as it falls on a Wednesday this year, has extended out to almost an entire week of gruesome, ghoulish, grotesque and great events. Vaguely in date order:Horrific: 13th Hour Horror Festival reels off two weeks of horror films and events at Leicester Square Theatre, including Psycho vs Psycho from Cigarette Burns Cinema on 25 October, Zomedy comedy night (where stand-ups corpse) on 30 October and Rich Sandling’s Perfect Movie Halloween special on 31 October.
Sub-aquatic: Lost Souls… Part II is a chance to party with the piranhas at the London Sea Life Centre. This is a Merlin production so expect the cast from the London Dungeons to be imported ready to scare the bejeezus out of you round every watery corner on Friday 26 October from 8.30pm-12.30 at Sea Life Centre, County Hall, Southbank (tickets from £10 if you’re quick – call 0871 2829201 to book or £20 on the door).
On ice: It’s Shriek Week at Alexandra Palace so get your skates on for a Halloween ice disco (take a severed limb with you for maximum fright effect) on Friday 26 and Wednesday 31 October from 8/8.30-11pm (£8.50 — add in a ghost tour and it’s £13).
Underground: Time Out Zombie Horror Camp calls for you to zombify yourself, flail your loose limbs to DJ sets from The Horrors, Robots in Disguise and Guilty Pleasures and make sure you learn all the moves to Thriller if you don’t want to be left for dead on the dancefloor. Limp to The Old Vic Tunnels on Thursday 25, Friday 26 and Saturday 27 October (tickets £25).
Thoughtful: The London Ghost Conference is a grand day of talks and talking about London hauntings with top authors and experts and wee bit of spooky storytelling at The Bishopsgate Institute on Saturday 27 October from 10.30am-6pm (tickets £20).
Vertiginous: Up at The O2 offer Climb of the Cursed to brave souls willing to be creeped out at base camp, tricked on the way up the Dome and ponder the view with a gothic map in hand. We found the experience exhilarating and challenging with no eerie additions but if you like a seasonal novelty twist, climb it cursed between 27 October and 4 November (tickets £22).
Family friendly: Night Walks: Boo at Bermondsey Halloween Special presents literary London ghost stories inspired by Charles Dickens with an eerie electro slant! Performed by local storyteller Vanessa Woolf. Live soundtrack by Nigel of Bermondsey with 80s kit – a Moog, ring modulator and test oscillator in Bermondsey Square from 2.30-3.15pm on Saturday 27 October (free but please book).
Political: The Zombie Revolution: immerse yourself in zombie-hood and march to the Southbank to be part of an immersive theatrical experience that will teach you a thing or two about first aid — the undead can be helpful too, you know. This is a fundraiser for St John’s Ambulance and protest for zombie rights on Saturday 27 October, time tbc (tickets £25).
Rooftop: The Midnight Apothecary brews cocktails to drive out evil spirits in the Brunel Museum roof garden. Be careful apple bobbing after you’ve had a few on Saturday 27 October from 5-10pm (free entry, cash bar).
Star-struck: Dress as your favourite dead film star for Die Freche Muse presents a Stars of the Silver Screen party at a secret Hackney location on Saturday 27 October from 10pm-4am (early bird tickets £15, £20 after).
Long-running: Halloween London has been getting into the occult spirit with a Halloween party since 2003 – join their tenth anniversary celebrations at Blueberry Bar, Shoreditch on Saturday 27 October from 8.30pm (entry free).
Mesmerising: Phantasmagoria is White Mischief’s Hallowe’en Ball, creating rooms themed around parlour tricks, sceances and macabre visions for you to trip through in your crazy fancy dress plus vintage style live entertainment at Scala, Kings Cross on Saturday 27 October from 9pm (tickets £19.99 adv, £35 on the door).
Absorbent underwear required: Full Moon Brockwell Lido is an evening of South London shocks with Chris Roberts and friends by the pool telling stories and sharing songs of clever rats, werewolves and the dead boxer of Denmark Hill on Monday 29 October at Brockwell Lido from 7.30pm (free entry, snacks on sale).
On the night itself:
Gory: The Doctors and Dissection Late demands a strong stomach with a chance to view the latest exhibition, Doctors, Dissection and Resurrection Men and take part in some grisly activities at the Museum of London on Wednesday 31 October from 7-9.45pm (tickets £10).
Camp: A Halloween Screening Party shows the highly camp, highly fun comedy horror films, Hocus Pocus and Beetlejuice downstairs at the Water Poet pub, Spitalfields on Wednesday 31 October from 6.30pm (tickets £4).
Bloody: Women with Bite is a special Vampire lecture, with a chance to try ingestible blood at St Bartholomews Pathology Museum, West Smithfield on Wednesday 31 October from 6.30-8.30pm (tickets £5 – includes refreshments and — er — blood).
Candle-lit: Take your seat at the Day of the Dead banquet and sink your teeth into a 3 course meal, drink bloody bloody marys and be thematically entertained in the crypt at Ginglik on Wednesday 31 October or Thursday 1 November from 7pm-1am (tickets £30).
Get slaughtered: Bones and McGibbor’s Funeral Parlour sets up at the Book Club, Shoreditch for a night featuring edible hair, portraits of the dead and maudlin Victoriana on Wednesday 31 October from 8pm-2am (tickets £5).
Witchy: Discover The Barking Witchcraft Trials with a guided tour of Barking’s historic witchcraft sites prior to a “midnight investigation” with a local psychic at the Broadway Theatre on Wednesday 31 October from 9pm (tickets £15). Can’t get to Barking? Watch it unfold online for £2.99.
Psychedelic: Morricone Giallo! will be a triptastic, twisted night at Rich Mix with a mash up of live cinema, visuals and music evoking “knife-edge erotica, naked women found dead in fridges and Alain Delon wrestling with giant eels” on Wednesday 31 October from 7.30pm (tickets £14 adv, £16 on the door).
Here’s Johnny: Watch The Shining at HMVCurzon Wimbledon from 8.45pm but get there early for occult music, cocktails and a fancy dress competition in the bar (tickets £12/£10 members).
How will you spend yours? Let us know in the comments.
Photo by Buckaroo Kid via the Londonist Flickrpool.