Halloween: More Things To See And Do

By Scott Wood Last edited 105 months ago
Halloween: More Things To See And Do

Halloween: once it was a night, now it lasts a whole week or more. It's a time to stop worrying about the recession, the environment and the rise of all corners of the political right and to get really scared by things. Like ghosts, witches and tentacled gods, that sort of thing. We've already brought you news of London Ghost Festival and other Hallo-weenie happenings, but, there's still quirky strangeness out there for us to bring to you.

Firstly, today, come see what some of London's pagan community are saying about ghosts. Patsy Langley and Ricky Sorenti will be appraising the ghosts and legends of Middlesex, tales both ancient and modern. Maybe a pagan group will know something we don’t. This will be at Secret Chiefs at the Devereux pub, 20 Devereux Court, off Essex Street, London WC2. Starts at 8.30pm. Admission £2.

On Thursday is a night dedicated to ghostly fiction called Spectres at the Feast. Spectres will appear all over the upstairs room of Dirty Dick's, 7pm-10pm, on Bishopsgate, near Liverpool Street, to tell ghost stories, from MR James to new spooky stories. This one is free, and there's a ghostly quiz to win books and other reading delights.

Don't know what to do with yourself before the sun sets on Saturday 31st itself? To celebrate the Mumchance & Guise (plain old dressing up and causing trouble to you) exhibition at Cecil Sharp House in Camden there will be a procession from Primrose Hill. They will process to Cecil Sharp House where a series of musicians in disguise will perform, all for free. Meet in your own disguise at 4.15pm at the top of Primrose Hill

Or you may wish to hear frequent Fortean Times contributor Gordon Rutters talk on Spirit Photography, the Victorian passion for photographing themselves with the faces of dead loved ones floating about their head, at the British Library from 2.30-4pm. £6, £4 concessons.

Afterward you could, for five pounds, cross over into the ever groovy and distracting world of the Horse Hospital in Bloomsbury for a mini-marathon of the The Twilight Zone, followed by live music. It's £5 advance, £6 on the door, 6pm until midnight.

Another walk through the living heart of Halloween is the walk from the Magdala pub in Hampstead to the Heath. This is an open public ritual for people to honour the dead with drumming and rituals and tree dressing. Bring your own clouties, tealights and percussion. The walk starts from the pub at 7pm, contact Kirsten Hearn for details. She says "Look for the large blind witch and some cohorts clutching drums, lanterns and the like!"

Never mind the "All Souls", Sunday, 1 November, is the Mexican Day of the Dead, which is being marked by the British Museum and others. Strange Attractor, purveyors of quality weirdness, are involved in their own Day of the Dead night dedicated to the tentacle gods of HP Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos. There's music and cinematic performance and music based around "Visions of the Al Azif", a cinematic meditation of the altered states explored by the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred, author of the Necronomicon. It’s at the Foundry, Great Eastern Street, from 7pm. It's free so you've nothing to lose but your soul.

By Scott Wood

Last Updated 28 October 2009