Halloween 2020 is a quieter affair than normal, with many of the usual parties and celebrations not going ahead. However, the below events are still happening at time of writing, though do check with venues for any last minute changes or cancellations. Booking is required for all events to manage social distancing, and wherever you go, there's a legal cap of six people per group booking.
Halloween events in London
SCARECROWS: The London Dungeon has done some seriously scary Halloween events in its time — we've still not recovered from the great Necropolis Railway incident of 2017 — but this year's theme is a bit of a curveball. Scarecrows are getting the Dungeon treatment, with a special installation looking at the history of the hairy chaps. Doesn't sound too scary, but knowing The London Dungeon, it absolutely will be. 3-31 October
FANTASTIC BEASTS: For a Halloween-themed family day out, head to ZSL London Zoo to come face to face with all manner of fantastic beasts, and learn about the 'costumes' used in the animal kingdom. Visitors are invited to dress up too, and zookeepers are on hand to tell grim and gruesome Halloween stories about the animals they care for. 24 October-1 November
PUMPKIN CARVING: Why should kids have all the Halloween fun? West London pub The Prince hosts a pumpkin carving evening, with gourd, carving equipment, Halloween cocktail (or mocktail) and pumpkin spiced popcorn included. Expect to hear spooky tunes as the evening progresses, and don your best fancy dress. Best carvings win a prize. 28 October
NEON DEATH DRAWING: How do you make life drawing more Halloween? Rename it 'death drawing', naturally. BoxPark Shoreditch's regular Neon Life Drawing class gets a spooky twist, with the models representing zombies and clowns this time round. Begin with some warm-up drawing exercises before using neon art materials to recreate the scene in front of you. 29 October
CABARET SPOOKTACULAR: Proud Embankment hosts two special Cabaret Spooktacular evenings, with renowned cabaret stars taking to the stage. Book 29 October to see West End star Kerry Ellis, or 31 October to see a Las Vegas-style show starring Denise Van Outen. Expect dazzling costumes, live music, acrobatics, fire breathers and much more. 29-31 October
POP-UP PAINTING: Regular art class Pop-Up Painting is back in session, offering socially distanced painting events at various locations. For Halloween, head to Hays at Horniman in London Bridge to create your own version of The Scream, or a hybrid of Starry Night and The Scream. Guidance from a professional artist is included, as is a glass of prosecco to help the creative process along. 31 October
HALLOWEEN BRUNCH: Street food, performers, a live DJ and spooky decor are all part of Vauxhall Food and Beer Garden's Halloween Soirée, which also incorporates Day of the Dead celebrations. Sit down to a two-hour bottomless brunch accompanied by live Mariachi band, stilt walkers and more. Fancy dress encouraged. 31 October
ZOMBIE BRUNCH: Camden's Shaka Zulu restaurant hosts a Halloween brunch with outrageous costumes, live DJs, and bottomless rum punch. Tickets include a two-course meal, an hour of bottomless drinks, a Garage, R'n'B and House soundtrack, and competitions and giveaways throughout the event. 31 October
SÉAYONCÉ: Cabaret ghost whisperer act Séayoncé appears at Phoenix Arts Club for a one-off Halloween show, involving sordid pasts, bleak futures, and support from some of London's finest cabaret acts. 31 October-1 November
Halloween horror film screenings in London
LUNA DRIVE-IN CINEMA: After a successful summer season, Luna Cinema returns with two drive-in movie theatres, at Thorpe Park in Surrey and Allianz Park in Hendon. Park up and watch the likes of The Shining, Goosebumps, and IT: Chapter One from the safety of your car. Refreshments come courtesy of the Munch + Crunch package — order from your phone and have your snacks delivered directly to your car. 23 October-1 November
DRIVE-IN FILM CLUB, ALEXANDRA PALACE: The team behind Rooftop Film Club also turn their attention to engines, with Drive-In Film Club at Alexandra Palace. It's open throughout October, showing classic films such as Grease, but things get spooky towards the end of the month with Rosemary's Baby, Psycho and Hocus Pocus on the bill. Dress your car up in a Halloween costume for a chance to win a Rooftop Film Club membership. Until 31 October
HORROCTOBER AT PRINCE CHARLES CINEMA: Leicester Square's independent Prince Charles Cinema remains open, and plans to do so for the foreseeable, This year's Horroctober season includes The Thing, American Psycho, The Shining, Hocus Pocus, and much more, with multiple screenings of each film in the run-up to Halloween. 16 October-1 November
THE OMEN: The cinema at The Exhibit in Balham is still running regular film nights, and hosts a Halloween special of The Omen. Your ticket to the 1976 horror film includes a Hayman's gin and tonic. 29 October
FORBIDDEN FOREST CINEMA: Pop Up Screens has, er, popped up a screen in Peckham. Its Forbidden Forest Cinema is an immersive experience, screening the likes of Nightmare On Elm Street, The Blair Witch Project and The Sixth Sense in the run-up to Halloween. It's not all scares though — family-friendly half term screenings include Moana and Minions. 23 October-8 November
Halloween food and drink in London
HUMMINGBIRD BAKERY: All-American bakery chain Hummingbird Bakery embraces Halloween in a big way, with a range of themed cakes available throughout October. Treat yourself to cupcakes decorated with skulls, pumpkins and witches, or splash out on a larger cake to share with friends (max 6, obviously). In true American style, pumpkin cheesecake is also on the Halloween menu.
FLAVOURTOWN BAKERY: West London based Flavourtown Bakery is also big on Halloween, with bold and brightly decorated skull cakes, monster cakes, and mini boo cupcakes.