Things to do in London for Halloween is sponsored by the Natural History Museum.
Adult Halloween events and parties in London: Halloween 2022
HALLOWEEN FILMS: We've rounded up the scary films being shown in London this Halloween — take a look at the list and get booking.
MONTH OF THE DEAD: Halloween may not be until the end of October but London Month of the Dead goes on for the whole 31 days. Informative, entertaining, and often pretty creepy — the festival enthuses on the subject of death through talks, cemetery tours, screenings and workshops, but many events are already selling out, so be quick. There's often a free gin in the mix, too. 1-31 October
LEADENHALL MARKET: The Victorian Leadenhall Market goes big for Halloween, with several events going down. Those terrifying giant tentacles are grabbing hold of the building once again. Inside, Hoxton Street Monster Supplies opens a pop-up shop (5 October-11 November), selling delightful items such as 'Thickest Human Snot', 'Extracted Finger Nails' and 'Cubed Earwax' for budding witches and wizards. And spooky guided walks for adults take place every Wednesday in October, led by City of London guides and covering the sinister history of the area, including witchcraft and murder. From 5 October
DICKENS AND GHOSTS: Just in time for spooky season, the Charles Dickens Museum opens an exhibition about Dickens, ghosts and the supernatural. To Be Read at Dusk examines the author's interest in the paranormal, which resulted in him publishing more than 20 ghost tales. Items on display include a copy of The Chimes which he gifted to Hans Christian Andersen. 5 October-5 March
ROOFTOP PUMPKIN PATCH: East London rooftop bar Skylight at Tobacco Dock opens its first rooftop pumpkin patch, creating an Instagram-friendly backdrop for supping warm seasonal cocktails (including a pumpkin spice concoction we can definitely get on board with). Play games including indoor croquet or ping pong, or book your group a cosy autumnal igloo, where you can tuck into warming dishes including bratwurst, or truffle mac 'n' cheese. 6-31 October
THE CANTERVILLE GHOST: Oscar Wilde's short story The Canterville Ghost is brought to life on stage at Southwark Playhouse. A cast of four valiant vaudevillians portrays the spooky story of the disappearing ghost of Sir Simon de Canterville. Age 12+. 11 October-5 November
CLAPHAM GRAND: Legendary events venue The Clapham Grand has a whole host of Halloween events, from a Bongo's Bingo special to film screening nights, and a Cirque du Soul circus rave. 22 October-8 November
GOTHIC OPERA: Theatre company Gothic Opera presents a double bill of neglected operas by female composers for its spooktacular show. Head to Hackney's Round Chapel to see Le Loup-garou (the Werewolf) by Louise Bertin and Le dernier sorcier (the Last Sorcerer) by Pauline Viardot. Both shows have supernatural themes and feature mysterious creatures. 27 October-1 November
THE HORROR SHOW: 200 artworks and culturally significant objects feature in The Horror Show! A Twisted Tale of Modern Britain — a major new exhibition at Somerset House which opens just in time for Halloween. It explores the British cultural psyche in three acts, Monster, Ghost and Witch, looking back at the horror genre over the last 50 years and how it has reacted to the most troubling times. 27 October-February 2023
Discover the Natural History Museum after dark this Halloween
Ready to explore the Natural History Museum's spooky side? On Monday 31 October — All Hallow's Eve itself — you're invited to roam its galleries after-hours and get involved in all sorts of ghoulishly-good goings-on.
This adults-only event includes a chance to get better acquainted with some of the more misunderstood members of the animal kingdom (we're talking the creepiest of crawlies, here). Steady your nerves with a cocktail at the bar or a boogie in the silent disco, then head to the new-look Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition to marvel at even more wonders of the natural world away from the usual daytime crowds. Free entry is included with your ticket!
Halloween at the Museum runs 7pm-10.30pm. You can drop in any time up till 9pm, so you can easily work around any existing Halloween plans, and dressing up is highly encouraged. Standard tickets cost £37 - book yours now before they all disappear!
Halloween at the Museum. 7pm-10.30pm at the Natural History Museum (South Kensington).
SKY GARDEN PARTY: Celebrate Halloween on high at Sky Garden. The 35th floor venue hosts its annual bash with live music, dancing and cocktails — not to mention sublime views over London. Ghoulish costumes very much encouraged for this one. 28 October
HALLOWEEN BALL: Head to Alexandra Palace for the London Gay Men's Chorus Halloween Ball. Described as an 'homage to the ghoulish' and a 'cauldron of camp', it's an all-singing, all-dancing performance by Europe's largest gay choir, featuring spooky and Halloween-themed tunes. 28-29 October
JAPANESE GHOST TALES: Storytelling experts Crick Crack Club are at Kings Place for The Game Of Candles, an evening of haunting, fantastical ghost stories told in the light of flickering candles which, one by one, story by story, are extinguished. It's based on Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai, a Japanese folk game, in which each storyteller puts out a candle once they've finished, gradually sinking the room into darkness. Age 14+. 29 October
ZOMBIE GLITTERFEST: Late-night party spot The Camden hosts a Zombie Glitterfest Halloween rave. It's strictly fancy dress, with a definite zombie theme, and entertainment comes in the form of circus acts and stilt walkers — with plenty of glitter and sparkles thrown in. 29 October
ROCKY HORROR SUPPER CLUB: Chef Robin Gill's late-night supper club Blood Shot has something of a reputation for a wild time — so much so, that Gill himself has called time on it twice in the past. But it's back, with a Rocky Horror special at Bermonsdey Larder, just in time for Halloween. Fancy dress is mandatory, and your ticket includes a meal, paired drinks and entertainment. Oh, and this is one for night owls — it doesn't kick off until 11.30pm. 29 October
CLUB DE FROMAGE: Cheesy disco night Club de Fromage hosts a 'Murder on the Dancefloor' Halloween special at O2 Academy Islington. Gruesome and revolting outfits very much encouraged, with sing-alongs, confetti cannons and themed cocktails all part of the fun, as DJs spin Halloween-themed tunes from the last 50 years. 29 October
HALLOWEEN QUIZ: The Old Brewery in Greenwich once again hosts a Halloween quiz, with questions based on spooky pop culture. Pull a team together, don your finest costumes, and head down there for a few drinks and a workout for your little grey cells. Age 18+. 30 October
PUMPKIN GROTTO: Panzer's, a long-running deli and grocery in St John's Wood, has something of a transformation over Halloween, becoming a pumpkin grotto. Stock up on seasonal products including gourds and seasonal treats (including American candy), with face painting for kids, and slices of pumpkin pie available in the coffee bar. 30-31 October
TWISTED CIRCUS: An absolute staple of the Halloween events scene, Twisted Circus finishes up spooky season in London with a live show at Clapham Grand. Think extreme circus, with fire eaters, contortionists and other performers taking part in daring acts on stage, accompanied by a pumping soundtrack. 4 November
Things to do with children in London for Halloween 2022
PUMPKIN PICKING: Embrace all things autumnal and take the kids to one of these farms or pumpkin patches near London where they can pick their own. Some have play areas, tractor rides and other fun activities too — and one will even let you carve your pumpkins on site, to save you making a mess on the kitchen table at home. Don't forget your wellies!
HALLOWEEN TRAIL: Things get spooky ahead of Halloween at Chiswick House and Gardens, which hosts a Halloween trail for the first time. Head to the gardens after dark for a family-friendly adventure with glowing pumpkins, a fire garden and fire artists. If that doesn't warm you up, there's hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows too. 14-30 October
SCHOOL OF ICING: Biscuiteers run icing classes throughout the year in Belgravia and Notting Hill, and things take a spooky turn for Halloween, with hour-long classes where kids can learn to ice biscuits in the shape of pumpkins, witch's hats and other Halloween motifs, with guidance from expert icers. Age 7+ (separate adult classes available too). 22-26 October
NATURE DISCOVERY DAYS: Royal Parks gets in on the half term and Halloween action with Hair-Raising Halloween — its spooky version of the regular nature discovery days. Activities include an eerie nature trail, spooky storytime, and a chance to learn about Hyde Park's resident bats. FREE, 25-27 October
HOCUS POCUS: For one night only, you can catch Hocus Pocus in concert. The classic Disney film, about three witches in Salem on Halloween, is shown accompanied by a live soundtrack at Hammersmith's Eventim Apollo. Age 3+. 26 October
SPOOKY SKATE: Open to all ages, Fromage on Ice is an ice skating disco at Ally Pally — and this month it's a Halloween special. Skate and dance to Halloween and pop songs, with dance-offs, a costume competition, glowsticks and more. Under-8s must be accompanied by an adult on the ice. 29 October
RAVER TOTS: Family-friendly rave event Raver Tots has two Halloween events here in London, as well as others around the country. Open to all ages, it's chance for kids and their grown-ups to party together in a festival-style environment — think live DJs with music at safe levels for young ears, club-style lighting, bubbles, confetti blasters, parachute games and more. 29 October (Woolwich) and 30 October (Ministry of Sound)
SPOOKY WALKS: Highgate's Lauderdale House offers family-friendly spooky walks around the house and through Waterlow Park next door at dusk. Aimed at 5-9 year olds and their families, the walk has actors dressed up as creepy characters, striking a balance between fun and a little bit spooky. 31 October