Adult Halloween events and parties in London: Halloween 2023
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 month. 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. 30 September-1 November
WEREWOLF BEER: Surely the wackiest brewery taproom in London, Werewolf Beer in Camden Road is getting into the Halloween spirit throughout the month, with Psychobilly Bingo, scary movie nights, a Horror Beach Party and more — check their socials for deets.
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, and Hoxton Street Monster Supplies is back with a pop-up shop. Spooky guided walks for adults take place every Wednesday 11 October-1 November, led by City of London guides and covering the sinister history of the area, including witchcraft and murder. From 11 October
SAW ESCAPE EXPERIENCE: The SAW: Escape Experience — based on the SAW horror film franchise — comes to an end in November, but not before it hosts three extra-terrifying After Dark events for Halloween. You've got 70 minutes to outwit Jigsaw, and then — if you survive — make your way to a Halloween-themed party in SAW-inspired bar, The Traproom. Absolutely not for the faint-hearted. 21-31 October
CLAPHAM GRAND: Legendary events venue The Clapham Grand has a whole host of Halloween events, from film screening nights to a huge Halloween party. 21-31 October
THE PRINCE: Earl's Court pub The Prince is another boozy venue with a whole programme of Halloween events. Themed bingo, bottomless brunch, pumpkin carving and all-out Halloween parties feature across the course of a week. All age 18+. 25-31 October
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. 27 October
TWISTED CIRCUS: It's a double bill from London Halloween staple Twisted Circus. Things kick off with a Halloween boat party (27 October), a four-hour round trip from Tower Pier with a fully-stocked bar, open-air roof deck and classic and new-release songs. Not great on your sea legs? The following day (28 October), Twisted Circus takes over The Forge in Camden for a Halloween Festival with live circus performers, jump scares, live DJs, a fortune teller, and other entertainment.
GOTHIC OPERA: Theatre company Gothic Opera presents an English-language operetta by Robert Planquette, based on two stories by Washington Irving: Rip van Winkle and Sleepy Hollow. The piece hasn't been performed in English since the 19th century, so this production at Hoxton Hall is rather special. 27 October-1 November
MOVIES FRIGHT NIGHT: Mama Shelter in Bethnal Green hosts a dinner inspired by horror cult classics, including creepy dinner specials, immersive dinner shows, interactive experience and a flash mob. Freddy Krueger, Ghostface, Michael Myers and Carrie, are all on the guest list... 28 October
HALLOWEEN DRAG: South Bank venue Between The Bridges hosts a double whammy of Halloween-themed drag experiences. Head to the Halloween drag show brunch hosted by Black Peppa and Elektra Fence, with live performances, quizzes and games, and an hour of bottomless prosecco. Alternatively, head there later that evening for the Halloween Drag Extravaganza party. Both 28 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. 28 October
HAUNTED MANSION TAKEOVER: The interior of The Mandrake in Fitzrovia is transformed into a haunted mansion for one night only. We're promised 'supernatural surprises lurking in every corner', including ghostly apparitions and mournful wails. Expect performances and DJ sets from the likes of Daniel Sehnawi, Madmotormiquel & Kotoe, Frida Darko & Atric and more, and you can add a three-course meal onto your ticket if you're so inclined. 28 October
GLITTERFEST HALLOWEEN: 'Hundreds of beautiful glitter zombies' will be released at Glitterfest Halloween, a fancy dress party at The Garage in Islington, with confetti cannons, circus acts and zombie stilt walkers, and a soundtrack of RnB, hip hop and garage. 28 October
HALLOWEEN AT THE MUSEUM: Once again, the Natural History Museum stays open late on Halloween itself for a spooky, adults-only event. Don fancy dress to take a Spooky Tour of the museum's all-time strangest specimens, or to visit the exhibitions and displays after dark. 31 October
THE LAST TUESDAY SOCIETY: The Absinthe Parlour at The Last Tuesday Society has a slightly... unsettling selection of events year-round, so it really comes into its own for spooky season. Events this October include séances, horror film screenings and tarot readings.
Things to do with children in London for Halloween 2023
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!
URBAN PUMPKIN PATCH: If you can't make it out to one of the above, hit up the new urban pumpkin patch instead. It's popping up at Cowcross Yards in Farringdon, where you can select your own mini gourd, then pimp it up with the help of graffiti artists. 25-26 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 classes where kids can learn to ice biscuits in the shape of pumpkins, witches' hats and other Halloween motifs, with guidance from expert icers. Age 4+ (separate adult classes available too). 21-28 October
GHOST BUSTERS: During half term, the Charles Dickens Museum offers family-friendly house tours with a spooky twist. Ghost Busters! focuses on Victorian supernatural beliefs, which influenced Dickens' own ghost stories. There's also a chance to play some ghostly games, and kids will leave with plenty of spooky facts to share with their friends. 25-26 October
EAST SHEEN HALLOWEEN HUNT: Once again, the Hare & Hounds is the base for the East Sheen Halloween Hunt, a trail through the local area visiting different businesses. Each is home to a letter which, when combined, spell out a phrase. Once your kids have sussed out the phrase, head back to the pub where they can collect a prize. 28 October
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
FREE FACE PAINTING: Take your little monsters out for an ice cream this Halloween (3pm-5pm), and they can get their face painted for free. Gelato brand Badiani is offering free spooky face painting for kids with every purchase of a gelato, at branches in Angel, Balham, Chelsea and Notting Hill (as well as Windsor, further afield). 31 October
JUNIOR HALLOWEEN PARTY: The White Hart in Barnes is the place to head after school on Halloween, for a party including trick or treat games, a costume competition, and spookily-themed food and drink. 31 October