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Jack the Ripper, the Krays, Jekyll and Hyde: London’s certainly got enough fearsome tales and characters to make Halloween a suitably spooky occasion. As All Hallows Eve looms, we pick some of the best frolics and frights to entertain your team and clients.
The London Dungeon might be an obvious choice, given its status as a hub for year-round haunting, but this year there’s a new host. ‘The Trickster’ will be making the London Bridge venue his home from 29 September – 4 November, scaring and trick-or-treating visitors to London’s notoriously grim attraction.
Another Merlin-organised evening will take place at the ‘Lost Souls Part II’ party at Sea Life London Aquarium. The night will start with an interactive maze through the Aquarium’s Rainforest, where ‘victims’ will attempt to escape the clutches of bloodthirsty piranhas, Cuban crocodiles and killers summoned from Madame Tussauds’ Chamber of Horrors. A range of drinks will be available from the bar including The Bootstrap Bill, Ocean Breeze and Shark Bite, while a DJ will spin party classics. Tickets cost £20pp.
If you’re after entertainment that starts a little later and is a tad more risqué, The Old Vic Tunnels have planned three nights of frightening fun over the Halloween weekend. Be prepared for a full onslaught of terror including voodoo-doll making and a zombie run. For something a little more hair-raising (and eyebrow-raising) there will also be a grotesque strip club, as well as a DJ line-up that includes The Horrors, MTV’s Izzy Lawrence, Gary Powell of The Libertines and V&E favourites Guilty Pleasures. Tickets cost £25pp.
With All Hallows Eve falling on a weekday this year there are plenty of options for combining your horror-filled excursion with a teambuilding exercise. And if you don’t fancy dragging the whole office out head-to-toe in face paint and mock-leather attire, you could still consider a slightly more educated option. This year, the Museum of London will host an evening of macabre activities and performances inspired by the world of the nineteenth-century body snatchers and the surgeons that they nourished. As well as visiting the current exhibition, 'Doctors, Dissection and Resurrection Men', the evening includes wax-modelling workshops with sculptor and medical artist Eleanor Crook.
Alternatively, Kensington Gore at The V&A will see the museum transformed into a late night venue with a bar and music from guest DJs. The free event on October 26 will include workshops, fake-blood screen printing, a lecture from horror aficionado Sir Christopher Frayling and a screening of Dario Argento's The Stendhal Syndrome.
For a different kind of fear altogether, you could try Up at The O2’s Climb of the Cursed. Halloween thrill seekers can take the challenge offered by the attraction, giving up to 15 intrepid climbers the chance to scale the exterior of the dome on a purpose-built walkway. Once at the summit, guests will be given a creepy map of the capital that centres on some of London's most ghoulish haunts from a safe (albeit high) distance. Not one for the faint hearted.
For an out of town treat, Love Brunch will be hosting their ‘Fear and Loathing’ Halloween party at Oxfordshire private house Aynhoe Park. While it might be a grand English stately home, its isolated location also makes for the ultimate haunted house. Expect a macabre makeover as the venue transforms into the home of gruesome performing acts and dreadful DJs, along with street food provided by the hosts. ‘Dead bloody’ costumes are compulsory and tickets cost £65pp.