As the spirits prepare to be raised on All Hallows’ Eve, we round some of the most ghoulish ways to spend the most frightful night of the year.

Whether you’re staying in with a frightening film and a bucketload of sweets for visiting ghouls this Halloween; hiding under the covers with a terrifying tale; hosting a Spooktacular party; or heading out for an All Hallows’ Eve activity, these are all the resources you’ll need for a fright-filled night.

Read A Spooky Book



A Slow Fire Burning

Paula Hawkins


The author of The Girl on The Train, Paula Hawkins, takes us on another twisty ride with the story of a ‘dangerous’ misfit, a body found on a houseboat, the victim’s relative and a whole host of other unreliable narrators, whose secrets are teased out as we tear our way through the book. Following a smash-hit phenomenon is no mean feat; and yet this one is, if anything, even more accomplished than the last. Prepare to be gripped. Buy it here.


The Folio Book of Horror Stories

Edited and introduced by Ramsey Campbell


Scare yourself silly this Halloween by getting lost in not one but many chilling tales. How? By laying (severed?) hands on this anthology of horror, which takes you from classic Edgar Allan Poe right up to Stephen King. Buy it here.


I Am Legend

Richard Matheson


Another classic terrifying tale, another beautiful Folio Society edition. A brutal post-apocalyptic tale of blood-sucking vampires, it gets the introduction it deserves from contemporary horror legend, Joe Hill. Buy it here.


The Cottage

Lisa Stone


If you like a classic haunted house tale, Lisa Stone leads us to the secluded cottage of the title and, well, as one might imagine, terrifying things begin to unfold. All the tapping at windows and strange noises you could want from a gripping Halloween read. Buy it here.


Following Frankenstein

Catherine Bruton


Everyone knows the story of Frankenstein’s monster. Most, however, are not obsessed in the way that Maggie Walton’s father is. When he makes a last-ditch attempt to find the monster in the Arctic, Maggie secretly steals away with him. An epic adventure for 9-to-12-year olds that riffs on the classic gothic tale. Buy it here.


Mr Men Halloween Party

Adam and Roger Hargreaves


A somewhat lighter read for tiny witches and warlocks, Mr Happy invites the other Mister Men and Misses in for a Halloween party – what Spooktacular events might unfold? Buy it here.


Watch A Scary Show



There’s Someone Inside Your House

Netflix



The title alone gives us the shivers. There’s Someone Inside Your House is made by producer of Stranger Things, Shawn Levy and directed by Patrick Brice. It kicks off as Makani Young moves to a new, quiet town and starts making friends, only to find that, one by one, they start disappearing. Spooky times. Watch the trailer here.


The Chestnut Man

Netflix



The Scandinavians famously have flair when it comes to making dark thrillers. The Chestnut Man, which comes from the creators of The Killing, is no different; when a woman is found murdered, all that’s left at the scene is a small man, made of chestnuts. Shivers aplenty guaranteed. Watch the trailer here.


Squid Game

Netflix



Netflix’s most-watched show – overtaking even Bridgerton – is Squid Game, a Korean thriller about a group of gameshow contestants who must win – or die. Brutal and not a little horrifying. Watch the trailer here.


A Tale of Dark & Grimm

Netflix



A wickedly witty animated retelling of the Hansel and Gretel story. The ideal Halloween viewing for younger ghouls. Watch the trailer here.


Spooktacular Activities



Ghost Raiders At The Tower of London



The Tower Of London is said to abound with restless spirits. This Halloween, they have been inadvertently released and will only be contained with the help of young ghost busters – i.e: you. They say: ‘A team of Ghost Raiders are on site, but they urgently need your help to investigate spooky occurrences and defeat the spirit trying to capture the Tower. Trumpets from Anne Boleyn's coronation can be heard near her old apartments, tobacco has been smelt near Raleigh’s Walk, and something terrible is afoot in the Salt Tower. Never have so many hauntings taken place at one time, and it seems that the ghosts are trying to communicate the identity of one vengeful spirit.’ Can you help them protect the tower? Book tickets here.


The Surgery At The London Dungeons



Anyone who has ever been brave enough to set foot in the London Dungeons will know that its walls have known all manner of horrors. Concluding on Halloween is its Surgery, which examines the nightmarish reality of a trip to the surgeon in the Victorian era. Shudder. To find out what spooky goings on are happening concurrently at Edinburgh, York, Alton Towers and Blackpool dungeons, do check the website. Book tickets here.


Halloween At Blenheim Palace



Blenheim, birthplace of Winston Churchill, is never not an atmospheric place to spend an autumnal day, especially as the mists fall over its Capability Brown-landscaped gardens. This year, though, we can expect even more thrills, thanks to its Halloween special. They say, ‘Watch out for flickering flames in a fiendish fire garden, daring fire artists and grinning pumpkins aglow. Wind your way through the illuminated haunted woods filled with creepy neon cobwebs, ghastly ghouls, wicked witches, larger-than life spiders and beastly bats. Then discover the Secret Garden filled with more hidden surprises. Could it be a trick of the light or do things really go ‘bump in the night’?’ Book tickets here.


The Haunted Castle At Warwick Castle



Warwick Castle is overrun with spectral apparitions roaming its turrets and halls. With over 1,100 years of history, how could it not be? They say, ‘With brand new shows for 2021, including Upscares DownScares, Witches School, Troll Hunter School and The Dead Centre Stage packed with brand new live performances. To returning favourites: the Haunted Hollows, The Witches Tower, and Wizards Schools, we truly have something for everyone in the family this Halloween.’ Plus, the dungeons are open, making this Warwick’s grizzliest Halloween yet. Book tickets here.


Dress Up



Etsy

Squid Game Soldier Triangle Circle Square Face Mask, £45.26


For zeitgeist points, ape the look from the dystopian hit show this Halloween.

Etsy

Cruella Deville Costume, £44.34


Channel the genius of Emma Stone’s portrayal of the young, dog-napping Cruella De Vil. All you need do is complete the look with a distinctive striped wig. Buy it here.

Etsy

The Handmaid’s Tale Costume, £31.41


Another costume, another dystopian world successfully evoked, this time courtesy of the great Margaret Atwood. Buy it here.

Meri Meri

Velvet Witch Cape & Wand, £68


You can’t beat classic. And Halloween costumes don’t get much more classic than this velvet number. One to wear year after year and then hand down. Buy it here.

Smallable

Chapeau Pointu Halloween Blue, £32


Complete the look with this gorgeous velvet starry hat. Buy it here.

Meri Meri

Dinosaur Costume, £60


It’s not all about witches, ghosts and ghouls at Halloween. After all, what’s scarier than a fearsome dinosaur? Jurassic Park could happen, guys. Buy it here.

H&M

Skeleton, £17.99


Does it actually get scarier than a glow-in-the-dark skeleton costume on All Hallows’ Eve. We think not. Buy it here.

By Nancy Alsop
October 2021

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Nancy Alsop

Editor

Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.

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