Halloween celebrations seem to start earlier and earlier as the years go by, although mercifully pumpkins and witches hats don't seem to hit the shops until a few weeks beforehand (unlike Christmas puddings, on sale since August).
Finding something for the whole family to do on Halloween is a bit tricky, after all it is about evil spirits, ghosts, ghouls and generally horrible things (which kids love, of course), so we've included a few adult items as well.
If you are more of a clubbing/ party type, click the "Halloween Clubbing" link in the sidebar.
Click on the images/ links below to check for ticket availability.
The reservoir at Bewl Estate near Tunbridge Wells in Kent is normally a peaceful idyllic watery expanse that is home to water-fowl and an outdoor-activities centre. However, for a week's run-up to Halloween (23rd - 31st), you can take the opportunity to don fancy dress for the Best Dressed Ghoul competition and attend the Bewl Halloween event.
The main part of the evening, apart from dressing up, is a ghostly and spooky boat-tour around the haunted lake, piranhas feeding, a ghoulish walk through the forest of fear with the headless horseman and many other bowel-churning moments. It is for the whole family, so won't terrify you too much - or will it? Gold Tickets for the entire event which includes the Ghostly Ship, Forest Of Fear, Hydroballing Horror and Drop of Doom, cost £15.
Halloween Fireworks Ghost Train
If you fancy a ride on a ghost train through a haunted station late at night (rather than just catch the last train to Brentford at midnight), you should head to the Battlefield Line Railway in Leicestershire for a night of things that go bump in the night. Fancy dress and children's activities as well as a train ride, BBQ, drinks and a concluding fireworks display are all part of the evening which starts at 6.30 on the 30th (leading up nicely to Halloween itself). Tickets range from £7 - £32 (family saver ticket). There is also a strictly adults-only event on the 29th.
Scare Kingdom Scream Park - Evening Admission
Billed as Britain's premier and newest Halloween entertainment park is Lancashire's Scare Kingdom Scream Park (see what they did there?). Admission prices have been held at 2009 prices (£17) with two events per day. The daytime is suitable for younger children and families but the evening show is aimed at older kids etc. The park itself features a scary theatre, labyrinth, Unhallowed Hill (outdoor story theatre) and the notorious Hellfire Hall (walk-through scarefest). The park is open for two weeks from 22nd Oct to 6th Nov.
Circus Of Horrors
A circus attraction featuring performers doing unspeakable tricks sounds like a laugh and truly a little shop of circus horrors. Definitely for adults only, the acclaimed touring circus arrives in Blackpool for three nights from 28th-30th before heading off to Newcastle for Halloween itself. Bringing its new 'Four Chapters From Hell' show to the venues involves a lot of knife-throwing, bloody Voodoo warriors, pickled people (eh?) and zombies a plenty. Tickets cost from £14.90 upwards.
Halloween would not be complete without seeing this excellent scary feast for the nerves. I'm not going to tell you what happens but there are a few brown trouser moments. Tickets for the performances are limited but the midnight presentation on the 30th is still available for £46.75 - you also get a ride home on a night-bus when you come out of the theatre (now that IS scary).
We have many other Halloween attractions to gain entry to, including London Dungeon - Admission!