Fright night at the City of London’s best Halloween haunts

City of London's best Halloween haunts
David Shrigley, I’m Dead, 2007. © David Shrigley. Courtesy the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London.

Whether you usually celebrate Halloween or not, you’ve got to admit – it’s a great excuse for a bit of fun. And with the City packed with so much history, October 31 is the perfect opportunity to combine that fun with some of the Square Mile’s most famous historical sites, along with some less historical but highly thrilling ones, too.

Ghost tours, a spooky cabaret and a visit to Jack the Ripper’s murder sights are just a few of the activities on offer this spooky season. So, make sure to read on to discover how to get your horror on… If you dare.

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Harminder Judge, Self Portrait (after Kali & Gene), 2009, Digital c-type print © Harminder Judge.

The London Bridge Experience

On the City’s doorstep is the celebrated London Bridge – yet, in days of old, the now-tourist attraction was a place that law-abiding citizens dared not visit. In Tudor times, the bridge was a site of gruesome happenings – those in charge used to impale the heads of traitors and criminals on spikes displayed along the bridge, people were frequently hung there, and, in the tombs underneath, excavators have recently discovered a massive plague pit.

To this day, people around the world believe the bridge and tombs are haunted with the ghosts of those who died there long ago. So, what better time to visit than during our most frightening month?

The London Bridge Experience is an exciting walk-through activity with live actors playing characters from the past 2,000 years of London Bridge history. Not one for the faint hearted, the interactive and multi-sensory experience will chill you to the bone, as well as make you laugh and educate you.

If the London Bridge Experience leaves you wanting even more horror, you can also grab tickets to the attraction’s new adult-only Halloween show – The Sickness (showing between October 22-31). The immersive performance reveals the tale of a twisted experimental psychiatric medical institution that was opened in 1939 by the infamous Dr Natas – it’s a riveting watch, just try not to lose yourself in the bedlam that will unravel before you!
2-4 Tooley Street SE1 2SY

El Dia of the Dead at London Cabaret Club

Taking place over three dates at the end of October, is London Cabaret Club’s decadent and spooky spectacular – the El Dia of the Dead experience, a scintillating Mexican Halloween fiesta that combines both thrilling entertainment and out-of-this-world food. A short walk from the City, London Cabaret Club is a known around the capital for putting on eclectic and sensational experiences that have people returning again and again.

The venue’s El Dia of the Dead experience is ideal for people wanting to do something a little bit different this Halloween. Enjoy a bespoke three course menu that captures the dynamic flavours of the infamous Mexican celebration alongside freaky Halloween cabaret and burlesque performances.

With three dinner packages to choose from – Gold, Diamond and Royal Diamond – it’s bound to be a night to remember. Go for the Royal Diamond experience if you want to go all-out, which comes with added luxuries like canapés, Moet and Chandon, a themed cocktail, a special dinner menu and a reserved VIP area to watch the show. If you don’t fancy dinner or simply want to save a few bob, there is also a Silver package, which includes entertainment only, as well as after party access.

All guests are encouraged to dress in line with the theme in elaborate and colourful costumes, with special prizes being given to those with the most impressive ensembles. So dress to impress and win big.
Victoria House WC1B 4DA

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The Horror Show! A Twisted Tale of Modern Britain © Barnbrook/Somerset House.

The Horror Show! at Somerset House

Fancy a gander at some creepy art installations this Halloween? Or maybe, you’d like to confront and challenge your concept of what ‘horror’ really is? Either way, head to Somerset House from October 27 for the landmark new exhibition: The Horror Show! A Twisted Tale of Modern Britain.

The intriguing exhibit explores how ideas rooted in horror have informed the last 50 years of creative rebellion, inviting us to journey to the ‘underbelly of Britain’s cultural psyche’ and ‘look beyond horror as a genre’. Instead, the exhibition wants to encourage visitors to take fearsome works as a reaction to our most troubling times.

With over 200 artworks and culturally significant artefacts from our country’s most provocative creatives, The Horror Show! Offers a unique perspective on the last five decades of modern British history in five exciting acts – Monster, Ghost and Witch. Remodelled as a story of cultural shapeshifting, each section of the show interprets a specific era through the lens of a classic horror archetype with thematically linked contemporaneous and new works.
Embankment Galleries South Wing WC2R 1LA

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Jake & Dinos Chapman, Return of the Repressed, 1997 2007, 2007. © Jake and Dinos Chapman.

Jack the Ripper Walk and Museum

Do supernatural entities leave you unafraid and in disbelief? Perhaps terrors that took place in real life will succeed in scaring you this Halloween. Located in the heart of Whitechapel, you’ll find a historic Victorian house where real-life nightmares lie waiting – the unsolved crimes of London’s infamous ‘Jack the Ripper’.

In 1888, a man dubbed Jack the Ripper committed a series of violent murders in the east end of London that shook the world. The killings spawned hundreds of theories, books and films, each attempting to solve and bring to light the crimes which, to this day, remain a mystery. Although suspects were investigated, the killer was never found.

Step back in time to this frightening reality and discover everything there is to know about the lives of the victims, the main suspects in the murders and the daily life of those who lived in the east end of London in 1888.

First, meet your guide at Tower Hill Tram near Tower Hill Tube, before embarking on a walking tour to see all Jack the Ripper’s killing sites, learning along the way. After your tour, step inside the museum, to see details of each murder and clues elaborately recorded on the walls – victims’ names, ages and murder locations, as well as newspaper reports and illustrations of the crimes.

Once you have all the clues, will you be able to solve the mystery of Jack the Ripper, or will you flee the museum in fear?
12 Cable Street E1 8JG

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