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Fun, bizarre, and off the beaten path experiences
With London's medieval dungeons, menacing Tower, and often creepy history, there is no shortage of gruesome tours and haunted houses to visit during Halloween. But, if you're looking for something a little less grisly or just a fun night out, the following are some unique ways to enjoy the holiday. Many of these events take place on an annual basis, but the times and venues given below are for the 2012 schedule.
The Halloween cruise is an evening party cruise that takes place on the London Eye Barracuda, which has been described as 'London's most stunning cruiser'. There is a disco and DJ offering the best of Halloween tunes, free cocktail on arrival, drink and snack bar, and a prize for the best Halloween costume. This cruise is perfect for large groups who want to enjoy a Halloween dance party away from the hectic crowds of London's clubs and bars or for those who just want to experience the beautiful view of the London skyline at night.
London skyline from the Thames. Photo by Erin Connelly.
This controversial show is a horror-themed mixture of cabaret, story-telling, and gothic set design. The performance takes place at Soho Downstairs, an underground venue where the table seating arrangement allows guests to be intimately involved with the action on stage.
The official website describes the show as a 'psychological and raw evening of horror'. The show has divided critics in the past and is only recommended for guests who are not bothered by some graphic or disturbing material.
The performance includes short plays and improv by Robert Farquhar (Kissing Sid James and Gods Official), Alex Jones (Noise and I'm a Minger), Mike McShane (Paul Merton's Impro Chums, Mon Droit), Darren Ormandy (Hamburg and Sweetmeat).
When: 16 October to 3 November, 7.30pm
Where: Soho Theatre
Cost: £12.50 - £17.50
Age Restriction: 18 and above (strictly no exceptions)
In this talk and hands-on demonstration at the London Natural History Museum, a curator explores the museum's bizarre and grotesque collection of creatures from the bottom of the ocean. This event is perfect for families with an interest in sea life and natural history.
The Edible Cinema is a sensory-filled cinematic experience created by a team of experimental food designers, media artists, and creative talent from SoHo House. This unique programme combines the events happening on screen with tangible flavour, texture, and scent intended to deepen the experience of the film.
The film choice for Halloween is the 1988 Tim Burton horror comedy, Beetlejuice. Guests will be given a series of culinary surprises to be eaten at specific parts of the film, creating a cinematic experience unlike any other.
The cinema is able to cater to a number of individual dietary needs, including vegetarian, non-alcoholic, and allergy-free.
This event is part of the Hendrick's Lecture Series presented by the Last Tuesday Society, an organisation devoted to the artistic, macabre, esoteric, and odd aspects of life and literature. The Society is located in a curiosity shop in Hackney, known as Viktor Wynd's Little Shop of Horrors. Other October lectures cover a range of oddities from seances to the Marquis de Sade to mask making.
On Halloween, the Society will resurrect the Victorian tradition of phantasmagoria using 19th century magic lanterns. The presentation is led by Professor Mervyn Heard, a professional lanternist who has performed in over 16 countries.
The magic lantern is an early type of projector. It was used by magicians and mediums to conjure up frightful images of ghosts during the Victorian era. The show at the Little Shop of Horrors includes images of skeletons, supernatural creatures, and other special effects, as well as comical stories and tales about Victorian history.
When: 31 October, Performances at 7pm and 9pm
Where: Little Shop of Horrors, 11 Mare Street, E8 4RP
Age Restriction: the show is aimed at an adult audience
The pathways of Battersea Park are ghoulishly decorated and zombies act as guides in this evening fun run. Participants are encouraged to dress in costume and there is a party for all involved at a local bar after the run.
Warner Bros. Studio offers a behind the scenes walking tour that focuses on the making of Harry Potter and features costumes, animatronics, props, never before seen footage, and official movie sets, including the Great Hall, Dumbledore's Office, and Diagon Alley. The tour is mostly self-guided (around 3 hours) and visitors are free to explore the exhibits at their own pace.
From 27 October to 4 November only, visitors can purchase tickets to tour a special exhibit featuring the making of the Dark Arts in Harry Potter. Visitors will learn how the costumes and make-up for the villains were developed and what techniques the actors used to get into character. They will also encounter death eaters and dementors and learn about the potions used in the films.
When: Dark Arts Exhibition (27 October to 4 November), General Tour is offered all year round.
Where: Warner Bros. Studio
Cost: Tickets must be purchased in advance.
Adult (16 and above): £28.00
Child (5 - 15): £21.00
Children 4 and under are free
Family Ticket (2 Adults, 2 Children): £83.00
Family Ticket (1 Adult, 3 Children): £83.00
Age Restriction: None
See the official website for directions,opening times, to purchase tickets, and all other information.