Halloween: The terrifyingly good events to test your nerves before the big night


The terrifyingly good events to test your nerves before Halloween from the ‘Scream Factory’ in the grounds of an old haunted house to potion-making classes with a warlock

  • Visitors to Scream Factory in Redcar have to navigate nine spooky zones   
  • Belfast offers a spine-tingling event inside Crumlin Road Gaol, a former prison 
  • The historic Hippodrome in Great Yarmouth is hosting its Spooktacular 


Every week our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at a brilliant holiday topic, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week: Scary but fun nights out for Halloween.

It’s two weeks until Halloween but there are plenty of terrifying (and terrifyingly good fun) events to test your nerves before the big night.

Sudden scares abound at Scream Factory in the grounds of an old haunted house in Redcar, North Yorkshire, which features more than 100 actors in elaborate costumes with many drenched in fake blood. Visitors have to navigate nine spooky zones, but at the end stiff drinks are on offer at the After Shock Bar and there are food stalls to browse. Tickets from £20 at screamfactory.co.uk.

Scare tactics: Prepare to be terrified by Scream Factory shows

Scare tactics: Prepare to be terrified by Scream Factory shows

Another horror movie set staffed by ‘scream team’ actors is to be found at Mead Open Farm near Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire. Visitors to The Howl explore five main haunts, including a mysterious ‘red zone’ in the woods. Tickets from £12 at thehowl.co.uk.

In Bath, Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein is getting into the spirit with After Dark tickets. Start with a bespoke horror film in the ‘screaming room’, before being led through torchlit rooms to the cellar. Bloody Mary’s Bar is the place to calm shredded nerves. Tickets cost from £15 at houseoffrankenstein.com.

Belfast offers a spine-tingling event inside Crumlin Road Gaol, a stark Victorian former prison said to be haunted by former inmates and guards. There are child-friendly Halloween tours with pumpkin-carving sessions or, for 15-year-olds and over, test the high-tech ghost-hunting equipment with a Paranormal Experience. Tickets from £12.50 at crumlinroadgaol.com.

A Halloween twist is being added to the games played at Rumble, amid eight acres of woodland in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. Players are kitted out with laser guns to recreate real-life versions of popular video games, such as Call Of Duty, and this month they have to take on hordes of zombies. Tickets from £15 at rumblelive.co.uk.

Families can join a warlock in Oxford Castle, above, for hour-long potion-making classes

Families can join a warlock in Oxford Castle, above, for hour-long potion-making classes

The historic Hippodrome in Great Yarmouth is hosting its Spooktacular until the end of the month. Audiences are encouraged to come in fancy dress for a glitzy and ghoulish show on the theatre’s round stage. Tickets from £12 at hippodromecircus.co.uk.

Families can join a warlock in Oxford Castle for hour-long potion-making classes. Or wait until the lights are extinguished and take a Spooky Tour – for over-12s. Classes from £9.50, tours from £18 at oxfordcastleandprison.co.uk.

There’s also a spooky after-dark Halloween trail in the grounds of nearby Blenheim Palace. Tickets from £10 at blenheimpalace.com.

Wail-y good: Watch the film Ghostbusters at a drive-in in Cardiff

Wail-y good: Watch the film Ghostbusters at a drive-in in Cardiff

Fairgrounds are joining the fun, and in Glasgow a redecorated ghost train is one of the 15 Halloween-themed rides at the Spooktacular. Tickets cost from £12 at thespooktacular.com.

In Skegness, the town’s main theme park has been transformed into Fear Island until the end of October. There’s a Circus Of Screams show and a killer villa for brave guests to explore. Younger children can join a ghost hunt in a quieter corner of the park. Tickets from £26 at fantasyislandresort.co.uk.

If scary movies are your thing, a series of classics, including Scream and Ghostbusters, are being shown on drive-in nights at Splott Market in Cardiff, where roller-skating zombies deliver food and drink to cars and organisers promise spooky surprises to add atmosphere. Wear fancy dress and you could win a £250 prize. Tickets from £25 per car at streetfoodcinema.co.uk.

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