It’s officially spooky season, which means that the horror fans and thrill-seekers among us are on the lookout for the scariest ideas and attractions. And with horror remaining an ever-popular genre, the options just seem to get bigger and better.
From ghost walks and paranormal investigations to haunted villages and horror-themed escape rooms, here are 12 spooky adventures and ideas to enjoy this season and beyond, if you dare…
1. Take a trip to Terror Island, Isle of Wight
Terror Island is a multi-award winning scare attraction hosted at the UK’s oldest theme park, Blackgang Chine. Terror Island first opened in 2019 and has a variety of scare mazes, thrilling rides, and gory games designed to send shivers down your spine.
For example, in The Blood Shed you’ll be faced with a band of bloodthirsty half-human smugglers as you explore rotting cabins filled with their killing machines. Then, in Blind Alley, with your senses deprived, you’ll have to feel your way through the darkened alleyways that lie behind a Victorian apothecary shop.
There’s also street food vendors, live bands, tarot readings, and various other entertainment onsite, so you certainly won’t be short of things to do. Get your last-minute tickets for Halloween weekend below!
2. Enjoy a horror-themed escape room, UK-wide
Escape rooms involve a team of players discovering clues, solving puzzles, and taking on tasks in order to complete a challenge (usually to escape!) in a limited amount of time.
Over recent years, escape rooms have become increasingly popular and most are themed, with horror being one of the most popular. Some feature psychological thrills, while others are bigger on physical scares or blood and gore.
Luckily, there are plenty of escape rooms to choose from, so there should be something suited to everyone’s taste. To help you sieve through the many options, some of the best UK horror-themed escape rooms – according to popular reviews – include…
- Butcher by Escapologic, Nottingham
- Edith by Unescapable Escape Rooms, Derby
- Haunted Hospital by Xcape Room, Glasgow
- Heaven and Hell by Cambridge Escape Rooms, Cambridge
- Z by Escape Rooms Cardiff, Cardiff
- Phobia by Paralysis Escape Rooms, Stoke on Trent
- Witch Way out? by Dreadlock Escape Rooms, Cornwall
- Afterlife by Cryptology Rooms, Sheffield
- Cabin Fever by Horror Escape, London
- Sector 17: Zombie Outbreak by Forbidden Quest, Belfast
- Murder Motel by Enigma Rooms, Wakefield
- The Cutting Room by Locked In Edinburgh, Edinburgh
- Abigail by Trappd, Kettering
To get an idea of what to expect, check out the trailer below for The Butcher escape room in Nottingham…
3. Go on a ghost walk, UK-wide
Ghost walks and tours are organised events that allow participants to learn more about an area and immerse themselves in its haunted history. And the good news is that there are many nationwide.
For example, The Ghost Bus Tours depart daily from specific locations in Edinburgh, York, and London; taking guests on a spooky, yet comedy-filled tour through some of these cities’ most haunted spots.
Another tour worth mentioning is The Original Ghost Walk of York, which is believed to be the world’s first exclusive ghost walk. Established in 1973, with a team that has decades of experience, guests are promised a memorable, yet disturbing experience that’ll take them on an adventure through the most haunted spots in the city.
Tours run every night from 8pm (with extra tours added at 6:30pm for Halloween) and all you need to do is turn up, with no pre-booking required.
4. Explore Shrewsbury Prison, Shrewsbury
Named the world’s most interactive prison, Shrewsbury Prison has a range of spooky and chilling experiences to immerse yourself in.
If you’re up for the challenge of trying to break out of a real prison, then you might like to try your hand at Prison Break, which is the largest escape game in the world. There’s also The Hole and The Cell escape rooms, where participants need to outsmart either the prison Governor or the cell itself, using puzzles to escape to freedom.
If you’re into a bit of ghost hunting or you enjoy paranormal investigations, these are also run regularly at Shrewsbury Prison and are hosted by professional external organisations and paranormal groups. Though, be warned, these tours aren’t for the faint-hearted!
5. Visit Scare Kingdom, Lancashire
Scare Kingdom Scream Park has been voted England’s top Scream Park for the last four years. It features over 60 live actors, immersive sets, and five scare mazes designed to get your skin crawling.
And aside from Halloween, Scare Kingdom presents some of the UK’s scariest attractions for events like Christmas and Valentine’s Day too. Special scare entertainment experiences are also available to book throughout the year.
According to reviews, the experiences at Scare Kingdom strike a great mix of both fear and fun for those who aren’t looking for anything too intense.
6. Get involved in Paranormal Investigations at Fonmon Castle, South Wales
Fonmon Castle in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales, has a tumultuous history and is one of the few medieval castles still lived in today. However, it’s not just rich history that you’ll find at Fonmon Castle.
During the Fonmon Castle Paranormal Investigations tour, guests are guided through the castle at night; engaging in a series of ghost tours, ghostly tales, and paranormal investigations, led by a professional ghost hunting team.
Spanning around four hours, participants are advised to prepare for the strange happenings and experiences that often occur on the tour.
Tickets tend to sell out quickly, so it’s worth booking in advance.
Chillingham Castle in Northumberland also offers a similar ghost hunt experience.
7. Take The Original Jack the Ripper Tour, London
If you’d rather leave the ghostly tours and paranormal investigations to others, why not consider getting your dose of spookyness on a thrilling murder tour instead? And who better to investigate than the infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper, who terrorised the East End of London in the late 19th-century?
While there are various tours across London dedicated to this notorious killer, The Original Jack the Ripper Tour remains one of the most renowned.
Guided by true experts on the subject, you’ll join the Victorian police as they race against time to stop Jack the Ripper. Expect to venture to his various murder sites and related locations as you navigate old alleyways and see original crime scene photographs.
8. Venture around a haunted historic site, UK-wide
With so many ancient buildings across the UK, it’s no wonder that some play host to a ghost story or two.
The restless spirit of the Green Lady is also said to haunt Crathes Castle in Aberdeenshire, and a number of spooky incidences, including shadows in empty prison cells and sounds of children crying, have been reported at Crumlin Road Gaol in Belfast.
If you’re up for meeting some of the phantoms and ghosts of these historic sites, check out this list of the National Trust’s most haunted places for inspiration on where to go.
The video below covers some of the spooky stories that have occurred over the years at Tudor powerhouse, The Vyne, in Hampshire.
9. Visit Fear Scream Park, Bristol
Voted the UK’s Best Scream Park for the second year in 2022, you’ll be in store for a thrilling night of terror at Fear Scream Park in Bristol this Halloween.
And if this wasn’t enough, the park also has a scare experience unlike any other that allows guests to witness the suffering of Evelyn Grace and face the demon within as they take part in The Exorcism.
Get your last-minute tickets for Halloween below!
10. Explore Pluckley Village, Kent
Named as the most haunted village in Britain, Pluckley in Kent has become infamous for its various ghost sightings. So much so that it’s been the star of a number of paranormal investigative programmes such as Ghost Hunters International, Strange but True, and Most Haunted.
Pluckley is said to be home to 12 to 14 ghosts, including figures like The Screaming Man, The Highwayman, and The Red Lady.
11. Plan a spooky woodland walk, UK-wide
With the cracking of twigs and crunching leaves, imposing trees, and foggy air, there’s no denying that the woods can be a little bit spooky at the best of times. But paired with a grisly story or two, and they become that much more unnerving.
For example, you could wander through Hindhead Commons in Surrey, which was the site of a brutal 18th century murder, or the Forest of Rothiemurchus in the Scottish Highlands, where the ghost of a 14th-century tribal chief is said to roam.
Cave Hill Country Park in Belfast has also been linked to a range of paranormal activity, and in Pembrey Forest in Carmarthenshire, dismembered figures – believed to be the ghosts of World War One and Two soldiers – have been seen wandering around.
So, if you dare to venture into the depths of some of the UK’s spookiest woodlands, check out this list of the most haunted forests and scary woods from the National Trust.
12. Be terrified at Scare City, Greater Manchester
Scare City returns to the abandoned Camelot Theme Park, bigger, better, and bloodier than ever. Visitors venture along an interactive horror trail through various zones of terror and special effects.
Complete with live actors whose main job is to scare you out of your wits, this two-hour immersive experience is reserved for those seeking the ultimate scary experience.
Tickets are known to sell out quickly, so it’s worth booking in advance to avoid disappointment.
If you’re up for a spooky adventure this Halloween season, there are plenty of thrilling events for you to enjoy across the UK. From ghost walks and tours, to terror-filled mazes and haunted castles, there’s something for everyone whatever level of scare you are looking for.
Even better news for the horror fanatics among us, many of these events and ideas can be enjoyed all-year-round!
What spooky adventures have you been on recently? Have any from our list sparked your interest? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.