It’s nearly Halloween (and if you’re unsure where that celebration started take a look at our blog from 2013). For 2017 it’ll undoubtedly see the usual ghostly goings on with carved out pumpkins, fake fangs, fluttering capes and plastic arrows that make you look like you’ve been shot through the head. It will also mean that steady stream of youngsters (and not-so-youngsters) knocking on your door with a happy shout of ‘trick or treat’ – expecting to be rewarded with sweets, chocolate, money or other goodies.
If the trick or treat concept sours your love of the year’s spookiest night, let us offer a clove of garlic for that particular metaphorical Dracula. Along with a stake, a shaft of sunlight and some silver. You see with this blog we’ve decided to look at Halloween from a different perspective, a little less of the ‘demanding with menaces’ and a little more of the interesting ways to get the Halloween experience…
Festivals of Fright…
Halloween revelers don’t seem to be content with dressing up, banging on doors and demanding chocolate anymore. Perhaps it’s because too many people give them chocolate, and not enough scare them witless by chasing them down the street wielding a broom, whilst dressed in a black pointy hat or as a demonic zombie.
No, the modern self-respecting Halloweener is more into seeking thrill than sweet based rewards, which explains the rapid ascendancy of Fright Festivals where scare attractions are the in thing. It’s a fast developing phenomenon of an experiential event designed to get you scared silly – think the fairground Ghost Train on steroids.
London has a fair few Halloween themed events going on this autumn… but if the thrill is your thing and you fancy dipping a metaphorical eleventh toe in the cauldron, you could take your harem-scarem tendencies further afield. Here’s our quick pick…
Crime Scene Live at the NHM
Not strictly a Halloween specific event (they run them once a month) the Natural History Museum’s Crime Scene Live events put you in the role of Forensic Investigator. Working with the Museum’s forensic experts, you’ll learn how to detect the evidence and determine just how a victim died. If you were a fan of Silent Witness in the Amanda Burton days (when they actually included forensics in the story properly), this will be right up your street.
We see what they did there. The King Charles Cinema that is. For the whole of October they’re running a festival of frightening films. Dark, creepy, twisted, there’s something for every adult – culminating in a night-long session of 6 films on 28th October. It all kicks off at 2100hrs with a bill that includes Alien, Nightmare on Elm Street and American Werewolf in London. The last film wraps at 8am, and is sure to leave you looking over your shoulder as you dodge the egg covered streets on your way home on Sunday morning.
There are plenty of other spooky movies being shown on different nights, get the full ghoulish lowdown here.
The Thing at Cutty Sark
The Cutty Sark had a nightmare of her own just over 10 years ago when she caught fire, but since her restoration she’s had an ever-expanding list of visitor attraction events. For three nights across Halloween (30 October – 1st November) the world’s fastest tea clipper is playing host to a special screening of John Carpenters cult horror classic The Thing. Tickets are £15 and you’ll need to book in advance.
Fancy a Spooky Excursion to the Costwlds?
If the eerie streets of our capital aren’t spooky enough for you, then FrightMare – which takes place at Over Farm just outside Gloucester might be worth some villainous beard stroking consideration. Gloucester Cathedral was a key location in the shooting of J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter films, so this neck of the woods has a bit of a track record in supernatural goings-on. Frightmare is establishing itself in the area as the go-to Halloween event that’s great for teens.
Halloween is Supernatural for Business
Halloween is a bit of a gift for business in the UK too. In 2015, ThisIsMoney reported that it had overtaken Valentine’s Day as the UK’s third biggest retail event. In fact, they reckon it is worth upwards of £400 Million to the UK Economy. Back in 2013 – when the economy was still doing a decent impression of a Zombie – it was still worth nearly £300 million, or £13 for every household. That’s an awful lot of plastic knives through the head, ghostly costumes and Pumpkins – not to mention the fun size packs of Mars, Milky Way and Snickers.
Phew. There’s no Pumpkin shortage.
Fortunately, the bad weather we’ve experienced over the past month or two hasn’t been anything like as wet as 2014, severely wet autumn weather lead to many pumpkin crops rotting in fields – the rain softens their skin and they collapse. East coast farmers cited conditions for Pumpkin growing as the worst they’d seen in over a decade. Judging by the sheer number of 99p pumpkins in the shops, there were no issues with eth 2017 crop.
To round things off here’s our favourite storage and space-themed Halloween joke…
Q: What room does a ghost not need?
A: A living room!
Muwahahahah… “Taxi for the ABC Selfstore blog…”
Did we say finally?
Oh, go on then. It’s always good to have an unexpected twist at the end… for no other reason than it is brilliant.