Looking for London’s spookiest Halloween bash? The Resident’s picks out some of the capital’s finest events to indulge your dark side…
Lead image: Wahaca’s Day of the Dead at The Vaults (Rah Petherbridge Photography)
1 The Mansion London Halloween Ball
The Mansion London returns with another huge immersive Halloween Ball at a secret location in north west London. Renowned for its exclusive parties, this year The Mansion London is pulling out all the stops to make its Halloween bash London’s best with multiple dance floors, immersive art exhibitions, dedicated entertainment rooms, fire shows and cracking costumes. As well as a DJ line-up featuring Duo DJs, Joffery Bogart, Jeff Walt and R&B artist Rockstar DJ Hatim, the event will feature casino tables, makeup artists, a fortune teller and VJ Daton’s terrifying vintage horror movies. Fancy Dress Mandatory. 9pm–3am. Tickets from £36.
Venue to be disclosed 48 hours before the event; themansionlondon.com
2 The Dark Circus Party
Step inside an abandoned circus for a surreal and subversive Halloween party as The Dark Circus Party returns to The Grand Hall St Pancras. Aerialists will spin from the ceiling, caged curiosities breathe fire and swallow swords alongside ethereal silks performances, treacherous trapeze acts and bizarre sideshow oddities inside the haunted big top. The party’s entertainment follows a traditional circus bill, but with a twisted and ghostly spin, so pick a persona, embrace your inner voyeur and literally run away with the circus for the night. 9pm-3am. Tickets from £35.
Euston Road WC1H 9JE; darkcircusparty.com
4 Day of the Dead at Junkyard Golf Club
This Halloween Junkyard Golf Club is teaming up with el Jimador to transform its crazy golf labyrinth into a Day of the Dead scarefest. Expect scare actors, magicians and circus performers served up alongside chilling cocktails as you attempt to wind your way around the creepy crazy golf course, which will undergo a macabre Mexican makeover for one night only. From 7pm. A round of golf is £9.50 including booking fee.
The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane E1 6QL; junkyardgolfclub.co.uk
5 Pop Brixton’s Crazy Circus Party
Pop Brixton’s Crazy Circus Party will see the venue transformed into a spooky circus arena for one night only – think pink elephants, a devil to dance with, psychedelic sounds and gypsy crystals. The Pop Brixton greenhouse will be transformed into a giant Gypsy Crystal where fortune-tellers will be working their magic, where a glitter and tattoo bar will provide the finishing touches to your Halloween get-up. The gypsy and electro swing DJ line-up, including Voodoo Love Orchestra, Opsa Balkan Band and Rumpsteppers, will add to the spooky vibes as immersive circus performers, aerial acrobats, roaming beasts and mythical monsters perform on the stage beside them. Early bird tickets, £5. Tickets on the door, £10.
49 Brixton Station Road SW9 8PQ; popbrixton.org
6 Cake’s Massive Grave Up, Tamesis Dock
Cake is back at its very spiritual home, the Tamesis Dock boat on Albert Embankment, for a Massive Grave-Up. The Cake DJs will be digging up all sorts of haunted house bangers, bone-chilling breaks, deadly disco and hair-raising remixes for an undead all-nighter to remember on the banks of the Thames, right opposite the Houses of Parliament. Dress to distress for this Halloween spesh and move fast – the party is limited 200 advance tickets on sale now at £8. 9pm-3am.
Albert Embankment SE1 7TP. Book via designmynight.com
7 Badoo’s #DateOfTheDead
The world’s biggest dating app is hosting the ultimate Halloween bash with Daisy Lowe at La Bodega Negra in Soho. Ticket holders will be treated to a night of complimentary cocktails, Mexican canapes, a live DJ set from Daisy Lowe and performances from London’s top freak show acts. Experience the sordid splendour of broken doll ballerinas, contortionists, acrobalance performers and sideshow acts, while enjoying adult pick’n’mix, inhaleable alcohol, fortune teller readings, face painting and games galore. The event is mainly for celebrities, media and VIP’s, but Badoo is releasing a number of tickets for us mere mortals. Register here to be in with a chance of winning a ticket (with a plus one). 7pm-12am.
16 Moor Street, Soho W1D 5NH; labodeganegra.com
8 Wahaca’s Day of The Dead at The Vaults, Waterloo
2, 3, 4 November
Straight off the back of Halloween is Mexico’s traditional Día de los Muertos festival, the inspiration behind Wahaca’s Day of The Dead celebrations which will feature rituals, prayer, dance and theatrics at the atmospheric vaults below Waterloo station. The labyrinth of tunnels will be transformed into a Mayan jungle, leading to a re-creation of the Cemetery Panteon General in Oaxaca, where performances of poetry and songs will encourage guests to pay their respects to lost loved ones, before DJs play late into the night. Wahaca has also teamed up with international sensations Morning Gloryville for a Day of the Dead-themed morning rave on Saturday 4 November, kicking off at 7am. Tickets for Wahaca’s Day of the Dead festival are £25 (all profits from the festival will go to charities supporting those affected by the Mexican earthquakes).
Leake Street, Waterloo SE1 7NN. To book see wahacaDOTD.co.uk
SPOOKTACULAR GOURMET SOIRÉES
1 Kaspar’s Halloween Dinner at The Savoy
28 & 31 October
Kaspar’s at The Savoy invites revelers to a sophisticated five-course dinner party inspired by the ill-fated story of diamond magnate Woolf Joel. Story has it that Joel held a dinner at The Savoy for 14 guests, but one cancelled, and a superstitious guest announced that death would come to the first person to leave the table. Joel took that gamble and a few weeks later was shot dead. The Savoy started offering a member of staff to sit among tables of 13 thereafter, but this proved to be unpopular, and thus Kaspar the cat was sculpted to stave off bad luck. Diners can choose whether to have Kaspar join their table, or take a Halloween gamble with an unlucky 13 guests while indulging in a five-course feast with dishes such as Black deviled risotto, Smoky green crushed ice, Bloody beef and Pumpkin Pie. £1,313.13 for a table of 13.
The Strand WC2R 0EU; kaspars.co.uk
2 Dine on the Dark Side with Gordon Ramsay
Gordon Ramsay’s Street Kitchen restaurants are going to the dark side with eerily gothic Halloween banquet experiences. Visit Bread Street Kitchen and Heddon Street Kitchen will be seated in macabre surrounds before getting stuck into dark dishes and mystical cocktails. Heddon Street Kitchen‘s five-course banquet, served with a bubbling Witches Pipe cocktail at the Kitchen Table, includes crispy pigs’ ears, beef tartare with Bloody Mary rose sauce and a whole roasted suckling pig. Bread Street Kitchen diners will enjoy a menu of braised veal shin with smashed pumpkin and black garlic sauce, a Twilight Tea cocktail and a decadent chocolate fondant with oozing cherry sauce. Both five-course menus are £50pp.
3 Sexy Fish does Scary Fish
Sexy Fish is combining its spectacular cuisine with Hollywood Halloween sirens, snake charmers, belly dancers, burlesque dancers and and fire-breathing temptresses to create ‘Scary Fish’, a one-night only fiendish affair. Head Chef Bjoern Weissgerber has created an 11-course Japanese-inspired menu with wagyu fat ‘Paranormal’ popcorn, crispy octopus served with red blood orange, grilled foie gras with kimchi, a Deluxe Sushi Platter and pumpkin tempura with intense ‘black death’ truffle. Cocktails include the Zombie Bride, Jack O’Lantern and Nightmare on Berkeley Square. Later, legendary DJ Jodie Harsh will raise hell and keep the party going into the dead of night. Tickets are £165, including a cocktail on arrival. Tickets for front row seats at the Sexy Fish bar are £45, including a cocktail on arrival, canapés and entertainment. 7.30pm-1am.
Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square W1J 6BR; sexyfish.com
4 Halloween Afternoon Tea at Royal Lancaster London
Re-launching following a mega £80 million re-‘vamp’ – Royal Lancaster London is ‘thrilled’ to announce the hair-raising Halloween Afternoon Tea. Built in 1967, the hotel is also celebrating its 50th Birthday, hence it’s turning the clock back to the 60s this Halloween. The spooktacular afternoon tea, inspired by classic 60s horror movies, will play out with Alfred Hitchcock classics flickering from a projector and The Little Shop of Horrors’ Audrey sitting on your table. Enjoy ghoulish gourmet treats including Axe-Carved Beef with Horseradish, Pitch Black Pudding Scotch Egg, plus sweet treats like the Black Sunday Battenberg and Night of the Living Tart. You can also win a free Christmas Afternoon Tea by snapping and sharing your Halloween Afternoon Tea – in black and white – with the hashtag #WeAlwaysScare. £35pp including loose leaf teas and a glass of champagne. Served from 2pm-5.30pm.
Lancaster Terrace W2 2TY; royallancaster.com
5 Halloween BBQ at The Roof Gardens
27 & 28 October
Take your Halloween celebrations to spooktacular new heights at the iconic Roof Gardens just off Kensington High Street. On both Friday 27 and Saturday 28 October from 7pm until 2am, the club will host its annual Halloween special with tickets starting from £20. Expect creepy cocktails, BBQ grills and some good tunes in the eerily transformed gardens. Tickets are £20-£25 and include a complimentary welcome cocktail if you arrive before 9pm.
99 Kensington High Street W8 5SA; virginlimitededition.com
6 Halloween at The Ivy Collection
The Ivy Kensington Brasserie and The Ivy Market Grill are celebrating Halloween with a fang-tastic seasonal cocktail, a special spooky dessert and a pumpkin installation with autumnal foliage and flowers to decorate the façades of both restaurants. The Halloween bombe dessert is a spooky take on the group’s famous chocolate bombe, featuring pumpkin, honeycomb, popping candy and vanilla ice cream with hot treacle sauce. The Blood & Smoke cocktail is a Bloody Mary made with Chase Smoked Vodka, with a bacon salt rim and a rasher of crispy bacon and cherry tomato on top, served in an oak smoke filled bell jar. You cna also try the The Halloween bombe dessert at The Ivy Cobham Brasserie, The Ivy Café Marylebone, The Ivy Café St Johns Wood, The Ivy Café Wimbledon and The Ivy Café Richmond.
7 Murder Mystery Dinner Party at Berners Tavern
Host your own private murder mystery dinner party for up to 14 people in the private dining room at the award-winning Berners Tavern. The Final Curtain will see you travel back to the 1920s where the lead actor in a theatre production suddenly collapses on stage. Guests will be briefed on their characters in advance and on the night by a master of ceremonies who will be on hand throughout to guide the investigation. Berners Tavern’s three-course feasting menu will be served as an equally theatrical accompaniment to the mystery, featuring dishes such as the Buccleuch Estate beef Wellington, carved table side, and the Flaming Alaska dessert. The Final Curtain murder mystery dinner party experience costs £2,000 for up to 14 guests.
The London EDITION, 10 Berners Street, Fitzrovia W1T 3NP; bernerstavern.com
SCARY SHOWS, EVENTS & GHOST TOURS
1 Dracula at Sutton House
17 October until 4 November
Following last year’s successful sold-out run, Tea Break Theatre’s immersive thriller, Dracula, returns to Sutton House for Halloween as part of the National Trust’s Queered Season. Based on Bram Stoker’s classic text and set within the historic rooms of the Tudor Sutton House, this electrifying interpretation, full of twists and turns, shines a light on some of the forgotten identities in the original novel. Dracula is a theatrical journey that will lead audiences into the darkest corners of the house and the deepest depths of their nightmares. This is a haunting and visceral promenade experience that will transport visitors back in time to discover a legacy of blood that stretches through the ages. Tickets £16.
Sutton House, 2 & 4 Homerton High Street, Hackney E9 6JQ. To book see ticketsource.co.uk
2 The West End premiere of The Exorcist
From 20 October until 10 March 2018
Ian McKellen will feature in the West End premiere of The Exorcist as the voice of the Demon. The stage adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s iconic best-selling novel will be unleashed onto the London stage for the very first time in a uniquely theatrical experience directed by Sean Mathias and adapted by John Pielmeier. When the medical profession fails to provide answers to young Regan’s strange symptoms, her desperate mother Chris turns to a local priest for help. But before Father Damien can tackle what’s before him, he must overcome his own shaken beliefs, as this fight is for more than just one girl’s soul… The film adaptation of The Exorcist sparked unprecedented worldwide controversy when it was released in cinemas in 1973, seeing audiences petrified to the point of passing out. Ages 18+. Tickets £15-£65.
Phoenix Theatre, Charing Cross Road WC2H 0JP; atgtickets.com
3 Haunted History Walk of Deptford
The bespoke Discover Deptford history walk takes a spooky twist this Halloween. Experience a free two-hour guided walk exploring the history of Deptford with accompanying tales of ghostly, grizzly goings on. Learn why Peter The Great, Christopher Marlowe, Samuel Pepys, Victorian poverty-mapper Charles Booth and Tahitian servant Mydidee all visited Deptford and understand its rich multicultural and maritime history, underpinning one of London’s most vibrant districts. Led by Sean Patterson, a RADA trained actor and walking tour guide with an MA in London Studies, the tour starts and ends at Deptford Market Yard, so walkers will be spoilt for choice for food and drink options. 5.30pm-7.30pm. Show off your scary Halloween costume for the chance to win a Tea Pot of Cocktail for two at Little Nan’s Bar.
Deptford Market Yard SE8 4BX. Book via eventbrite.co.uk
4 Library of Screams at Strawberry Hill House
Part of museums at Night, the Library of Screams at Strawberry Hill House sees mysterious librarian Nathaniel Caldicott share curious tales of the macabre and the mysterious, including brand new adaptations of some timeless tales of terror by W F Harvey and E Nesbit. Phillip Jennings will perform a new promenade show using the atmospheric spaces and creepy Woodland Walk of Horace Walpole’s little Gothic castle. Pre-performance drinks and hot bites will be available to buy in the cafe from 7pm. The macabre tales start 8pm. Wrap up warm or it won’t only be your spine that’s chilled! Ages 18+. Tickets £20.
268 Waldegrave Road, Twickenham TW1 4ST; museumsatnight.org.uk
5 Nosferatu at LSO St Luke’s, Old Street
LSO St Luke’s, the Grade I listed events space on London’s Old Street, will play host to The Nomad Cinema’s screening of the 1922 classic horror film, Nosferatu, this Halloween. Old Street Partnership, an alliance of key local businesses promoting the Old Street area, has teamed up with the magnificent home of the London Symphony Orchestra’s music education centre to bring guests a chilling performance of F.W Murnau’s original Dracula film, Nosferatu. Complete with a live score from musical sensations The Cabinet of Living Cinema, performed above LSO St Luke’s crypt, this will be quite the spooktacular immersive experience. 7.30pm-9.30pm. Tickets from £15.
Jerwood Hall, LSO St Luke’s, 161 Old Street EC1V 9NG; lso.co.uk
A HINT OF HALLOWEEN
1 Bunga Bunga Covent Garden’s Halloween Variety Show
27 & 28 October
Celebrate with The Don and his mobsters as they rule the roof at Bunga Bunga Covent Garden’s Halloween Variety Show. Enter through the hidden bat cave, filled with hanging surprises that may or may not go bump in the night, before making your way downstairs for a complimentary Black Bacardi Daiquiri and an evening filled with immersive entertainment at the Bunga Bunga Halloween Variety Show special. Be on your guard as you encounter many of The Don’s mobsters, from the present day and those who have passed, while making your way through the fully immersive and theatrical evening.
187 Drury Lane WC2B SPG; bungabunga-london.com
2 Four Winters’ Dark Serve ice cream
Liquid nitrogen ice cream pioneers Four Winters has once again teamed up with inspirational bakers the Meringue Girls to create a most Instagrammable Halloween treat. The #DarkServe features charcoal chocolate liquid nitrogen ice cream blended with crushed cookies and popping candy. The black ice cream is topped with handmade toffee apple ghoul, tombstone meringues, a sprinkling of cookie soil, sticky cobweb floss and shards of chunky black glitter. If you’re all about the gore, you can top it all off with a splatter of blood-red raspberry sauce. £6.90 for a charcoal cone or £5.95 for a cup.
Available from all Four Winters parlours in South Kensington, Soho and Notting Hill
3 Maggie’s Creep Show
Maggie’s is going large this Halloween with an evening of trepidation and temptation. Step off the Fulham Road and into an evening filled with surprising twists and turns as Maggie’s puts on a classic 80s Creep Show. The evening will be filled with endless frights, creepy Veuve Clicquot and Belvedere cocktails, funky face paints and a selection of the scariest songs around. Dig out your most gruesome gowns to guarantee passage to this most spooktacular evening (ie fancy dress is mandatory). 10.30pm-3.30am.
329 Fulham Road SW10 9QL; maggies-club.com
4 Bunga Bunga Battersea’s Wicked Weekend
Bunga Bunga Battersea will be kicking off the weekend on Thursday 26 October with Bunga Bunga’s infamous Monster Mash Rockaoke special, where guests are welcomed to sing along to the creepiest of choruses. On Friday evening, The Return of Dead Elvis will deliver a haunting tribute act from Nicky Hart, and on Saturday it’s time for creepy cocktails (think Black Bacardi Daiquiris) before heading to Club Bunga for a Black Out Party, so throw on your glow-in-the-dark costume, seek out Bunga’s UV face painters and dance the night away to haunting Halloween hits.
37 Battersea Bridge Road SW11 3BA; bungabunga-london.com
5 Brainiac Dessert at STK London
30 October until 5 November
STK has crafted an exceptionally gruesome dessert in honour of Halloween this year. A sight to behold, the ‘Brainiac’ is layered with red velvet cake, bourbon vanilla butter cream and Swiss meringue, topped with a deathly sugar shard and exploding with blood red raspberry sauce! Available during the week of Halloween priced at £12.
ME London Hotel, 336-337 Strand WC2R 1HA; togrp.com
6 All Aboard the Abandoned Station at Cahoots
As the full moon rises this All Hallow’s Eve, the dark spirits will descend onto the haunted platform at Cahoots, hidden in the depths of Kingly Court. Step back in time and prepare to be greeted by some of the spookiest characters of Halloweens past, while sipping on scorchingly spooky Veuve Clicquot and Belvedere cocktails and listening to live swinging entertainment. Scoundrels wearing the wickedest of wartime outfits can expect to be rewarded with a tantalising cocktail, courtesy of the conductor himself. From 5pm.
13 Kingly Road W18 5PW; cahoots-london.com