Spooky Halloween adventures

Spooky season has arrived and winter is on its way, so why not embrace the chill and have a go at some of our fun Halloween activities? Even though we're not running many specific Halloween events this year, wherever you go, there’ll be plenty to do with the kids this October.

Coronavirus update:

Coronavirus restrictions mean our Halloween events and activities may be a little different this year. To find out what's on near you, please check the property web page.

British folklore and the history of Halloween

Halloween – traditionally written as Hallowe’en – marks a time to welcome the darker evenings as we approach winter. In Tudor times, this was an opportunity to pray for the souls of the departed, and people would ring bells to help trapped souls in purgatory move on to their final resting places. To remember those who have moved on to the other side, offerings of flowers and lighted candles are traditionally left on All Hallows’ Eve (or All Soul’s Night). The Halloween festival is thought to have its origins in an older Celtic festival, Samhain, which marks the end of the harvest season.

Other rituals are embedded into the history of Halloween, like one from 19th century Buckinghamshire. Light a candle and insert two pins through the wick as it burns, while reciting: ‘It’s not this candle alone I stick, but [name]’s heart I mean to prick, whether they be asleep or awake, I’d have them come to me and speak’.

Read more about Halloween – and other folklore - in 'A Treasury of British Folklore' by Dee Dee Chainey.

Be inspired by nature this Halloween

How to have a nature inspired Halloween 

Creating a spooky Halloween shouldn't have to have a frightening impact on the environment. Use seasonal veg to carve your way to fun decorations, then reuse the materials for delicious autumnal recipes.

 A family playing outside at Osterley Park and House, London

October half term events and activities 

Autumn is the perfect time to get outside with the family and create unforgettable moments. And with all kinds of events from woodland adventure days to wildlife watching, it’ll be impossible for the kids to get bored this October half term.

Video

How to carve a pumpkin lantern

Watch our easy-to-follow video on how to create a scary Halloween pumpkin lantern.

Ghostly encounters