Sussex Halloween Haunts
If there is one thing that October is known for (apart from the clocks going back giving us an extra hour in bed – hooray!), it’s Halloween. 31st October has long been a celebration of the ghoulish and the ghostly. The tradition dates back around 2,000 years and its origins can be found in the old Celtic festival of Samhain, which celebrated the end of the harvest period. The Gaelic people believed that if the crops weren’t harvested on time, then the dead would come back to life to destroy what was left, and wreak havoc over the earth.
That’s why, if Halloween is your kind of holiday, you’re in gruesome luck – there are plenty of blood curdling events taking place across the county to give you a scare – so beware (and have fun)!
Tulley’s // Crawley // 17 Oct – 1 Nov
With pumpkin carving, The Creepy Cottage haunted house, the spooky wagon ride, the haunted hayride, and the immersive, incredible, Shocktober Fest Scream Park (including a zombie experience never to be forgotten), this is how to do Halloween! 60,000 visitors roamed the terrifying farm last year, and the owners hope to push the boundaries even further in 2015… Dare you enter?
The Halloween Horror Show // Grand Hotel, Brighton // 31 Oct
Join Sussex Beacon for a spooktacular evening of entertainment whilst raising funds to support men, women and families affected by HIV to live independent and healthy lives. The event will be hosted by the ghostly figure of an old film director. Rumour has it that this director only allows his actors one take, and on this Halloween evening the star of the next film could be you! As the studio is brought to life before your very eyes, be prepared to be taken on a musical journey whilst enjoying a three-course Grand Halloween feast. There will be plenty of surprises along the way and rest assured, the ghosts and ghouls will have you dancing by the end of the night. Guests are encouraged to attend in ‘Haunted Hollywood’ themed fancy dress. A table for 10 people costs £850 or buy individual tickets for £95 each.
Halloween Trail // Parham House // 30 Oct – 1 Nov
Complete the Parham Pumpkin Puzzle around the gardens as well as the chance to meet and hold real life owls with ‘Owls About Town’. Founded to educate and inform children and adults about owls, most of the birds are rescued owls and visitors will be able to learn more about these fascinating animals. For those children brave enough they will also find the witch in her house (and her magic treat cauldron), there will also be craft activities and face painting. Season tickets are valid at this event.
Copperdollar: The Back of Beyond // The Old Market, Brighton // 29-31 Oct
Following a complete sell-out run in 2014, Copperdollar return with their huge celebration for Halloween and Mexican Day of the Dead. Enter into the bizarre bonanza of dead carny folk and find yourself drawn into their hypnotic world. Cut loose to the far side of reality, relax in a coffin, and make friends with the dead. For this is a night to remember, a place you’ll never forget, where the future is past and yesterday hasn’t been! Copperdollar’s parties are a visual feast of art, performance and music with resident DJ Marc Stylus, who has rocked the floor at The Famous Spiegeltent, Lost Vagueness, Electro Blues Nights and many more. With new dances and acts to join in, let’s raise the roof and celebrate life in style.
Mary Beth & Friends // Otherplace at the Basement, Brighton // 31 Oct
Monsters, mutant children, and malevolent puppets, Mary Beth is friends with them all. And then some… Award-winning performer Mary Beth Morossa has stepped out from the pages of a long forgotten storybook, brushed the dust from her corset and is back in Brighton for a Halloween special! Join her as she introduces some of her best friends, her worst friends, and her barely-even-there friends in a show which fuses macabre poetry, mime, puppetry, and cabaret, which is sure to delight, enchant and disgust in equal measure.
Lavender Line Halloween Fright Night // Isfield Station, Uckfield // 31 Oct
On the evening of Saturday 31st October, Isfield Station will be transformed as the scene is set for Halloween! Expect plenty of surprises, lots of frights, and a creepy Victorian station where a ghost train will await you. The steam train will be your transport as you make your way to Worth Halt giving you a spooky journey with surprises along the way. Around Isfield Station there will be Halloween themed music, face painting, ghost stories, hot and cold snacks plus lots more!
Shriek Week at Drusillas // Alfriston // 24 Oct – 1 Nov
Venture through the creepy cobwebbed corridors of Haunted Heights into the terror-tory of sin sisters, Hocus and Pocus as they play hide and shriek with the unsuspecting public! Haunted Heights towers high above the skyline of Drusillas but deep at the heart of the derelict castle lies a ghostly secret. Thrill seekers are invited to knock on the trap door and discover the spook-tacular surprise within. Will you dare to get into the spirit of things? Enter through the old temple ruins and unravel the mystery within…but take heed you don’t come to a dead end! Scuttle along to the Discovery Centre for some creepy crawly encounters throughout the week and meet some amazing mini monsters! Even Scooby Doo will be making an appearance (28th October)!
Halloween Spookerama // Billingshurst // 31 Oct
The Wey & Arun Canal Trust are running their annual Halloween cruises from Loxowood Boat centre again in 2015. It’s a fun (and terrifying!) way to see the newly restored canal. There are two cruises, with the first starting at 4:30pm. This slot is aimed at youngsters (and adults who are scared of the dark) and lasts 45 minutes. There will be an onboard storyteller, regaling visitors with spooky tales and myths about the area. The fun continues along the towpath, with some surprises. The second cruise starts at 7pm and lasts 90 minutes. This one is for the adults, so you can expect the stories and the surprises to be a bit scarier without the sun shining!
Spring Barn Spooktacular // Lewes // 11-12, 18-19 & 25 Oct – 2 Nov
Calling all little witches, wizards, ghosts and ghouls… The frightfully good (but not too scary) ‘Spring Barn Spooktacular’ at Spring Barn Farm Park in Lewes includes petrified pumpkin carving (pop into the farm shop and purchase a pumpkin, then head to the pumpkin carving area in the farm park to create your scariest design), the terrible tattoo parlour (sit in the chair, if you dare! Choose a scary tattoo, and watch it as it transfers onto your arm….totally painless but totally creepy!), creepy crafty corner, cauldron quest quiz, and some fang-tastic food and drink.
A Spooky Night at Stansted Park // Rowlands Castle // 31 Oct
Located on the West Sussex/Hampshire border, do you dare to attend? Activities include a ghost trail in the arboretum (ghosts hiding, big and small, do you think you can find them all?), the Mysterious Maze (dare to wander into the mysterious yew maze and you’ll find curiosities at every turn), The Haunted Mansion (take a tour of the creepy servants’ quarters by torch light and discover ghastly goings on in each room), scary storytelling, and The Ghost Train (available at a small extra cost, take a night ride on The Stansted Light Railway – watch out for spooks in the dark!)! Food will be available to purchase throughout the evening. Fancy dress is welcomed and don’t forget your torches and welly boots!
Halloween Fun at Michelham Priory // Hailsham // 31 Oct
This Halloween, take the little ones to Michelham Priory for an action-packed day full of fun! There will be such spooktacular fun as a children’s entertainer, Punch & Judy show, storytelling, drama sessions, art and craft activities, trails in the house and gardens and face painting. For extra special fun, don’t forget to enter the story writing competition and have your story read at the Priory’s Halloween fun day! Historical or horrible fancy dress is optional – whether you’re young or old!
Halloween Abseil // Crawley // 31 Oct
The Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity is holding a Halloween-themed 100-foot abseil at the Sandman Hotel, Tinsley Lane South. They say be your own ghastly ghost or wicked witch; join in the fun and be as creative as you like with your costume. The scarier the better! All participants must be 13 or over. Registration closes on 23rd October at 5pm.