From gruesome ghost tours to spooky sleepovers, Historic Royal Palaces has something for everyone this Halloween.
Scare yourself silly this Halloween at Historic Royal Palaces, with a variety of themed events at Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London. Not for the faint-hearted, visitors will be transported back in time to learn about the historic venues’ grisly pasts and uncover some of their most thrilling mysteries after dark.
At Hampton Court Palace, a spooky sleepover like no other offers the chance to tour the palace after hours before bedding down in the historic Cartoon Gallery. Titled ‘Dusk ‘til Dawn: Beware the Witching Hour’, this one-off event on 28 October will catapult plucky participants back to the early 17th century, and promises an immersive foray into the dark past of witchcraft and sorcery.
From 30 October – 1 November, the palace’s stunning gardens will also provide the perfect moonlit backdrop for the Luna Cinema’s showing of creepy classics The Silence of the Lambs, Beetlejuice and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. For those who dare to brave the palace after dark, the night of Halloween will see a Special Late Night Ghost Tour take in some of the palace’s most ghoulish locations, complete with suitably spine-tingling commentary. Attendees will be able to hear chilling tales such as the Tudor royal nurse whose spirit is said to stalk her former apartments, or the mysterious figure ‘Skeletor’ caught on CCTV in the palace in the dead of night. From Halloween, the palace will continue to run its regular ghost tours on selected dates between November and January, along with the fun for all ages family ghost tour, including discovering Hampton Court’s own species of spider!
Meanwhile, the Tower of London has its own Twilight Tours on selected Sundays between November and April, with Yeoman Warders leading an atmospheric tour after dark, taking in Traitor’s Gate and the Bloody Tower. Visitors will be appalled and amazed by the tales of prisoners and past residents and the secrets kept within these ancient walls. Over its thousand-year history the Tower has been host to many significant events such as the alleged murder of the two boy princes, the execution of Tudor queens, the torture of traitors and countless stories of ghostly apparitions, making this a truly unforgettable tour for those that dare.
Alongside the Twilight Tours, the popular Drawn at the Tower with Art Macabre will return on 30 October for a Halloween special, ‘Women and Witchcraft’, inviting those of all artistic abilities to use drawing to explore stories from the Tower’s remarkable history. Budding artists will have the chance to explore the dark arts through the themes of women, politics and religion, drawing inspiration from the 16th century woodcut illustrations depicting witch rituals, all set within the Tower’s atmospheric interiors.