Halloween fun in Kent
What’s the biggest October event you can think of? It has to be Halloween. In the past, a simple costume (rushed, usually made from an old sheet or a bin bag) and a plastic carrier bag sufficed as children knocked on their neighbours’ doors and hoped to score some sweets and chocolates. These days, Halloween is a much bigger, much better, much scarier kind of event that leaves trick-or-treating out in the cold (much like the parents dutifully escort their kids to do it). insideKENT has rounded up a variety of spooky places to go and terrifying people to see that will make your Halloween holiday the best one yet.
Head to Hempstead Valley this half term for an exciting range of free Halloween-themed events from Monday 23rd October to Sunday 29th October between 11am and 3pm.
“With Hempstead Valley being at the heart of the local community, we recognise that there is a real demand and appreciation for good quality free activities for families during the school holidays,” says Su Button, marketing manager at Hempstead Valley. “Children love getting creative and during the half term holiday we will be offering lots of fun Halloween activities for free.”
Customers can just turn up on the day, so no pre-booking is required. The activities will be held inside the centre. Children must be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times while taking part in the activities and activities are suitable for all ages from toddlers to grandparents.
There is a lot going on at lovely Leeds Castle this Halloween. Treat your family to a day out with a difference and join in with the wacky wizards and witches event that is taking place from 23rd to 29th October. Perfect for blowing away the half term cobwebs, there are spooky tales to listen to, a muddled monster to find, the Monster Mash Ball to dance at, a sorcerer’s trail to follow (with a chocolate reward at the end) as well as a fancy dress competition every afternoon.
Dreamland becomes ‘Screamland’ at Halloween and the scares are beyond compare. This is Kent’s largest scare festival and every year promises to be more frightening and more petrifying than the last. An experience that those who love a little fear in their lives will love, there are fully immersive ‘scare areas’ across the entire park, but as well as the frights, you can also enjoy unlimited use of the rides too – and they can be just as scary as the ghosts and ghouls! The five fully interactive scare mazes will run on Fridays and Saturdays from 20th to 31st October. Come on down to Screamland and enjoy all the fun of the scare!
Kent Life is a place for all the family to visit, so it is only right that this museum celebrating Kent’s fascinating heritage offers a child friendly Halloween treat as well as something that’s suitable for grownups only. The Halloween Spooktacular is for everyone, and runs from 21st to 31st October. With pumpkin carving, fancy dress competitions, and the chance to search for all manner of creepy critters across the site, the scares are ones that will induce screams of laughter, not fear. Compare that to the adult only event that runs from 27th to 31st October – ‘Kent-aminated’ – a fully immersive experience that pits your wits against the zombies that are plaguing the land. Or at least the land at Kent Life. Fun and fear in equal measures, Kent Life is the place to be this Halloween season.
The scares at Fort Amherst are described as not being suitable for the faint of heart, and if that doesn’t give you goosebumps we don’t know what will! There are different scales of tours available at Fort Amherst – one for children, one for teenagers and one for the adults. No matter which one you pick, the tales of things that go bump in the night are sure to stay with you for some time to come.
Wonderful Groombridge Place is really entering into the spirit of this spooky season with not one but two different events. From 21st to 29th October, you can find captain Robinson Crusoe with his crew of skeletons. Their ship was wrecked in the Enchanted Forest at Groombridge Place over 100 years ago, and, if you dare, you can venture into the forest…who will you meet? You’ll also love the interactive storytelling and shows. Then, from 27th to 31st October, there is a treat for anyone aged 14 or over – venture deep into the forest and discover whether the stories of hauntings in the area are really true… good luck!
Luxurious accommodation and a delicious meal are on offer at this dine-and-stay event at Hever Castle on Monday 30th October. However, once the sumptuous three-course meal is finished, it is time to meet with Ciaran O’Keeffe, specialist parapsychologist, who will conduct the rest of the evening. Paranormal investigations and vigils throughout the castle are on offer using the most modern of techniques including thermal imaging and infrared with static detection. The castle will be divided into different areas so that guests can be as involved as little or as much as they like in the séances, Ouija boards and vigils.