Halloween

Halloween Events 2021

Grab your broomsticks for a ghoulishly great day out at our Halloween events taking place across the country.

Need fiendish family fun to entertain your little monsters? Try our new adventure trail inspired by Cressida Cowell’s bestselling Wizards of Once series, or head out after dark on a spooky woodland walk.

We’ve planned activities for ghost hunting grown-ups too. Gather your friends for an adults-only evening tour of our spookiest historic places, and uncover the darker side of history.

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Wizards of Once Halloween Quest

Wizards of Once Halloween Quest

Explore our special historic places on our brand-new adventure trail inspired by Cressida Cowell’s bestselling Wizards of Once series. Will you find the ingredients for the Spell to get rid of Witches and uncover the location of the Cup of Second Chances?

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Spooky Woodland Walks for Families

Bring your family to join our ghost-hunting storytellers on a trip through the shadows. With well-told tales full of spooky, strange and silly goings-on, this Halloween walk is sure to get you into the spirit of the season. Suitable for children aged between 5 and 12 years old.

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After dark events for adults (16+)

After Dark Events for Adults (16+)

Join our storytellers as they guide you on a bone-chilling journey through the past. With tales of ghosts, supernatural sightings and horrors from history, this is not a night for the faint-hearted. These tours are suitable for those aged 16+.

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The Origins of Halloween

  • A BRIEF HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN

    Many people herald carved pumpkins, trick-or-treating and fancy dress as an Americanised festival. But did you realise that most of these activities are rooted in European folklore and tradition?

  • The History of Costume in England

    Fashion Historian Amber Butchart explores the historical origins of costume and investigates the transition from aristocratic affairs to the popular parties we all love today.

  • WHY WE CARVE PUMPKINS

    Halloween would be complete without a pumpkin carved with a frightening face. But what’s the origin of this terrifying tradition? Prepare yourself for shocks and surprises!

AN INTERVIEW WITH CRESSIDA COWELL

This year, our Halloween adventure trails have been inspired by Cressida Cowell, author of the best-selling Wizards of Once series.

We caught up with her to find out how she ended up writing her books and where she gets her inspiration from. Plus, she gives us her expert tips on writing and illustrating.

Watch the Interview

Spooky Stories from History

  • WITCHCRAFT: EIGHT MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS

    From the Salem Witch Trials to the witches of Macbeth, the figure of the witch is embedded in our culture. The problem is that most of what we think we know is wrong. Professor Diane Purkiss debunks eight of the most common myths about witchcraft.

  • A HISTORY OF PIRATES OF ENGLAND

    Tales of swashbuckling pirates have been around for centuries, but beyond the thrills and spills of fiction, who were the real pirates? In this article, English Heritage's Senior Historian Paul Pattison reveals the unexpected faces of England's notorious pirates.

  • WHERE MARK HADDON FOUND HIS ‘GHOSTS’ AT THE YORK COLD WAR BUNKER

    We challenged seven leading contemporary authors, to visit our historic places for inspiration to craft an original ghost story for our new book ‘Eight Ghosts‘. Discover the inspiration behind Mark Haddon's story, inspired by the York CCold War Bunker.

How To Carve A Halloween Turnip

Why not carve a turnip this Halloween instead of a pumpkin? Find out where this old tradition came from and discover how to carve your own turnip to terrify the trick-or-treaters with this Halloween.

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Spooktacular Halloween activities

Get ready for Halloween with our selection of activity ideas! Do you know why we carve Halloween pumpkins? Read our history of pumpkins to find out, then have a go at carving your own!  Plus, get creative and make a scary mythical beast mask, cook up some spooky recipes or light up a dark night with a crafty castle lantern!

  • Why did people fear witchcraft? | History in a Nutshell | Animated History

    We think we all know witches, with their black cats, broomsticks and bubbling cauldrons. But do witches really exist? Watch this video to discover the magical history of witches. 

  • HALLOWEEN HISTORY: WHY WE CARVE PUMPKINS

    Will you be carving a pumpkin lantern this Halloween? Discover why we create creepy carvings each year and follow our instructions to make a lantern using the original vegetable of choice. Can you guess what it is?

  • HALLOWEEN COLOURING

    Get creative with our spooky Halloween colouring sheet! Click below to download, then use pencils, pens or paints to create your own gothic Whitby Abbey scene, as Dracula visits the ruins at midnight...

  • Make a 3 course Halloween meal

    Ask an adult to help you make these tasty recipes! Start with a warming bowl of pumpkin soup, whip up a 5 vegetable mash o' nine sorts and dip some delicious Halloween toffee apples for dessert. 

  • How To Make A Spooky Castle Lantern For Halloween

    Watch our video and download the templates to make your own silhouette castle lantern! Choose your favourite English Heritage castle and follow our step by step instructions for this crafty project.

  • How To Make a beastly Halloween mask

    Make your own Halloween mask inspired by mythical beasts and heraldry. Simply download our templates, choose your mythical beast (or create your own!) and follow the instructions to create your mask.

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