Top 10 things to do for Halloween 2023 (the most spooktacular yet!)
If you’re already starting to hear, “This is Halloween, this is Halloween! Pumpkins scream in the dead of night!” – it can only mean one thing – Halloween is almost upon us! If you’re looking for inspiration on ways to level up your Halloween celebrations this year, here are my top 10 things to do for Halloween 2023, guaranteed to make it your most spooktacular one yet!
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1) Visit a known Halloween destination
When your love of travel is matched only by your love for Halloween – you know it’s time to level up those October travel plans!
So why not head out on an adventure with a spooky twist this Autumn by booking a break to a known Halloween destination?
Some of my bucket list Halloween destinations, include: Salem, New Orleans, Transylvania and Mexico! You can check out my top 10 best Halloween destinations 2023 post for more inspiration!
2) Stay the night in a haunted hotel
If you love Halloween and have a whole string of spooktacular activities lined up – why not make it a horror-filled weekend and stay overnight in a haunted hotel?
I’ve only done this once before on a weekend break to Lincoln but it was really creepy. Although I didn’t intend to stay in a haunted hotel, let’s face it – everywhere is haunted in Lincoln, so it was just an added bonus!
I stayed in the White Hart Hotel and found out upon check-in that I was actually staying in the most haunted room in the entire hotel!
So, as you can imagine, I braced myself for a night of light anomalies, unidentified banging and unsettling voices.
Alas – I slept perfectly sound and unfortunately didn’t see or hear a thing. This is usually the basis for a positive review on Trip Advisor but in this case – I was highly disappointed!
Although I should have been grateful for this in the end. Afterwards, I found out that a hotel maid had actually been murdered on that same floor by a guest at the turn of the century and it freaked me right out!
Here’s a list of some of the most haunted hotels in the UK:
- The Dean Court Hotel York – located in central York, this boutique hotel is home to an unhappy chambermaid who is often seen grimacing through the corridors with her cleaning supplies in tow. Her main issue seems to be the ongoing task of keeping up the hotel, but she’s not nearly as nefarious as the spirit of room 36! Guests in this room have reported the classic slamming doors and moving objects. But some say they even felt someone pushing on their chests while laying down!
- The White Hart Hotel Lincoln – located in the heart of Lincoln’s historic quarter, the hotel is reported to be haunted by a number of phantoms, including a highwayman who was killed by a coachman and a murdered maid!
- Dalhousie Castle Hotel & Spa Edinburgh – located 30 minutes away from central Edinburgh, this 13th century castle and former fortress is now a place of luxury and relaxation. But it’s also one of the most haunted places in Scotland! The most prominent spirits here are the lovelorn Lady Catherine, who died at just 16 after being banished to the castle tower in 1695 after getting caught with a stable hand and Sir Alexander Ramsey who famously died of starvation in 1342.
- Ruthin Castle & Spa North Wales – located in Ruthin North Wales, this 13th century castle built by Edward the 1st in 1217 is now a luxurious hotel and spa. It’s also regarded as one of the most haunted castles in Wales! It’s home to a number of ghosts but most prominent of which is the Grey Lady ghost. She was the wife of the second in command at the fortress who was sentenced to death after killing her husband’s mistress. Her vengeful spirit roams the halls of the castle and battlements to this day!
- The Jamaican Hotel Cornwall – located on the borders of Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, this stunning 18th century coaching inn is well known for its tales of pirates, smugglers and murderers! It’s one of the most haunted places in Cornwall and has paranormal investigators travel from all over to witness the activity firsthand!
3) Visit a pumpkin patch and get carving!
A firm favourite with Instagrammers and pumpkin spice enthusiasts the world over. Visiting a pumpkin patch in time for Halloween has become a cool new tradition here in the UK.
If you haven’t quite reached your usual level of Halloween spirit – this will do the trick.
The crisp autumnal leaves and the rows of perfect pumpkins ready for picking are a total Halloween VIBE.
Carving pumpkins is one of my favourite things to do on Halloween! It’s a super chill activity that you can do at home with friends and family whilst still getting creative.
If you don’t feel confident enough to carve your own pumpkin, there are some great stencils you can download online.
I never freehand it with pumpkin carving and love browsing for stencils I fancy having a go at.
My go-to theme for pumpkin carving seems to always be, ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ (it’s my favourite film!).
I’ve done, Oogie Boogie, Zero and Jack Skellington over the years but last year I did a tongue in cheek pumpkin that was throwing up its own seeds and goo – I was so proud!
4) Visit a dungeon
The dungeons are located in UK cities most infamous for their gruesome history, including: London, York and Edinburgh.
I’d say London Dungeon is the most notorious for its grisly history though. Walking you through the most famous of its macabre stories.
These include everything from, Jack the Ripper and Sweeney Todd to The Black Death and Great Fire of London. Before finishing with a “Drop ride to Doom”, based on the hangings at Newgate gallows.
But the dungeons aren’t just any other ‘scary’, static attraction with a few plastic spiders thrown into a dark corner. Each dungeon is a full interactive experience in its own right.
You’ll learn about the city’s dark history whilst actors bring the stories to life through live performances and audience interaction.
Expect to laugh, learn and quite frankly – jump out of your bloody skin! The dungeon scares come thick and fast!
Here are some of the best dungeon experiences from the most haunted cities in the UK:
- York Dungeon – journey through 2,000 years of York’s eerie history from the dreaded Viking invasion to the Guy Fawkes’ infamous gunpowder plot.
- London Dungeon – experience the dangerous streets and unsavory characters from 1,000 years of London’s perilous past. Step inside Sweeney Todd’s infamous barber shop on Fleet Street and let him give you a quick trim! Then tread cautiously through the streets of Whitechapel, as Jack the Ripper could be lurking just around the corner.
- Edinburgh Dungeon – journey through Edinburgh’s darkest history. Enter the Witch Pricker’s interrogation chamber where you’ll come face to face with Agnes Finnie who was accused of witchcraft in 1645. Then creep through the Bean clan’s foul-smelling lair to discover the leftovers of lost travellers.
5) Go ghost hunting
I absolutely love exploring haunted places and hearing ghost stories!
As a firm believer in the supernatural, there’s nothing I enjoy more than a good ‘ol ghost hunt (and scare!).
But there’s something about the mystery of Halloween that makes it even more exciting.
Ghost hunts, walks and tours combine all the best elements for celebrating Halloween: visiting haunted sights, communicating with the dead (!) and experiencing genuine fright.
So grab your torch and wrap up warm because it’s not just the chill of the autumn night air that will be sending shivers down your spine this Halloween.
6) Have a horror movie marathon
How could a list of top things to do for Halloween 2023 not include a horror movie marathon?
On Halloween nights where there isn’t much going on or they fall on an odd day of the week, having a horror movie marathon is always my go-to Halloween activity.
I’m a sucker for 70s horror classics like, ‘Halloween’ and ‘The Exorcist’, which are still firm favourites of mine.
‘The Exorcist’ I find difficult to watch even now as I first watched it when I was ten and it scared the sh*t out of me!
For more recent horrors, I highly recommend, ‘Get Out’, ‘The Conjuring’, ‘IT’ and ‘Insidious’. I’ve seen ‘IT’ about five times and it still makes me jump!
So invite your friends round, load up on popcorn and get ready for a night of jump scares and screams.
7) Host a murder mystery night with friends
It may sound cheesy but hosting a murder mystery night with friends is so much fun!
I’ve hosted two murder mysteries with friends through Red Herring Games. It’s only £22.99 to download a pack and includes a backstory for each character and script for everyone to follow.
Me and my friends couldn’t stop laughing with embarrassment at first but then everyone went on to really get into it!
Everyone came dressed up Halloween themed or as their actual characters which is so fun!
8) Go to a Halloween party
Halloween is one of the best nights of the year to go out and party (or host your own!).
I love how venues have their own take on Halloween. I’ve seen everything from Day of the Dead dining experiences, spooky booze-filled brunches and nightclubs hosting Halloween parties with live paranormal experiences!
If you don’t fancy going “out out” this Halloween, why not host your own party at home with friends?
Have a fancy dress competition, play games and chug down your favourite Halloween themed cocktails.
I highly recommend, the “Witch’s Heart” cocktail. Shake some apple vodka, grenadine and blackberry liqueur and pour over ice – it’s positively spell-binding! 😉
9) Create your own ‘horror’
Fancy doing something a little different this Halloween? Why not have a go at writing a scary story or try your hand at making a short horror film?
It’s a great way to get into the Halloween spirit without breaking the bank too! You can get creative from the comfort of your own home whilst still feeling part of the Halloween celebrations.
I’ve tried filming my own horror movie short but enjoyed taking eerie photos in spooky locations far more.
For anyone wondering, the film (and my terrible acting skills!) luckily never saw the light of day after I’d finished sixth form! 😂
10) Go on a spooky night hike
There’s something about heading out into the dead of night that brings out the primal fear in all of us.
Your mind and body go into high alert as your senses are heightened and your imagination starts to run wild.
I think going on a night hike is actually scarier than a ghost walk as you head out completely unguided.
It’s also the quickest way to freak yourself out as you jump at every rustle in the trees!
Make sure you go as a group and download a map so you have your journey prepped. You don’t want to look like a pillock when Search and Rescue are called out to find you!
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Which things to do for Halloween are you going to plan for Halloween 2023? 😊
Quick FYI guys – this ‘Top 10 things to do for Halloween 2023’ post contains affiliate links to various tours and products. I will receive a small commission for purchases made through these links at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!