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Top 10 things to do on Halloween (your most spooktacular yet!)

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Top 10 things to do on Halloween

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!

Halloween is by far my favourite holiday and I reach the same levels of excitement as a kid at Christmas!

Many of the activities associated with Halloween today such as trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving and ghost hunting actually stem from the Celtic holiday of ‘Samhaim’ starting over 2,000 years ago.

October 31st marked the end of the harvest season and was believed to be when the veil between this life and the next was at its thinnest. But, consider this just a warm up friends!

If you’re looking for inspiration on ways to level up your Halloween celebrations this year, here are my top 10 things to do on Halloween (guaranteed to be your most spooktacular one yet!).


1) Go on a ghost hunt

I absolutely love to explore haunted places and hear 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.

Wo-ha-haaaaaaa!

Lincoln Cathedral lit up at night on the Lincoln ghost walk with Mel in the foreground under a shadow

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!

But I didn’t just stay in a haunted hotel though. I was informed 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!

There doesn’t seem to be a specific website that lists haunted hotels (as arguably they can be difficult to verify!) but there are some great listings on Cool Stays and Visit Britain for inspiration.

Dark, spooky hallway in a hotel with low lights and wooden doors lining each side

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.

Girl holding a halloween pumpkin by her feet at a pumpkin patch

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’ (of course!).

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.

Carved pumpkins lit up from the inside with jack o lantern scary faces

4) Have a horror movie marathon

How could a list of top things to do at Halloween 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.

I didn’t sleep properly for days and was terrified a demon was going to come and possess me. Poor little thing!

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.

Three girls watching a horror movie at home with popcorn and getting scared

5) Host a murder mystery night with friends 

It may sound cheesy but hosting a murder mystery night with friends is so much fun!

During the pandemic I hosted two murder mysteries including a virtual Halloween murder mystery.

It’s only £21.99 to download a pack and includes a backstory for each character and a script for everyone to follow.

Our murder mystery was set in a theme park called, “The Frightening Fair” where the owner (Don Breathin’ – lol get it?) was found dead on board his own ghost train. Foul play was suspected and the staff of the Ghost Train were called together to be questioned to see who dunnit.

After being cooped up for months during lockdown by this point we had such a good time – even on Zoom!

We couldn’t stop laughing with embarrassment at first but then everyone went on to really get into their characters.

We all made an occasion of it and came dressed up Halloween themed or as our actual characters.

Now that lockdown is over though, you can host the murder mystery in person and bring all your Halloween themed snacks and cocktails for the perfect (murderous) night in.

Shadow of a gun and a person holding up their hands - murder mystery film noire style

6) Go to a Halloween party

Halloween is one of the best nights of the year to go out and party (or host your own!).

As well as your standard fancy dress parties and nights out, venues seem to be going all out for Halloween after a miserable 18 months of pandemic closures.

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! Sorry – couldn’t help myself, last one I swear 😉

People dressed up at a halloween party saying cheers

7) Prepare spooky themed food and snacks

If you’re planning on having a Halloween party or night in, try your hand at making some spooky themed food and snacks.

You can keep it simple by making some pumpkin soup and Halloween shaped rice krispy treats or if you love to cook and have time to try something new – just go for it!

Check out Pinterest for inspiration on creative recipes ideas.

Three cupcakes decorated with Halloween colours and spiders

8) 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 and London Dungeon walks 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 and finishes 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 as the dungeon scares comes thick and fast!

Outside of London Dungeon with formidable stone statue and black railings
Photo credit: Douglas Neiner

9) Go on a spooky night hike

I was never a kid who was scared of the dark – quite the contrary. I loved my black out curtains and hated the night lights in my friends’ room at sleep overs.

But there is something about heading out into the cold, dead of night that brings out the primal fear in all of us.

Your mind and body go on 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!

Person taking a spooky night hike looking up at the stars whilst hiking between two mountains

10) 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 – nice try though!

Mel walking through a spooky medieval archway at night with yellow light from the street lantern

Do you enjoy celebrating Halloween? Do you have any Halloween activities that you would add to this list of things to do on Halloween? Let me know in the comments below! 😊

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About the author

Hi, I’m Mel! The adventure-seeking vegan travel blogger behind Footsteps on the Globe. On this blog you'll find my latest adventures, travel inspiration as well as tips and tricks on how to be vegan around the world. You don’t have to give up being vegan to follow your travel dreams and I’m here to show you how!