With Halloween creeping up on us, the South London Press picks out five of the most spine-chilling and hair-raising events in South London.
It is believed that ancient Celts started the tradition around 2,000 years ago.
Halloween, known then as Samhain (pronounced Sav-een), marked the end of the summer and the start of the dark, winter months. The Celts thought that on this night the world of the dead could cross over into the living.
By the 9th century AD, in many European countries, Christians had replaced pagan celebrations with their own and All Saints Day, a day to celebrate martyrs and the dead, was established on November 1.
The night before then became All Hollows’ Eve and the name developed over the centuries to become Halloween. This mixture then, of Christian saintly celebration and Celtic superstition formed the Halloween we know today.
Five of South London’s Finest Morbid adventures at the Maritime Museum Take part in a special interactive horror event as the Greenwich Maritime Museum opens its doors after hours next weekend.
A devastating virus has infected research staff with terrifying consequences. Participants will have to follow the clues to find the antidote to this mysterious maritime disease, encountering creepy characters and blood-curdling objects along the way. But the clock is ticking. Run out of time and you may never escape this chilling night. Maritime Late: Quarantine Entry from 7pm, October 26-28 £20 Greenwich National Maritime Museum www.rmg.co.uk/see-do/ exhibitions-events/quarantine.
Brixton set to blast away the cobwebs
Hootananny’s will be waking the dead next weekend with a packed line-up of bands, dancers and DJs to get the blood pumping. Get ready to be beguiled by belly dancer Yazz, who will enchant you with her contorting limbs. Headliners The Dead Brothers, an ensemble band made up of fiddles, trombones, marching drums, banjos and much more will have you bursting to life on the dancefloor. Stranger Than Paradise Open from noon – 3am Free before 9pm, £6 after Hootananny Brixton, SW2 1DF www.hootanannybrixton.co.uk.
A Feast to Sink Your Fangs Into
The Vaults hosts a wild night of cabaret and feasting in Waterloo as actors recreate the Beauty and the Beast fairytale. A labyrinth of tunnels under Waterloo station leads you to your feast where whacky waiters serve oozing whole spiced pumpkins and freshly butchered venison bangers. Best leave your finest frocks at home though as the gruesome banquet builds to a theatrical and messy crescendo. Come as a beauty, leave as a beast. Beauty and the Feast 6:30pm till late, Tues – Sun October £35 early bird, £45 standard The Vaults, SE1 7NN www.thevaults.london/beauty-and-the-feast.
Look Death in the face in Dulwich
Death descends on the Dulwich Picture Gallery as it hosts a gallery Late over the Halloween period. The Late, a series of evening events taking place across the gallery with death as the theme, has a range of activities to satisfy all your macabre cultural curiosities. Join curator Helen Hillyward for a macabre tour of the gallery, discovering the different ways artists have explored death through history. Or take a trip down to the Mausoleum where the gallery’s founders come to life whispering poetry to you through the walls. Death: A Portrait 6pm-10pm, November 3 £12 standard, £10 concession Dulwich Picture Gallery, SE21 7AD www.dulwichpicturegallery. org.uk.
Creepy crawlies galore at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo
Bring the kids along for ghoulish gatherings at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo. Come dressed in your favourite Halloween costumes for a day packed with activities from freaky face painting to spooky story times. Put your hand into the scary surprise box if you dare and guess what’s lurking inside. Boo at the Zoo 11am – 3:30pm, October 28 Free Battersea Park, SW11 4NJ www.batterseaparkzoo.co.uk/ your-visit/events/boo- at-the-zoo.