Halloween is coming... and if you're stuck for somewhere to go, we've scoured the country- nay, the entire globe - to find you the very best in ghoulish celebrations. Prepare for to be spooked...
Editor's picks: Best places to celebrate Halloween
At Babbacombe Model Village, you'll see spoof horror scenes in the gardens as special illuminations, fire and sound effects bring the gardens to life after dark. Take a 20-minute lantern lit tour along the woods, past eerie ’abandoned’ sheds and through the ‘haunted’ workshop. A light-hearted Halloween scarefest in miniature. Perfect!
For some animal magic Halloween styl Bristol Zoo Gardens Halloween Festival will be hosting Walter the Wizard’s Halloween hunt from 27-31 October. On 28 October try the pumpkin carving competition and come dressed in your favourite Halloween costume for the fancy dress competition.
As if the big, scary rides weren't terrifying enough, for 25 nights of the spooky season, Universal Studios in Florida plays host to some extreme Halloween entertainment, presided over by the, ahem, lovely Lady Luck (pictured). Get inside the macabre mind of Edgar Allen Poe in Nevermore: The Madness of Poe and enter the world of upcoming horror flick The Thing.
Set in the grounds of England's greatest Elizabethan house, there's pumpkin fun in store for families at Burghley House, Lincs. Tackle a trail around the Sculpture Garden in search on the missing pumpkins. Each pumpkin carries a clue and once all the clues have been solved you can meet the Fairy Princess who will reward you with sweets. Children are encouraged to come in fancy dress while pumpkin treats will also be in store in the Orangery restaurant, including pumpkin soup, of course, plus pumpkin cookies. Free with a House and Gardens or Gardens only ticket. From Saturday 20th October to Sunday 28th October.
The Eden Project becomes Halloweden this month, with frightful fun for your little monsters and you. Channel your inner Harry Potter with wand making and positive potion mixing workshops and get inspired by the pumpkin carving demos. And if that doesn't scare them, your Dancing on Ice impressions on the indoor ice rink might do the trick...
Cemeteries might be the last place you'd want to hang out around Halloween, but not so the Mexicans, who honour their ancestors for three days over All Saint's Day by visiting them at their gravestones, decorating and cleaning them and sometimes even staying the night. Offerings in the form of sugar skulls, favourite foods and drinks and marigolds are taken and, in some towns, ritualistic dancing with colourful costumes and skull and devil masks form part of the celebrations. For full on fun, check out the 'Day of the Dead' trip with Gap Adventures.
Starting on October 31, and running through until March, Hampton Court Palace is leading ghoulish ghost tours, taking you to parts of the palace not normally open to public. Of Henry VII's six wives, three are said to haunt Hampton Court, so watch out for Jane Seymour sadly wandering through the Clock Court and Catherine Howard, pleading for her life in the corridors of the Haunted Gallery...
Longleat House is offering an exciting Halloween tours from October 20th to November 4th. You’ll be met at Pets’ Cemetery where the fifth Marchioness’ fox terrier Jack is buried. Then it's off to the House for a spooky tour of the attics and basements – not for the faint hearted (there are really ghosts!). Walk over the ground where skeletons of monks were found and maybe you’ll see the famous Grey Lady or Little Alice who died when she was just 11 years old…
There's nothing like a spooky castle to scare the beejesus out of you, but throw in Halloween, a murder mystery and a night in the turret 'ghost' room haunted by the ill-fated lady of Ballygally Castle, Lady Isabella Shaw, and you have the recipe for a seriously sleepless night. The murder mystery night, including three course dinner and overnight stay, costs £95 per person.
Prepare for gore galore if you're in Brighton on October 20th, as hundreds of lifeless zombies take to the streets, arms outstretched and clothes soaked in blood, as part of the Beach of the Dead Walk. Join in the two hour walk from Victoria Gardens down to the Beach, then party like the undead at the official afterparty at Concorde2.
Learning to dance like a zombie, making your own broomstick and hunting for pumpkins are just some of the alarming activities on offer at the historic house Chatsworth this Halloween. Brave souls can also join a 'Warlock Walk' or a torchlit tour by night, exploring the creepy corridors and hidden corners of the house, followed by a restorative glass of mulled wine.
Get up close and personal at Trentham Monkey Forest. Between 27 October and 4 November, ghoulish activities including spooky story time, colouring competitions and terrifying treats in the Ghoul's Cafe.
Scare yourself silly at the supernatural, annual World Ghost Convention. The creepy convention takes place at Cork City Gaol on 26 October and covers all things otherworldly – from ghosts to fairies, hauntings to possessions. Hear first hand accounts of supernatural experiences, share your own and listen to guest speakers such as Ireland's most famous witch, the White Witch of the Isles.
The Big Apple becomes the Big Pumpkin as 50,000 ghoulishly garbed artists, stilt-walkers, breakdancers and jugglers take to the streets of Greenwich Village for their annual Halloween Parade. Watch from the sidelines as giant papier-mache coffins, zombies and all manner of macabre monsters pass by, or get creative and join in the parade – there's a prize for the best costume.