So, knowing just how much I enjoy Halloween shenanigans, I decided to trawl around and see what was happening in the area. I didn’t fancy going to any of the plethera of events promising sexy young vampires with pumped up cleavages and acres of leg wrapped in net stockings! So much for Halloween being scary….
Have you heard of Funzig? (http://uk.funzing.com)
It’s a site of really interesting and unique experiences ranging from cookery and pottery to unique tours and trapeze. It’s a great resource for finding less conventional and fun things to do.
Yesterday 2 work colleagues and myself went on a “Hampstead to Highgate Haunted Halloween Pub Tour” organised by Siwan. Meeting at 6.30pm in the King William IV pub on Hampstead High Street, we confirmed attendance and then sat down to enjoy a tipple whilst waiting for the others in the group to turn up.
Some of the group donned fancy dress – I hadn’t had time to sort anything out, much to my irritation. As the promotional information states “through a combination of storytelling and theatrical re-enactments, the Haunted Ghost Walk brings history to life.” It really was fun – actors dressed as ghouls, poets and highway men accosting us along the way, jumping out from the darkness. More than a few screams were heard!
Our friendly and informative guide (I liked to call ‘Darkman’) regaled us with numerous ghost stories; including the girl who preferred suicide to a trip to the dentist, moving along to hear about the flame-haired house-maid who murdered and dismembered a young girl in her care, before attempting to dispose of the remains in a carpet bag. We walked through the quiet street where ‘Darkman’ spoke about the spirit that haunts the area around the famous health-giving Chalybeate Well and walked through Hampstead Heath in the dark. It was eerie walking in among the trees in the blackness, learning about how it was once a regular haunt of horse-mounted highwaymen including Dick Turpin – before getting hijacked by one (on foot). Thankfully he let us go unharmed!
At regular intervals, we warmed up at some of the oldest pubs in Hampstead and Highgate, including The Holly Bush (opposite Jamie Oliver’s old house), The Flask and The Gatehouse. Warm, Cozy and filled to the rafters – even on a Sunday evening.
We ended the evening at The Gatehouse, having earned the tray of drinks and 3 packets of crisps we enjoyed. It really was a fabulously different way to enjoy Halloween. Roll on next year….