Halloween and half-term events in and around Bury St Edmunds

Kentwell Hall Halloweenies event. Photo: Paul Sillence Photography.

From supernatural tours to fright nights and ghostly secrets to a sorcery school there’s a host of spooky activities and events planned over the coming weeks in and around Bury St Edmunds leading up to Halloween.

From October 23 to 31 you can enter a magical Halloween world at Kentwell Hall where you can explore the spooky zones around buildings, gardens and grounds for immersive Halloween fun, challenges and activities aimed at children from three to 14 years of age, and their families.

And the venues is also offering Supranatural Tours up to October 31 to chill the soul and the chance for a group of up to six people to spend the night in the Victorian bedroom.

The Supranatural Tour will start in the courtyard at 8.30pm, and include an outside walk around the grounds, covering stop offs such as The Haunted Tree, The Crying Child, The Severed Head and The Face at the Window.

The tour will move on to the main Dining Room for a glass of mull and to hear about the happenings in the house, before moving on to visit The Great Hall, The Parlour, and the haunted Victorian Room. Kentwell’s Victorian Room has been known to family members and their servants as the Haunted Room for many years.

For more details go to www.visit-burystedmunds.co.uk/whats-on/ghost-tours-at-kentwell-hall

You can also take part in the Ring Quest Lord of the Rings themed family challenge at West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village and Country Park over the autumn half-term between October 23 and 31.

Bigger than ever, the event is celebrating 20 years since “The Fellowship of the Ring” hit the big screen. The recreated village is one of England’s important archaeological sites.

Complete the Ring Quest and find the rings and runes to save Middle Earth. As well as the Ring Quest trail, there are the huge spiders of Mirkwood and a dragon guarding its treasure. See the small exhibition on Ring Quest, visit the Hobbit Hole, meet Halbarad the Ranger of the North and try your hand at archery.

For more information visit www.weststow.org or call 01284 728718; other things to see and do and where to stay can be found on www.burystedmundsandbeyond.co.uk.

Palace House, in Newmarket, was once the horseracing home of King Charles II during his visits to the town. Today, it is home to paintings and many other works of art.

On Thursday and Friday, October 28 and 29, you can take a tour by torchlight and watch history come alive, meet the ghosts of Charles II and his housekeeper, and join a witch hunt to find the five witches around the house while winning a goody bag. Dressing up is very much encouraged, both adults and kids alike and there’s free brownies at the bakery for those who do.

Go to www.visit-burystedmunds.co.uk/whats-on/family-friendly-fright-night-at-the-museum for more information.

The following night (Saturday, October 30) you have to make sure you don’t end up in the asylum or you might never escape while you visit the house’s beautiful artworks – a stunning 350-year-old building by day, a haunted doll’s house by night. Beware the headless horseman and his torture chamber – his previous victims are buried close by. Take care not to go too close to the witch’s gingerbread house, it may look tasty to you, but you look tasty to her.

After your bone chilling travels, enjoy a warming hot chocolate or a mulled cider at The Tack Room bar.

For more information go to www.visit-burystedmunds.co.uk/whats-on/fright-night-at-the-museum

And finally you can discover Bury St Edmunds ghostly secrets with a guided walking tour from Halloween to end March.

Uncover spine-tingling tales about Bury St Edmunds eerie goings-on by joining the Ghostly and Macabre guided walk around the town held on various dates on dark autumn and winter evenings between Halloween and the end of March.

Lasting 90 minutes, the Bury St Edmunds Tour Guides will take you on a haunted journey with ghostly stories of murder, riots, plague, witchcraft and a mummified cat, with chills and thrills galore.

Starting with Moyse’s Hall, the tour winds around the darkened streets to tell stories of screaming skulls, mysterious monk-like figures appearing in cellars, burnings and hangings and more, finishing up in the dark and deserted Great Churchyard.

The guides certainly get into character. Dressed all in black with a Lincoln hat, Mike Dean, one of the founder guides is a casual nod to the notorious and local 17th century Witchfinder General, Mathew Hopkins.

Describing the Ghostly and Macabre walk, he said: “These tours are completely different from the rest and although there are references to some of the darker periods of our local history, the underlying theme is fun. Some on the tour have been genuinely spooked by the stories they hear and others tell.”

The ghostly walks are also led by the “Grey Lady”, the only female spirit in the team of guides.

Lynn Whitehead’s alter-ego is fascinated by the Stone Tape theory – could this be what made Room 63 of the Suffolk Hotel so chilly?

Details about the Ghostly and Macabre tour priced at £7 per person and how to book are shown at www.burystedmundstourguides.org or call 01284 758000.

For more information about Halloween events see www.visit-burystedmunds.co.uk/halloween-in-bury-st-edmunds-beyond and for where to stay and other things to see and do visit www.burystedmundsandbeyond.co.uk

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