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Article by Sarah Hamilton-Walker | 22nd October 2018

Half-Term Halloween High Jinx

Keep all the family entertained this October half-term at these top spooktacular haunts.

Hever Castle & Gardens - 20th-28th October

Prepare to be spooked while listening to ghostly tales in the Ghost Catcher’s Lair, then follow the pumpkin trail in the grounds and learn about the ghosts of Hever in the castle. There are free creepy craft workshops where you can create a ghost puppet as well as the chance to make a ghoulish biscuit for a small extra charge. And don’t forget to dress up – there are prizes for the scariest costumes.

• Hever, Edenbridge TN8 7NG, 01732 865224, www.hevercastle.co.uk

Drusillas - 20th-28th October

Stake out the fun at Drusillas Park’s Halloween Shriek Week where they’ve conjured up some fang-tastically spooky surprises to keep your little horrors half-term happy! Enter Haunted Heights where you can make your way through the cobwebbed corridors to find sin sisters Hocus & Pocus as they play hide and shriek. Plus there’s Mummy Mayhem, Creepy Crawly Encounters and Spooky Happenings to keep you all entertained.

• Alfriston Road, East Sussex BN26 5QS, 01323 874100, www.drusillas.co.uk

Tulleys Farm - Selected dates from 5th October

Shocktober Fest is an immersive scare experience blending great design and extraordinary talent with a splattering of comedy, which since 2008, has repeatedly won the title of the UK’s No.1 Halloween Attraction. This year it will feature two new attractions making eight in total. Meanwhile, appealing to children of all ages, the daytime Halloween festival Spookfest will feature exciting haunted house attractions aimed at the six-13 year age group.

• Turners Hill Road, Crawley Down, Crawley RH10 4PE, 01342 718472, www.tulleysfarm.com

The Historic Dockyard Chatham - 20th-28th October

Visit the Dockyard’s Enchanted Garden once again this October half-term to find out what the fairies have been up to since last year as The Historic Dockyard Chatham hosts a week packed full of fun activities and storytelling for all ages.

• Main Gate Road, Chatham ME4 4UY, 01634 823800, www.thedockyard.co.uk

Betteshanger Park - 25th-27th October

Vampires have escaped from a top secret underground laboratory deep in the heart of Betteshanger Park. Do you have what it takes to help Doctor Trudy Helsing track down the coven’s hideout and cure the vampires of their thirst by administering the antidote with specialised foam-tipped arrows in a 40-minute Vampire Vanquish expedition combining archery TAG, teamwork and serious guts? (Ages 10 plus.)

• Sandwich Road, Deal CT14 0BF, 01304 619227, www.betteshanger-park.co.uk

Chiddingstone Castle - 25th-27th October

For its second year, Chiddingstone Castle is recruiting witches and wizards aged six-10 to join the castle’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to help the Headmaster on a magical mission. Activities include flying lessons, the dark arts and crafts, singing, dance and games practice, plus potion making. There will also be awards for best dressed and exceptional students and certificates for all students.

• Hill Hoath Road, Chiddingstone, Edenbridge, TN8 7AD, 01892 870347, www.chiddingstonecastle.org.uk

Dover Castle - 20th-28th October

Feeling brave enough to take on Kent’s most haunted castle? Prepare to be scared this autumn half-term as a frighteningly fun day out awaits you. Are you brave enough to enter the tunnel of terror or say boo to a ghost or two? Have a go at creating creepy crafts, and see if you can scare them enough to win a prize for the best children’s Halloween costume, bestowed on the most spine-tingling outfit each day.

• Castle Hill, Dover CT16 1HU, 0370 333 1181, www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/whats-on/haunted-castle-dover-20-10-18/

Penshurst Place - 20th-28th October

Get your spook on while unravelling ridiculous riddles and rambunctious rhymes on the Halloween Garden Trail during Spooky Half-Term – and don’t forget to take a trip to The Old Coach House for creepy crafts and creations. On certain days there is also Wicked Witch of the Wild Wood Storytelling with hot chocolate and Not So Spooky Storytelling – ideal for smaller children with a fantastic interactive show.

• Penshurst, Tonbridge TN11 8DG, 01892 870307, www.penshurstplace.com

Kent & East Sussex Railway - 23rd-25th October

Go dressed as witches or wizards for spellbinding adventures at the Kent & East Sussex Railway’s Halloween Hi Jinx. Enjoy a train ride from Tenterden to Bodiam, with activities including crafts for the children on the train. Meanwhile on 26th October from 5.30pm the Fright Night Express has a workshop including pumpkin modelling and face-painting, plus entertainment. The train departs at 7pm when children will receive a free Munch Box for the trip to Northiam where there will be entertainment and a firework display before returning at around 8.45pm.

• Tenterden Town Station, Station Road, Tenterden TN30 6HE, www.kesr.org.uk

Leeds Castle - 22nd-28th October

Investigate The Case of The Halloween Monster by travelling on a quest through the castle grounds helping Monster Hunter Valerie Van Helsing – but watch out for Halloween bandits along the way! Find Vinnie the Vampire and Frank Frankenstein amongst other characters hiding across the estate. Plus there’s a Monster Mash Ball and daily fancy dress competition, ghoulish games and frightening fun.

• Maidstone ME17 1PL, 01622 765400, www.leeds-castle.com

The Canterbury Tales - 20th-28th October

This October half-term, ghosts and ghouls will be hidden throughout The Canterbury Tales. Alongside the regular storytelling tours, young visitors can enjoy a spooky trail through the attraction’s authentic recreation of medieval England. Armed with a Spook Quest trail sheet, kids will hunt down ghosts hidden within the colourful scenery. Complete the trail to claim a spook-tacular prize!

• Margaret Street, Canterbury, CT1 2TG, 01227 696002, www.canterburytales.org.uk

Dreamland - 13th-31st October

Every October Dreamland mutates into the award-winning Screamland for an after dark event where you will be immersed in a frightening world of interactive scare mazes and sideshows set to thrill and haunt the darkest soul. The ticket includes access to all seven scare mazes plus unlimited use of all the rides. (Suggested age 12A, there will also be some Halloween fun for the younger ones during October half-term.)

• 49-51 Marine Terrace, Margate, CT9 1XJ, www.dreamland.co.uk

Whitstable Charity Event - 25th-26th October

The Halloween Pumpkin Hunt for children aged 3-11 has been organised by Demelza Hospice Care for Children in areas including Whitstable. Pumpkins will be on display with various retailers and at local landmarks and children can hunt for them while picking up treats. The best Halloween costume in each location will win a prize. Book to avoid disappointment.

• Visit www.demelza.org.uk/support-us/challenges-and-events/halloween-demelza-pumpkin-hunt-2018

King's Mile - 27th October

There will be fun for all of the family, with a spooky fancy dress Halloween trick or treat event in the area.

• King’s Mile, Canterbury

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