From ghostly medieval monks to the infamous Grey Lady, the historic town of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk offers chills and thrills galore. Could it be the most haunted place in Britain? There are evening ghost tours, events for children and families, pumpkin patches to visit and eerie churchyards to walk through.
Scaresville – The Haunted Village at Kentwell Hall, near Bury St Edmunds. Nightly from 11 – 22 October and 27, 28 and 29 October
Enter the Scaresville Haunted Village at Kentwell Hall, near Bury St Edmunds for a live action, immersive experience for groups of 8-12 people. Inventive ‘scares’ have been created to frighten and will make you both scream with fear and laugh for an unbroken hour or so, with no time to catch your breath.
Locals whisper of an old village that appears in darkest Suffolk every year. It is here that the veil that separates our world from the ‘other side’ is stretched to its thinnest. Ghosts, ghouls and other creatures stalk the night and intrepid adventurers are said to be able to cross through. They talk of it as a Haunted Village which they call Scaresville. Some say these are just stories, others won’t say anything at all – are you brave enough to investigate? As you cross over into a twilight world, where reality and imagination merge, you will encounter thrills, spills, scares and dares as you traverse the woods, buildings and parkland of Scaresville.
Scaresville isn’t for individuals. Book a group of 8-10 using a unique code and enter the ScareZone together. But if you book for a smaller party, others will be added to make up group to a maximum size of 12.
Book in advance for timed entry between 7.15pm and 9pm priced at £24.95 per person or £29.95 at the door, space permitting. The evening is best for over 14s only, under 18s must be accompanied by an adult over 21 years of age.
Book online at www.kentwell.co.uk or for more information call 01787 310207.
Halloweenies at Kentwell Hall, near Bury St Edmunds – Spooky, safe half-term fun for your little monsters 22 – 29 October
Bring your little witches and wizards to Halloweenies and enjoy some spooky, safe half-term Halloween fun at Kentwell Hall, near Bury St Edmunds. Explore the spooky outdoor zones around the buildings, gardens and grounds for immersive challenges and activities aimed at children from 3 to 14 years of age and their families.
Come dressed in your favourite Halloween outfit but as this is an outdoor event ensure you are wrapped up warmly underneath; the house will be closed to visitors.
A selection of ghoulishly delicious food and snacks will be available as a take-out service.
Halloweenies runs from Sunday 22 until Sunday 29 October, 10.30am-4pm, last entry at 2pm. Adults from £20.80, children aged 8-15 from £18; 4-7 years from £15.90; 2-3 years from £7.25, under 1s free; family (2+2) from £64.50; book online to save on the ticket price. Advance booking required as numbers limited. For details visit www.kentwell.co.uk or call 01787 310207.
Discover Bury St Edmunds spine-tingling secrets with a Ghostly and Macabre guided walking tour from Halloween to March
Uncover spine-tingling tales about Bury St Edmunds eerie goings-on by joining the Ghostly and Macabre guided walking tour around the Suffolk 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 evening Ghostly and Macabre tours begin at Halloween (Friday 27, Saturday 28 and Tuesday 31 October 2023) and continue on Friday evenings until Friday, 22 March 2024.
More details about the tours priced at £10 per person and how to book are shown at www.burystedmundstourguides.org or call +44 (0) 1284 758000; due to the content of the tour, participants must be aged 14 years or over and under 18s accompanied by an adult. The necessity for smaller group sizes makes it essential to book early online.
Pumpkin Patches – Rougham Estate, near Bury St Edmunds, PYO pumpkin on selected dates from end September to 29 October
Just in time for Halloween, Rougham Estate has a beautiful field full of thousands of pumpkins, squashes and gourds (not edible) in 18 different varieties and many different sizes, just waiting to be picked.
Positioned just off Junction 45 on the A14, the aptly named Rougham Pumpkin Patch is a sea of orange (and other colours), allowing visitors to grab a wheelbarrow and choose their perfect pumpkins to carve into spooky faces or scary scenes this Halloween.
There is plenty more to enjoy too with sandpits, pedal tractors and small pumpkin games for the family. There will also be lots of special selfie opportunities such as with the Rougham Estate scarecrows as well as light refreshments and even a licensed bar on-site for those who need a break from the pumpkins.
Free entry and parking, pay per pumpkin. Open 9am-5pm on 30 September and 1, 7-8, 14-15 and 20-29 October. For more information visit the Rougham Estate website, www.roughamestate.com.
Ruffins Farm, Whepstead, near Bury St Edmunds PYO pumpkin and Halloween activities 7-8, 14-15 and 21-29 October
Go along to Ruffins Farm at Whepstead, near Bury St Edmunds on their October open days and pick a pumpkin to take home from their large range of sizes and varieties. Families can also join in Halloween inspired games and play in the straw bale pyramid as well as meet some of the farm animals and find their way around the maize maze. Light refreshments will be available.
Open days will be held on 7-8, 14-15 and 21-29 October from 10am until 4pm. Entry prices to be confirmed. Pumpkin payment will be by size, the bigger your pumpkin the more you pay. For more information visit www.ruffinsfarm.co.uk.
Ghost stories by candlelight at Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds 13 October
Gather close for a candlelit evening of chilling, contemporary ghost stories and haunting new folk music from the ‘Witch Counties’ of East Anglia at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds on Friday, 13 October.
What happens when the ghosts of the past creep up on us today? A sea mist descends, the hound howls, sodium streetlights twitch and a falcon soars above, on the hunt. Ghost Stories by Candlelight is written by Kelly Jones, Shamser Sinha and Nicola Werenowska. With music and songs by Georgia Shackleton. Directed by Elayce Ismail.
The 60-minute performance starts at 7.30pm, to book tickets priced from £12 per person visit www.theatreroyal.org, or call the box office on 01284 769505. Best suited to those aged 14 plus.
Frankenstein at Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds 31 October – 4 November
Frankenstein at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds is an electrifying reimagining of the world’s favourite horror story that will set minds and spines tingling.
Back in 1943 while Europe tears itself apart, two women hide from their past at what feels like the very end of the world. And one of them has a terrifying story to tell… “I created life. You don’t believe me but it’s true. I didn’t start from scratch of course but out of portions and odd ends I made something – alive. But what I created… it wasn’t a superhuman. It was a monster.”
This new thriller, inspired by the classic gothic novel and complete with a stunning original score, explores the very fabric of what makes us human and the ultimate cost of chasing ‘perfection’.
The two-hour Frankenstein drama will be performed every evening from Tuesday 31 October to Saturday 4 November starting at 7.30pm plus matinées on Thursday and Saturday from 2pm. To book tickets priced from £12 per person visit www.theatreroyal.org, or call the box office on 01284 769505. Best suited to those aged 12 plus.
Kids and Canvas Halloween Special at The Apex, Bury St Edmunds 26 October
Bring your children to The Apex in Bury St Edmunds for some Halloween-themed painting fun. Youngsters at the Kids and Canvas Halloween Special on Tuesday, 26 October will create their own painting with step-by-step guidance. At the end they can take their very own masterpiece home.
All materials will be included and aprons will be provided, but acrylic paint will be used which does not wash out of clothing.
Children must be accompanied by a maximum of one adult who will stay with them during the class. There will be two sessions from 10am-11.30am and 12.30pm-2pm. Tickets priced at £20 per child can be booked online at www.theapex.co.uk or bought on arrival, space permitting. Organised by Painting Passions, www.paintingpassions.co.uk, the classes are best suited to children aged 5+.
Haunted Halloween Dinner – A paranormal evening at The Bull Hotel, Long Melford 27 October
The historic, 15th century Bull Hotel in Long Melford is hosting a Haunted Halloween evening on Friday 27 October. Arrive at 7pm and meet fellow guests in the Martin Lounge, listen to some ghostly tales at 7.30pm and tuck into the finger buffet at 8pm. Then be prepared for some interactive experiences when the lights go out, bring your own camera and recording equipment to catch the action when the veil between our world and the next is at its thinnest. The event ends on the witching hour…
Tickets are £34.99 per person or stay the night if you dare. Dinner bed and breakfast is £84.99pp for two sharing and £99 for a single room. To book call The Bull Hotel on 01787 378494 / 01787 467671 or visit www.greenekinginns.co.uk/hotels/bull-hotel-melford.
Halloween at the West Suffolk Hive, Bradfield St George, near Bury St Edmunds, 27 October
Go along to the West Suffolk Hive at Bradfield St George on Sunday, 27 October (11am-4pm) and take part in a range of activities including pumpkin carving, seasonal craft making and face painting. Refreshments will be available. Advance booking required for tickets priced at £5 for Hive Members and £7 for non-members, choosing either the morning (11am-1pm) or afternoon session (2pm-4pm) at www.westsuffolkhive.org.uk.