THERE was a distant time when Halloween meant very little on these shores. That distant time was only a few decades ago, but to a child decades are centuries.
The American love of Halloween and trick or treating has in recent years swept Britain – with shop shelves groaning under the weight of Halloween outfits of all shapes and sizes, scary this and that props, and even a few pumpkins.
It’s not surprising therefore that everywhere from the local pub to major tourist attractions have tapped into the Halloween habit, which now starts a good few weeks before All Hallows’ Eve on October 31.
Warwick Castle is among those to offer a Halloween experience with The Haunted Castle running until November 3, including after dark entry. The cynic may say it’s nothing more than a simple cash-in. Don’t believe it. A lot of time and effort has been put into The Haunted Castle. While kids today seem to love Halloween as much as they do Christmas, the parents have not been forgotten at The Haunted Castle, which offers something for all ages.
Much younger visitors can enjoy the fun of The Witches Tower and the Dead Centre Stage Show – literally set up in the middle of the castle – with everything from a Wizard School to a Witches Workout.
They can also join the Junior Ghost Hunt and attempt to convince the snooty butler he’s not alone in a spooky old mansion.
The scare maze The Dead of Knight at first appears something of nothing but then comes alive with ghoulish characters and spooky special effects – one which has parents smiling as broadly as their kids.
Fans of Most Haunted can search for the departed from down the centuries as the Paranormal Encounters team film a live ghost hunt in the depths of the castle.
And then there is the Castle Dungeon. Beware – be very aware! This superb half hour experience is certainly not for the faint-hearted and is one parents will have to decide if their younger ones are up to. The castle’s grisly past is brilliantly brought to life in a series of interactive meetings with long departed characters from yesteryear – torturer, plague victim and even a nun with an horrific secret. Anyone who claims they didn’t jump or let out a little scream at least once during their journey through the dungeon is probably lying – and deserves to be punished.
Visit www.warwick-castle.com for full details.