The end of harvest means we’re moving into the murkier season; Halloween, the over-commercialised American-Gaelic festival of Samhain, a liminal crossover to the Otherworld, and its Christianised appropriation, where evil Aos Sí spirits, the souls of the dead and fairies pass to our realm in the dead of night, to bob for apples and bang on doors yelling “trick or treat,” slapped in cheap face-paint from Wilkos.
Appease the Aos Sí, miscellanies of pagan gods, nature spirits, and snotty-nosed brats to safeguard your livestock during winter, by handing them all of your space-dust covered Freddos, while cursing Spielberg for making ET and reviving our forefather’s sacred but mysterious festival, submerged in Yankee hogwash.
Complain endlessly, “we never had all this hallo-bloody-ween when we were kids,” suffering repetitive strain injury from mistakenly carving pumpkin; evil spirits will not infiltrate your premises if you place a pumpkin at your door, they’re all about turnips I’m afraid. All you will get is the snotty-nosed kid variety, which by the end you’d have favoured the evil spirits.
Note how the youngest thank you, while their experienced elders only thrust out their sausage-fingers in expectance and increase their productivity with haste and the manners of piglets. Ask a kid these days if they’d like to bob for apples and they’ll be expecting an iPhone.
Attempt a trick rather than a treat and receive a confused expression. But beware the cold and exhausted, politically correct father hiding in the bushes, or grinning with insane parental pride from the bottom of your path; yes, the trick part went out with flared trousers, just hand over the fucking Haribo, snowflake.
It doesn’t matter if the imp is inappropriately dressed in a non-horrific character onesie, never criticise or a Millennial parent will video you on his Android and seethe through finely-trimmed beard, “hey, don’t burden my son with your gender stereotypes, he idolises Upsy Daisy; you got issues mate!”
Stay in and watch the Michael Jackson Thriller Video on YouTube at your peril, for the rest of you sensible somebodies, here’s a guide to spooky-type happenings, and what’s to be doing for Halloween in the shire. But don’t be a zombie about it, check through now as tickets to some events are being booked swiftly.
Thursday 18th October
The Halloween Ice Rink @ Whitehall Garden Centre, Lacock
Unsure what connection ice-skating has to Halloween, the ghost of Jackson Haines? But Whitehall has their ice rink set to go from Thursday and it runs up to Halloween night on the 31st. Sessions run on the hour every hour, each session runs for 45 minutes. £5.99, tickets include skate hire. All children must be accompanied and supervised by an adult at all times. Arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your skate session starting.
Book here: https://www.whitehallgardencentre.co.uk/shop/customer-events/groupid/2874/day/18/month/10/year/2018.html
Wednesday 24th October
Longleat House Ghost Tours
This a spine-chilling tour of Longleat House starts here and continues every day until 4th November. A ghoulish guide will take you through unseen cellars, eerie attics and dark corridors, all whilst sharing haunting tales of Longleat’s legendary past. It’s long been rumoured that the Grey Lady, Lady Louisa Carteret – wife of the 2nd Viscount, still wonders the House in search for her murdered lover.
You’ll hear all about Longleat’s ghostly residents but be careful not to disturb the dead… Who knows what might happen if you do – this tour isn’t for the faint hearted, join them if you dare!
Friday 26th October
Little Shop of Horrors at Wharf Theatre, Devizes
Running until 3rd November this beauty has a tenacious link to Halloween far more than ice skating. Expect a review from me shortly after the opening night, as despite not being a lover of musicals in general, I adore this one! It’s a deviously delicious sci-fi smash, and one of the longest running off-Broadway shows. Little Shop of Horrors’ charmingly tongue in cheek comedy has devoured the hearts of theatre goers for over 30 years.
The meek floral assistant Seymour Krelborn stumbles across a new breed of plant he names ‘Audrey II’ after his co-worker crush. This foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore promises unending fame and fortune to the down and out Krelborn, as long as he keeps feeding it, blood.
Buy tickets from the Devizes Community Hub and Library, Sheep Street, Devizes | Box Office Telephone 0333 666 3366 or online from: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/the-wharf-theatre
Halloween Party @ The White Hart Atworth
Formed from the band El-Nino, the brilliant four-piece, Plan of Action will be playing a mix of alternative, rock and indie music. Fancy dress is encouraged!
Halloween Ghost Train @ Swindon & Cricklade Railway
Continues on Saturday, same times, 6:00pm – 8:45pm Take a ghoulish train ride, now that does sound like spooky fun! Here: http://www.swindon-cricklade-railway.org/events.php#top
Saturday 27th October
The Very Scary Worton Monster Trail at Worton Village Hall
It’s a family friendly monster-themed scarecrow trail, running Sunday too. Come and wander around the village to find the monsters malingering in the gardens and try to guess who they are. Prizes will be given for the most correct guesses drawn at random. It’s £2 per person entry fee, and the trail starts from the Village Hall, running from 11am – 4pm.
I do hope they take the monsters down prior to my milk round in the wee hours, last year I got a nasty shock when I bumped into Mike Wazowski hiding around a corner in Mill Head!
Incredible Comic Shop’s Halloween Comic-Fest
Lots of spooky comics will be available for free at The Incredible Comic Shop, Brunel Shopping Arcade, Swindon on this day, and they will be holding a Halloween costume competition.
Kids Halloween Disco at the Wyvern Club, Devizes
With DJ Holz Stone, there will be games; hook a skull, tombola, fancy dress competition, and hotdogs and burgers on sale. £1 entry; all welcome 3:30-5:30pm.
Halloween Karaoke @ The Pelican, Devizes
Right up Krazee Devil’s street is Halloween; all in the name. From 8pm-1am, optional fancy dress Halloween party and karaoke, promises to be one hell of a night’s entertainment.
Family Halloween Party @ The Owl, Bromham
5-8pm. Fun & Games, Spooky Bingo, fancy dress competition, free tickets for pumpkin raffle and hotdogs for a quid – all free too. If you pick up a ticket from the Sports & Social Club beforehand, it’ll guarantee a child goody bag.
Dracula- the Panto! @ The Neeld, Chippenham
There’s a vampire behind you! Gothic meets slapstick in this fun-packed show which promises to have the whole family screaming with laughter. It’s become a true family favourite all over the country; full of irresistibly scary fun in true panto style, telling the tale of the infamous vampire as you have never seen it before. Only the Dame and a song sheet stand between the naughty Count and world domination…..
Two actors will take you on a hilarious journey, performing a bewildering series of costume changes to bring you countless characters including the frolicsome Dame and the naughty Count himself plus great songs to boot including the fiendish favourites ‘Bat out of Hell’ ‘Bad Moon Rising’ and ‘In the Midnight Hour’. One night only, standard tickets are £10 from here: http://www.neeld.co.uk/whats-on/dracula-the-panto/
Halloween Gig with Dusk Til’ Dawn @ London Road Inn, Calne
Halloween fancy dress gig. Fancy dress recommend but not required.
Family Halloween Party @ Forest Community Centre, Melksham
Halloween disco. Free entry, fancy dress is optional.
Swindon Halloween Urban Party @ H2O, Fleet Street Swindon
DJ Bamzy, Dj Nemz and DJ Santo$, brings you “the best urban party of the year.” 10pm-3am, entry £5 all night, ladies free b4 midnight.
Disco Undead III: The Final Chapter @ Basement 45, Bristol
Jim’ll Paint It hosts conclusion to a gruesome Disco Undead saga. Featuring two rooms of monstrous party music from disco, bassline and breaks to jungle, DnB and beyond. Bust out your best Halloween fancy dress for maximum respect and cheaper entry. The best dressed ghoul will bag themselves a prize bundle. Featuring VHS Hea, Kanji Kinetic, City Guys, Matt Ma G, Hurtdeer, Dr Muck, Edd Harris, Si Lindley, Rastey, Ray Von, Crazy Eyez, and Burns Unit. £6 advanced (includes fee) / £7 on the door / £6 in fancy dress. Tickets available from Skiddle: https://goo.gl/9eDr9w
Sunday 28th October
Halloween Spooktacular Fun Mile, by Brighter Futures GWH, Swindon @ Coate Water
Trick or treat yourselves to a Fun Mile for Brighter Futures at Coate Water. Whether you run, jog or walk, (I know what’d I’d choose) this event is open to all ages. Show your scarily good costumes, frightfully delightful pumpkin carvings and ghoulish guesses in the challenges in store for you. You will be rewarded with a medal at the finishing line followed by themed refreshments.
By taking part in our Spooktacular event, you can support any ward or department within Great Western Hospital that is special to you. You will be helping the doctors and nurses to fund new equipment and training, right through to ensuring that the environment is welcoming and comfortable for patients and loved ones.
Halloween Spooktacular is a great, fun-filled morning for you, your family and friends and the chance to join other people who care about their local NHS hospital. All we ask of you is that you aim high and raise as much as you can for this most worthy cause.
Entry: Adults – £7. Children 16 and under – £5. Under 5’s – free. All children must be accompanied by a paying adult to take part. To sign up: www.entrycentral.com/spooktacular
Monday 29th October
Pumpkin Carving @ Hillworth Park
Sessions beginning at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm, book early for this by calling 01380 721288. It’s £2.50 per child and they get a drink and spooky biscuit included. Not sure how a biscuit can be spooky, unless it’s six years out of date like the ones I often find lurking at the bottom of my biscuit barrel, but there you go!
Tuesday 30th October
Halloween Holiday Activities @ Wiltshire Museum, Devizes
Continues into Wednesday, with two sessions per day, at 11am-12:30pm and 1:30-3pm the museum will be looking at Spiders, Witches & Potions! Book early. Suitable for age 11 and under, but ages 8 and must be accompanied. And it’s only £5 per child. Book here:
Halloween Feast @ The Methuen Arms, Corsham
Allow local magician Chris Hiscock to dazzle you with his amazing “TRICKS” while you dine; the taster menu is £25 per person, set to be full of surprises! Booking is essential; contact for availability: 01249 717060 email@example.com
Wednesday 31st October: Halloween Night
Halloween at the Park @ Hillworth Park, Devizes
5:30-7:30, I know this event is Free, but what happens there is a mystery, which is no bad thing this time of year. It does come with a warning, whatever does happen will not be for the faint-hearted!
The Crown at Bishops Cannings Halloween Treat, Tarot & Psychic Supper
Taking the tarot readings will be Mystic Ruth, who has been a Psychic for over 30 years, is well-known and respected and has appeared on TV and Radio, http://www.mysticruth.co.uk. Mystic Ruth will be joined by a guest Medium, Amanda Scrannage, www.facebook.com/spirtualmedium for those who would like a mediumship reading. The cost is £25.00 per person, which includes a 15-minute reading either Tarot or Mediumship and a 2-course meal. To book a reading please call 01380-860218 or email Thecrowninnbishopscannings@gmail.com
Halloween Spooktacular! @ The Water Meadow, Melksham
4-5:30pm, tickets £3 per child. Games, buffet, fancy dress competition and creepy cocktails on arrival.
Devilish Dine & Disco, The Crossing @ The Brunel, Swindon
4 – 6pm; a fang-tastic family disco, fiendish food offers to enjoy at our spooky dining area, face-painting, a fancy-dress competition and giveaways. Tickets £3 per child and can be purchased their offices, located next door to Something Different on the upper level of The Plaza or via the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheBrunelSwindon
Friday 2nd November
Halloween Quiz & Quesadilla Night @ Times Square, Devizes
Tickets £5, does what it says on the tin; a spooky quiz night with deliciously filled quesadilla. Starts at 8pm.