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Frightful fun in Kent

PUBLISHED: 16:30 10 October 2015 | UPDATED: 16:30 10 October 2015

On board the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway Halloween Express

On board the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway Halloween Express

Archant

With Hallowe’en just around the corner, there are plenty of ghostly goings-on lined up for families across the county but beware, the fun’s not restricted to children, so teenagers and adults should be wary too. Here are 15 of the best in Kent

DAYTIME DARES

creepy Castle

Dover Castle, Castle Hill, Dover CT16 1HU

24 Oct-1 Nov, 10am-4pm

Are you brave enough to enter the Tunnel of Terror or say boo to a ghost or two? Then head over to Kent’s most haunted castle to create some creepy crafts and try to win the daily prize for the best children’s Hallowe’en costume.

Tickets are available online or on the door. English Heritage family members pay £1 per child. Non-members pay £18 for adults, £11.80 for a child aged 5-15 years and £16.10 for concessions. Price includes entry to the event and the site.

For further information visit: www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/whats-on/haunted-castle-Dov-24-10-2015.

PS: For those of you looking for something with a bit more of a fright and are over the age of 13, check out the castle’s website for information about its ‘scare’ event, ‘Haunted Castle - After Dark’ – it’s going to be thrilling!

Fear and Fun

The Rare Breeds Centre, Highlands Farm, Woodchurch, Ashford TN26 3RJ

24 Oct to 1 Nov, 10.30am-5.30pm

Get ready to meet some Hallowe’en ghosties, hear scary stories, sing spooky songs and build your own broomstick. Then watch a Wiley Wolf production before you cheer on the hog racing and follow the Spooks Quiz Trail. Young visitors can also take part in the best children’s costume competition before discovering the scary soup, festering fairy cakes and spooky sausages in the Granary restaurant.

Family group tickets cost £32, adults £10.50, concessions and children over 3 cost £9.

Further information at: www.rarebreeds.org.uk/events/halloween-fear-and-fun

Haunted Hever

Hever Castle & Gardens, Hever, Edenbridge TN8 7NG. 24 Oct-1 Nov.

Spine-tingling moments await visitors who dare to explore Hever castle this Hallowe’en. Ghostly storytelling, quizzes and creepy craft workshops are sure to entertain every little monster. For those brave enough to venture outdoors, a trip to the shadowy yew maze and around the spooky garden trail will lead to a terrible treat. And when you’re ready to let off steam, or a scream, head for the adventure playground before seeking sanctuary in the restaurant.

Admission to the castle and gardens is £16 for adults, children aged 5-15 £9 (under 5’s free) and seniors £14. Family tickets are available for £42.50.

Further information at: www.hevercastle.co.uk

Spooky Trails

Belmont House, Belmont Park, Throwley, nr Faversham ME13 0HH. 25 Oct, 12pm-3pm

Follow spooky trails around the garden, try pumpkin carving and a take part in a creepy craft workshop hosted by Hand Crafted Events. Entry is £5 per child, adults are free of charge.

NB: Visitors are advised not to rely on sat nav as it can take you to the wrong part of the estate.

Information at: www.belmont-house.org/visiting-us

Cloaked Tales

Twydall Library, 14-15 Twydall Green, Gillingham ME8 6JY

31 Oct, 1.30pm-3pm

Join Joseph Coelho to hear poems about zombies, werewolves and things that go bump in the night at this free event suitable for children aged between 5 and 8 years. Booking is essential and can be made by calling 01634 337799.

Witches and Wizards’ Academy

Leeds Castle, Penfold Hill (B2163), near Maidstone ME17 1RG. 24 Oct-1 Nov

Are your wands at the ready? Then prepare your youngsters to be spellbound when they enter this magical castle to attend the witches and wizard academy.

Spellbinding stories are sure to enchant little visitors and a trail through the grounds will magic up a chocolate treat.

A fancy dress competition will take place daily and a trip to the underground grotto, through the maze and into the Knights’ Realm playground is sure to keep everyone entertained.

Entry to this event is included in the entrance price (a small additional charge will apply for the trail).

The charges are £24 for adults, £21 for senior citizens, students and visitors with disabilities, £16 for children aged four to 15 years and infants under four are free.

Please note costings are for annual tickets which allow holders an unrestricted number of visits.

To book online visit: www.leeds-castle.com

Haunted Castle Events

Dover Castle, Castle Hill, Dover CT16 1HU

24 Oct-1 Nov, 10am-4pm

Are you brave enough to enter the Tunnel of Terror or say boo to a ghost or two? Then head over to Kent’s most haunted castle to create some creepy crafts and try to win the daily prize for the best children’s Halloween costume.

Tickets are available online or on the door. English Heritage family members pay £1 per child. Non-members pay £18 for adults, £11.80 for a child aged 5-15 years and £16.10 for concessions. Price includes entry to the event and the site.

For further information visit: www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/whats-on/haunted-castle-Dov-24-10-2015

PS. For those of you looking for something with a bit more of a fright and are over the age of 13, check out the castle’s website for information about its ‘scare’ event, Haunted Castle – After Dark, it’s going to be thrilling!

Hair-Raising Heritage

Canterbury Heritage Museum, Stour Street, Canterbury CT1 2NR. 24-31 Oct

Head for the Great Hall to hear about the spooky spirit that frightened the workmen away, the murder of Marlowe and the faces found on Stour Street before taking part in the trick or treat activity and making some ghoulish decorations to take home.

This drop-in free activity is included in the museum entry price. Maximum of two children can enter free with every adult paying £8. Group tickets are available and discounts are £6.

Further information at: www.canterbury.co.uk/museums/heritage-museum

e-tingling stories

The Powell-Cotton Museum, Quex Park, Birchington CT7 0BH. 26-30 Oct, 3.30-5pm

Grab your family by the hand and travel to the haunt of the white lady. But before you follow in the footsteps of the adventurous Percy Powell Cotton, don’t forget to decorate a lantern to light your way. Then travel to the tower hidden amongst the woodland trees to hear the spine-tingling tale of a terrible curse, an ancient tomb and the identity of the mysterious white lady.

Pre-book your tickets by calling the museum on 01843 842168. Adults are £8, children £6 and a maximum of 20 children are allowed on each tour. For museum members, tickets are reduced to £5 per adult and £3 per child.

Further information at: www.quexpark.co.uk/museum

midnight Express

Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway, Dymchurch Road, Hythe TN29 0PJ. 27-31 Oct

Are you ready to board the Hallowe’en Express? Then arrive at Hythe Station ready to rattle across the marshes towards New Romney, where you’ll be greeted by the Ghoulish Butler and make friends with Wanda the Witch.

The brave can enter the Spiders’ Cave before grabbing a Blood Red Hot Chocolate, Witch Finger Hot dog and sampling the Frightful Dessert Buffet. There will also be mini games and a prize for the best fancy dress, but beware, the train leaves Hythe in the late afternoon and returns after dark.

Tickets include an all-day Romney Rover ticket and cost £24 for adults and £17 per child.

Bookings can be made via: www.rhdr.org or by calling 01797 362353.

AFTER DARK

Brave enough to go out after dark? Then these adult and teen events might be for you.

Contagious

The Canterbury Tales, St Margaret’s Street, Canterbury CT1 2TG

The plague is sweeping across medieval England leaving death in its wake. Terrified citizens are evacuating London, heading for Canterbury, and the road is extremely dangerous. Contagious inhabitants surround you, but a cure is out there. Will you make the journey and find it?

Tours run every Friday and Saturday night throughout October, at 10-minute intervals between 6pm and 8pm. Described as a new ‘scare event’, it’s only suitable for those aged 14 or over. Tickets are £8 per person.

Book tickets at: www.canterburytales.org.uk or call 01227 479 227.

Ghost and Gourmet evenings

Ightham Mote, Mote Road, Ivy Hatch, Sevenoaks TN15 0NT

24 and 31 Oct, 7pm

Invisible hands that tried to strangle the owner in the night, shoes buried to ward off evil spirits and ghosts in the oubliette. Take a candlelit tour of Ightham Mote and learn all about its darkest secrets before enjoying a two-course buffet supper in the Mote Café. Tickets cost £37.50 per person and can be booked via the office on 01732 810378 ext. 100 or by emailing john.beak@nationaltrust.org.uk.

Further visitor information at: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ightham-mote

Murder Mystery Evening

Powell Cotton Museum, Quex Park, Birchington CT7 0BH

31 Oct, 7pm-10pm

Dig out your 1970’s outfits and prepare to boogie but, beware, the disco will end with a murder. Whose will it be? It’s your turn to find out when you grill the actors from the Perfectly Dreadful Murder Company once the grisly deed is done.

The event includes a light supper and there will be a licensed bar open throughout the evening. A prize will also be awarded to the best-dressed guest and tickets, costing £25 per person, can be booked by calling the museum on 01843 842168. Places are limited and payment is required at the time of booking.

Further visitor information at: www.quexpark.co.uk/museum

Ghost Hunter Tours

Fort Borstal, Borstal Street, Rochester ME13HH

17 and 30 Oct, 8pm-2am

Are ghosts real? Find out the truth on a ghost hunt with Steve Moyle, a psychic medium who has been able to see spirits since the age of five. Fort Borstal was built in 1859 using convict labour and during the First World War was used as a stop off point for troops and stores travelling to France. Steve says that during the last four years, several prisoners and Captain Bedford (who died during the First World War) have frequently made contact with visitors taking part in his ghost hunter tours and these two special evenings offer you the chance to participate in séances, vigils, EVP experiments and use ghost communicators, spirit boxes and Ouija boards.

Ghost hunters have to be at least 16 years old and tickets cost £40 per person and include a cold buffet.

For further information at: www.ghosthuntevents.co.uk

Spooky Castle

Broadditch Farm Shop, New Barn Road, Southfleet DA13 9PU

01474 834161 or Halloween@broadditch.co.uk. Numerous dates and times available.

Broadwitch Hauntfest is definitely not for the faint-hearted and you must be at least 16 to enter and that’s only if you have an adult over 18 accompanying you. Five haunts are available and basically give you a choice of how you want to ‘die’. The Spooky Castle is filled with a ‘spectacular macabre showcase’ that gets more gruesome every year, while the Edge is filled with frenzied vampires who chase you through a series of eerie passageways in an attempt to consume your life force. MassAcre, on the other hand, gives you the choice of being tracked through a cornfield maze by ‘crazed flesh eating occupants who are on a murderous cannibalistic rampage’ and guess what? You’re on the menu!

If this sounds like the type of terrifying, heart-pounding adventure you’re looking for then you need to pre-book at www.spookycastle.co.uk.

Entry is via a coded wristband and prices vary according to how many haunts you would like to enter. Just one final word of warning, however, the hosts proclaim that ‘If you’re not screaming, you’re already dead!’

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