A cauldron full of scary delights is being conjured up at an iconic North East castle this Hallowe’en.
Kids young and old will be left spellbound by the tricks and treats awaiting them within the centuries-old walls of Bamburgh Castle, perched broodingly above the windswept north Northumberland coast.
From creepy crafts to a ghoulish trail, hauntings, slimy All Hallows’ Eve activities, and a spooky take on ten pin bowling that will have you literally ‘squashing’ the opposition, there’s plenty of bewitchingly brilliant fun to be had over the half-term holiday between October 26-November 3 at this king of castles.
Visitors and their pooches to the dog-friendly attraction are also being invited to share in the magic of the season by donning a scary Hallowe’en costume on October 31, with the most ghoulish two and four-legged outfits in with the chance of winning a prize.
Even better, most of the activities are included in the standard castle admission.
William Watson-Armstrong – the fifth generation of his family to own Bamburgh Castle – says: “This ancient fortress with its thick stone walls, secret tunnels, creepy crypts, eerie dungeons, and shadowy corridors, is the perfect backdrop for some genuinely haunting Hallowe’en thrills and spills.
“With a history stretching back more than 1,400 years to the ancient kings of Northumbria, Bamburgh Castle is not only wound up in our nation’s folklore and myth but has been witness to countless battles and bloodshed.
“So it will come as no surprise to learn that Bamburgh is home to its fair share of ghostly goings-on, from visitors who claim to have been touched by unseen hands, to stories of music playing in empty rooms, and the sound of feet running along gloomy corridors in the dead of night.
“We can’t promise you’ll see the infamous Pink Lady staring sadly out to sea as she awaits the return of her lover, or Green Jane, who is said to have died along with her baby when she fell down a set of perilously steep steps, but we can guarantee a host – or should that be ghost – of other frightful Hallowe’en themed events that will get your heart racing and the adrenaline pumping.”
New this year is Pumpkin Bowling taking place on the grassy expanse of the West Ward. Using real pumpkins, players will have a rolling good time as they chance their arm trying to knock down the googly-eyed bowling pins with a ‘ball’ that refuses to run straight.
Flying in on her broomstick will be Bamburgh Castle’s very own Madame Pumpkinspook, who will be press-ganging visitors into helping her mix up a heady brew of slimetastic lotions and potions, including her infamous Dragon’s Breath Gloop complete with floating eyeballs!
You can also take your chance on Madame Pumpkinspook’s Unlucky Dip. Plunge your hand into the Hallowe’en slime to find an object and receive a sweet-tasting prize.
With regular slime making and a pumpkin volcano fizzing into action too, you’d be mad not to join in one of Madame Pumpkinspook’s smoke and dagger classes.
Tabitha, the ghost of a lively Victorian serving maid, will be making her presence felt between October 26-28. Her ghostly schedule will include general hauntings, lots of waltzing, and even the occasional bit of feather dusting. If you’re really unfortunate, Tabitha might even serenade you.
The Pumpkin Trail runs throughout October. Find all the letters on the trail to spell a magic word and claim a prize. This is part of the children’s activity pack which can be bought with the admission ticket on arrival at the castle.
Also joining in the fun will be Marley the Pony. A popular regular during holiday times, Marley will be dressing up for the occasion with themed cart rides on the area outside the State Rooms. A small charge will apply.
And, of course, there is the chance to show-off you and your dog’s darker side in a gruesome Hallowe’en-inspired costume that’s sure to send shivers down the spine of even Bamburgh Castle’s resident ghosties and ghoulies.
Karen Larkin, Bamburgh Castle’s wedding, event and marketing manager, says: “This October is the perfect time to explore Bamburgh Castle and find out more about its myths and legends. With its long and bloody history, it is the ideal place to indulge in some bone-chilling Hallowe’en entertainment.
“Are you brave enough to face your fears and delve into the castle’s darker side?”