As Halloween creeps up on us, it can be difficult to find your share of spooks and scares. To aid your search, I have compiled a list of the scariest, most ghoulish, and terrifying productions showing this Halloween season. With these shows, you will certainly be in for a treat.
2:22 A Ghost Story – Criterion Theatre, London, until Sun 8 Jan
This is a show I can personally recommend, having watched it last December – and it definitely spooked me!
Jenny’s new house is haunted. She knows it. Every night, the ghost arrives at exactly 2:22; it is terrifying and all too real. When her sceptical husband Sam returns from a work trip, he explains away the occurrences, but no rational explanation will suffice for Jenny. That evening, they host a dinner party for an old university friend, Lauren, and Ben, her new boyfriend, where the conversation soon turns towards the supernatural. Sceptical and more believing arguments are made throughout the night, while it is slowly revealed that something isn’t quite right in their new home. Jenny convinces them to stay up till 2:22, to see the spirit for themselves, but what truth will be uncovered?
2:22 has all the elements of a horror blockbuster masterfully brought to the stage. Danny Robins’ tight script has just the right balance of comedy and scares to keep both the most cautious and avid horror fans entertained, all the while managing to provide some genuinely thought provoking debates both for and against the existence of ghosts. Brilliantly acted and set to mimic a London house to flawless accuracy, this is a slick and superb show with an ending that will haunt you. If you find yourself in London this autumn, this Laurence Olivier Award nominated show is the perfect fright night out. You can book tickets here.
Joe Quinn’s Poltergeist – Live Theatre, Newcastle, Thur 27 – Sun 30 Oct
This live reading of David Almond’s chilling coming-of-age story is set to music and accompanied by an eerie immersive experience for you to venture into before the show – perhaps you will encounter a poltergeist yourself… Telling the tale of Joe Qiunn and Davie, both haunted in their own ways, themes of loss and religion are integrated into this frightful tale of ghostly occurrences. This promises to be a spectacularly spooky night, with hints of the cosiness and nostalgia of having a ghost story read aloud. You can read more about it and book tickets here.
Green Door Theatre Company & St Chad’s Music Comm’s Halloween Showcase – Cassidy Quad, St Chad’s College, Durham, Sun 30 Oct
A showcase of macabre monologues, scary songs, monstrous moves, creepy comedy and overall spookiness, this is set to be a superb display of a variety of Halloween-oriented entertainment – perfect if you are not in the mood for a long narrative. Get your tickets here.
Dracula – Dowrick Suite, Trevelyan College, Durham, Sun 30 and Mon 31 Oct
Sixth Side Theatre Company are bringing one of the most quintessential horror stories to life this Halloween. It is the classic story of young solicitor Jonathan Harker and vampire Count Dracula, what more need I say? Showing in the intimate Dowrick Suite, this is a Halloween must-see. Tickets can be bought here.
The Canterville Ghost – Tyne Theatre & Opera House, Newcastle, Tue 8 Nov
Based on Oscar Wilde’s short story of the same name, this funny and frightful story of Sir Simon de Canterville’s futile attempts the spook the Otis family will surely be a more lighthearted ghost story for the more tentative horror lovers, and those with a love of classic literature. Combining puppetry, song, and slapstick, this vaudeville inspired show is set to be a fun and lively, ghastly spectacle. It is showing for one night only at the Tyne Theatre in Newcastle. Book your tickets here.
An Inspector Calls – Theatre Royal, Newcastle, Tue 8 – Sat 12 Nov
This thrilling and eerie mystery centres on the Birling family and a man, calling himself Inspector Goole, who questions them regarding their involvement with Eva Smith, a young woman who has recently committed suicide. Perhaps this is not the first play that comes to mind when one thinks of Halloween/spooky theatre, but I think it is a perfect creepy show for a cold autumn night, with its uncanny atmosphere and spine-chilling ending. Tickets are going fast so book yours now, here.
The Rocky Horror Show – Theatre Royal, Newcastle, Tue 15 – Sat 19 Nov
Brad and Janet, a goody four-shoes, Maude and Ned Flanders-like newly betrothed couple, find themselves stranded in a storm. They seek help at an old, ominous castle that so happens to be the home of Dr Frank-N-Furter, who is currently creating his perfect man, and invites them to stay the night… It is a cliche that transforms into an iconic, erotic, musical extravaganza. A cult phenomenon and so much more, make sure to catch this sexy spectacle. Find tickets here to do the Time Warp (again).
A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story – Gala Theatre, Durham, Sun 27 Nov – Thur 1 Dec
This is the classic Christmas story we all know so well: the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future visit Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas Eve night, to warn of where his selfishness and greediness will lead him. Although more associated with Christmas, I think this is undermined as a ghost story, and this screening of Nottingham Playhouse’s production appears to place focus on the ghoulish encounters. Still a ghost story, but one for those of us who simply can’t wait for Christmas. Buy your tickets here.
Featured Image: Photos_frompasttofuture on Unsplash