Things To Do

Hattie Lloyd 26/08/23

London Month of the Dead

London Month of the Dead is creeping up.

The city’s most morbidly fascinating festival has been resurrected for another year by the folks at Antique Beat (who host regular salons on strange and eclectic topics), and A Curious Invitation (founded by ethical taxidermist Suzette Field).

Returning on 30th September, there’s a line-up of over sixty mysterious and macabre events to choose from, many of which take place within the city’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ Victorian cemeteries themselves (and none of which involve knocking on strangers’ doors and demanding sweets). They include:

FASCINATING TALKS on a range of mysterious and unusual topics, from what sounds like a fairly fundamental talk on the science behind why humans die; to London’s grim history of public executions; what it’s like to work in a mortuary; and why people used to build mummified cats into their walls.

WORKSHOPS, in which you can be schooled in the delicate art of insect taxidermy; inducted to the world of candle-related spells & rituals; or invited to confront your fear of tarantulas and hissing cockroaches… in a very practical way.

TWILIGHT STROLLS including a guided tour around the plague pits of Clerkenwell; a torchlit procession (with ghost stories) through Kensal Green Cemetery; and a haunted walk along the Thames.

ETHEREAL PERFORMANCES, including a Victorian séance in a cemetery chapel; a candlelit concert of macabre classical music (with gin cocktails); and a screening of silent horror classic The Fall of the House of Usher, with a live piano & harp accompaniment.

AND GRIM GET-TOGETHERS, including a Poe-inspired ball across four floors of a members’ club in Soho, and a Halloween banquet where courses are interspersed with cabaret acts… where the performers are ghosts extremely talented.

Aside from giving you a few spine-tingling thrills, the festival’s always been staged with the intention of allowing Londoners to discuss and interact with what is essentially a very scary thing, and find ways to approach the concept of death without fear…

…merely requiring you to walk through a cemetery in the pitch dark first.


NOTE: London Month of the Dead runs from 30th September – 1st November 2023. You can take a look at the full programme, and book tickets, HERE. Be warned, they go extremely quickly…

After something a little less spooky? See what’s on in London this month.