Halloween and half-term events in Bury St Edmunds
Moyse’s Hall Museum Strikes Back with the 12th Sci-Fi and Action exhibition 24 October – 20 December
Moyse’s Hall Museum, Bury St Edmunds strikes back with its 12th annual Sci-Fi and Action Exhibition celebrating the 40th anniversary of the second Star Wars film, The Empire Strikes Back. Running from 24 October until 20 December, it will feature a display of props and memorabilia from the movie that introduced us to Yoda, AT-AT walkers and a shocking family revelation that set the world talking.
In addition, the exhibition marks the 40th anniversary of Galactica’s landing in homes across the globe. This classic series was a spin-off to 1978’s Battlestar Galactica; displays will explore the franchise’s impact upon popular culture. There will also be small-screen action from the Tom Baker era of Dr Who plus used screen props and a chance to meet a real Dalek! The final highlight will be a rare opportunity to come face-to-face with a used Gremlin film prop from the mid-1980s cult classic.
The intergalactic exhibition for all ages is open Monday-Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sundays 12pm-4pm. Admission: adult £5, concessions £3; child £3 (5-16 years), family £15 (up to 5 people). Tel: 01284 758000, www.moyseshall.org. Face masks will be required and numbers limited to observe social distancing.
West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village – Spooky Saxons 24 October – 1 November
Go along to the West Stow Anglo Saxon Village, near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk between 24 October and 1 November and you will find some half-term horrors lurking behind corners for unsuspecting visitors. Take part in the Spooky Saxons fun family activities including quizzes and stories and dare you be brave enough to cast the last rune in the Witchy Workshop?
The site of an early Anglo-Saxon village, occupied from AD 420-650, over 400 years before the Norman Conquest, West Stow is one of England’s great archaeological sites. Explore the recreated Anglo-Saxon village surrounded by 125 acres of unspoilt countryside and discover more about village life some 1,500 years ago in the indoor galleries. Watch a film, dress up as an Anglo-Saxon and ‘meet’ the rare breed pigs and chickens.
West Stow will also be hosting The Real Middle-Earth Tour on Sunday, 25 October starting at 1.00pm. Find out about the links between Tolkien and the Anglo-Saxon world on a guided tour from a member of the Tolkien Society and a Middle-earth enthusiast.
Open 10am – 5pm. Admission: adult £6; child £3 (5-16 years); family £16 (up to 5 family members, maximum 2 adults). Tel 01284 728718, www.weststow.org/Anglo-Saxon-Village. Face coverings are required inside the museum, but not outdoors in the Anglo-Saxon Village. Social distancing will be observed but advance booking is not necessary.
Crafty Foxes Halloween workshops 30 and 31 October
Come and join The Crafty Foxes for a spooky Halloween workshop at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds. On Friday, 30 October children aged seven plus can paint a pumpkin using bright colours of their choice. Parents can drop and shop as space is limited, collecting their child and the decorated pumpkin after the session ends.
The next day’s family Spooky Halloween workshop, Saturday, 31 October, is a fun session for children under seven accompanied by one parent or guardian. Youngsters can try their hand at making a spooky bat, ghostly treat or monster lantern.
All children will be kept apart as much as possible on separate tables, spaced according to the COVID-19 guidelines, unless coming with siblings or people in their bubble, in which case two tables can be moved together.
Tickets for both workshops are £15 per child including a cold drink and biscuit. Old clothes or Halloween fancy dress recommended. Accompanying adults on 31 October can attend for free but must book a space and wear face coverings. Book online at www.theapex.co.uk or call 01284 758000.
Ghostly and Macabre Guided Walks uncover eerie secrets from 30 October
Discover ghostly secrets and uncover spine-tingling tales about Bury St Edmunds eerie goings-on by joining the Ghostly and Macabre guided walk around the Suffolk town held on various dates on dark autumn and winter evenings between 30 October and the end of March. Lasting 90 minutes, the Bury St Edmunds Tour Guides will take you on a haunted journey with ghostly stories of murder, riots, plague, witchcraft and a mummified cat, with chills and thrills galore.
The walk starts at Moyse’s Hall Museum; once a workhouse and gaol, the medieval building has been the focus of ghost tales for centuries. The oldest dates back to 1328, when a woman is recorded as saying she saw ‘a most horrible devil’ in the building’s cellar. In 1828, shrieks and apparitions were reported after the hanging of the infamous Red Barn murderer William Corder. These only stopped when Corder’s skull was duly buried.
Your guide will then lead you through the darkened streets telling stories of screaming skulls, mysterious ‘monk’ like figures appearing in cellars, burnings and hangings and more, finishing up in the dark and deserted Great Churchyard cemetery. Book a place if you dare…
Details about the Ghostly and Macabre tour priced at £7 per person and how to book are shown at www.burystedmundstourguides.org or call 01284 758000; due to the content of the tour, participants must be aged 14 years or over. The necessity for smaller group sizes and social distancing makes it essential to book early online.