There’s spooky fun for all ages in York this October half term – if you dare to go along to the Castle Museum.
Visitors can delve into the spooky history of Halloween’s traditions and hear the truth about Yorkshire’s real witches in two special new tours at the museum this October half term.
Fearless families can discover the history of Halloween through our new family friendly guided tour, looking at the origins of famous Halloween traditions, such as trick-or-treating, and exploring the past beliefs about witches and evil spirits.
A second tour, suitable for older teens and adults, takes you back as far as the early 17th century and explores the stories of Yorkshire women labelled as witches, their trials and the fatal outcomes.
Fiona Burton, Public Engagement Manager at York Museums Trust, said: “We’re so excited to be introducing these two new tours to York Castle Museum this Halloween – or Nutcrack-Night as it was known in Yorkshire before 1900!
“The Family Friendly tour will be full of spooky facts about the origins of Halloween, its intriguing traditions as well how people used to try and keep evil forces at bay.
“The Witches tour, for older audiences, will look at the real women accused of being witches, the truth about their lives and punishment, including here at York Castle Museum when it used to be a prison.
“We are really looking forward to sharing these fascinating stories with our visitors this Halloween.”
Halloween Family Friendly Tour
£8 per person
Set in our Period Rooms and Toy Stories Galleries, our family tours will shed light on Halloween traditions and the spooky supernatural including a fun-filled insight into the history of Jack-o-lanterns and the use of protective charms to keep the evil forces at bay. At £8 per person, this 30 minute guided tour is a unique Halloween experience for all to enjoy.
The Witches Curator Tour
£18 per person
Suited to older teens and adults, this historical tour focuses on the witchcraft craze of the early seventeenth century to the sensationalist broadsheets of the early 1800s, when many Yorkshire women were labelled witches. At £18 per person, this tour will explore the stories of some of those women, including Jennet Preston, who was the only person from the famous Lancashire Witches of 1612 to be tried at York. Visitors will also hear the story of Mary Bateman, a spiritualist and convicted thief who was executed for murder in 1809, and who the public termed the Yorkshire Witch.