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National Trust properties in Cornwall have plenty of Halloween events

The National Trust excels at events with a Halloween theme, including ghost tours, murder mystery evenings, carving a pumpkin & making a witch's broom.
Halloween or all Hallows’ Eve takes place on 31st October every year. It is the day before All Hallows Day, also known as All Saints Day, and became synonymous in mediaeval times with pagan festivals which focus on spirits, ghosts and the dead.

The Celts celebrated Samhain as the end of summer and the approach of darker nights when it seemed that the spirits and witches were closing in. Pagan celebrations took place either to embrace witchcraft and spirits, or to hold them at bay.

Some of Britain’s oldest houses and buildings are owned and maintained by the . Many have seen centuries of gory history including battles, murder, torture and other grisly events which were literally swept beneath the floorboards.

From cellars and dungeons to attics, follies and lakes, there are many spooky happenings in Cornwall’s National Trust properties which cannot be explained. What better time than Halloween to take a guided tour of one of these properties and learn some spine-chilling tales of ghostly apparitions and spooky noises?

Halloween Happenings at Godolphin

Those who reside or are staying near Helston can pop along to , a beautiful mansion and gardens which once belonged to the High Treasurer of Queen Anne. By day it is a peaceful house to explore along with the engine house and workings of the Godolphin family mine. But after dark, the spooky former residents take over…

Visit on Saturday 4 October 2014 at 7:30pm with a torch and a chair and listen to the storyteller in the courtyard telling tales of Godolphin’ past. Bats and owls are sure to be flying overhead.

Return wearing your scariest Halloween costume for the Halloween Happenings on Friday 31 October 2014 from 11am to 3pm. Youngsters can join witches and spiders in games and activities around the gardens.

Spooky Garden Trail at Lanhydrock

The beautiful house of was once the grandest in the country and dates back to the 1620s. Follow the clues along the garden trail in a free event from Saturday 25 October to Sunday 2 November 2014. This free event runs form 10am to 5pm to give an added dimension to your half-term visit. Everyone who completes it gets a prize in this more light-hearted Halloween event.

Pumpkin Carving at Trengwainton

Located just outside Penzance, offer a last fling of colour in the autumnal foliage and herbaceous beds. Kids can attend the Pumpkin Fun Day on Sunday 26th October and carve a pumpkin to hold a tea light and give a ghostly light for Halloween celebrations.

There will be pumpkin dishes (surprisingly delicious!) and some pumpkin games in this themed fun day which makes a small additional charge for materials.

Freak Week at Cotehele

Down on the Quay at , visitors are invited to attend Freak Week at Cotehele Mill. See what spooky things are going on from 25 October to 2 November 2014. See the mill decorated for Halloween. It will be operating on Sundays and the Thursday and see some very scary recipes being cooked up. Shamrock’s boathouse will have some creative crafts on a Halloween theme including mask-making, pumpkin carving and making a witch’s broom.

Meanwhile Cotehele House itself will be revealing a spooky side to its history and there’s a trail for children to follow during half-term week. On Halloween itself from 6pm to 9pm visitors can explore the house by torchlight and hear stories of strange happenings. You may even get to experience some unusual happenings for yourself.

Tricks and Treats at Tintagel Post Office

It’s easy to imagine the low slate building of as the home of a kindly witch or wizard perhaps. Spooky stories and ghoulish games are arranged for children aged 5-15 as part of the Tricks and Treats event on Halloween which starts at 6:30pm. Booking is advisable and there is a small charge to cover a goody bag and craft materials. There are also Creepy Crafts daily from 11am to 3pm from 25-31 October 2014. Dress up and join in!

Murder Mystery at Trelissick!

Perhaps the ultimate National Trust Halloween event is the Murder Mystery Dinner at which takes place on 31 October 2014. You have three hours to decide “who dunnit” over a delicious three course dinner for just £26. Daytime fun for kids includes haunted hide and seek and pumpkin carving on 30 and 31st October from 10:30am.

Some believe that Cornwall is steeped in spirits and witchcraft with many supernatural events taking place on Bodmin Moor and other ritualistic pagan sites. How will you spend Halloween in Cornwall?

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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