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Friday, 28 October 2016

HALLOWEEN | A visit to Gothic Midtown

Sometimes there are blogger opportunities and blogger invites that are just so amazing that when they fall into your lap, you can't help but think they were created specifically for you.

This is one of those times.

When Gothic Midtown gave me a follow on Twitter and acted very mysteriously, I was very intrigued. When I found out more about the pop-up bar and ghost walks that Gothic Midtown offers, I was sold.

I love Halloween. I love London. I love spooky stuff. So when I was invited down to the launch of Gothic Midtown on Wednesday, I knew I was in for a good evening.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Halloween | Gothic Midtown | London | Pop up Bar
Spotted: contacting the other side...

Gothic Midtown offers scare walks around London in the run up to Halloween and the walks are hosted by none other than the legendary medium Derek Acorah. Each walk culminates in a visit to a Victorian themed pop up bar, where attendees are offered a free Halloween cocktail to celebrate surviving the walk.

Alternatively, the bar in the old Central St Martin's building (perfect location, by the way) - which is a short walk away from Holborn station - can be visited without taking the tour first. There's a menu of delicious horror themed cocktails by Ladies & Gentlemen, the dress code is Victorian Gothic Chic, and half price cocktails are available between the witching hour of 6-7pm. 

On Wednesday I donned a fitted black dress with a Victorian chic collar, perfected my makeup with a Halloween twist (a deep red lipstick and a hint of red eyeshadow between my eyes) and headed down for a night full of scares.

Upon arrival, I was greeted immediately by doormen already in character, and I was ushered inside to grab a drink and mingle. My first choice of poison was Coffin Lining, a delicious blend of vodka, homemade blackberry, honey and lavender syrup with a squeeze of lemon juice and served with fresh berries. The deep red drink emitted smoke upon serving and I immediately fell in love with the Halloween themed drinks menu.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Halloween | Gothic Midtown | London | Pop up Bar

I quickly got chatting to some others and together we explored the rest of the beautiful building. With tall looming rooms, darkened and candlelit social areas and a basement with rooms that looked like caves yet tiled toilets, you'd be forgiven for thinking that perhaps the building was once used for something like a mental hospital! 

When visiting the basement, I definitely got that vibe from my surroundings, but perhaps it was the creepy lady who waited in one of the smaller rooms, screaming about her dead baby which helped me decide the building was definitely curiously creepy.

Inside one of the more social rooms, there was plenty of spooky fun to be had. A tarot reader insisted that I had a lot in store for 2017 - a new love who would take care of me and, in July, the success of a project. I already know what my big project for next year is going to be, so this revelation sat well with me.

A curious character played the piano in this beautiful room, which really set the scene. A few drinks in, my friends and I decided we had enough courage to approach the ouija board, something I've always had the interest in trying but also been too scared.

Now this was an interesting experience. Being that we were at a launch night for spooky but fun ghost walks and a pop up bar, I didn't expect much from the board. I suppose when you think about using a ouija board, you think more about sitting in a quiet darkened room with an expert - here, I just expected it to be a bit of a laugh.

However, it soon became obvious that we were contacting some spirits. In turn, each of us lifted our fingers off the palette, which continued to move regardless - so we knew right away neither of us were doing it. There was definitely a tense atmosphere around the board and when the palette began to slowly spin and rotate, I definitely got a bit creeped out.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Halloween | Gothic Midtown | London | Pop up Bar

I'd never seen a ouija board do that before, and with the way it span, it made our hands twist around each others if that makes sense. Neither of us could have 'pushed' or 'spun' the palette in that way - it was obvious there was something or someone else at work here. One of my companions asked if perhaps the spirit liked to dance, judging by the way the palette moved and spun across the board. When it moved to yes, we all let out a collective 'aww'.

Oddly enough, later on when we decided to experience the board one more time before leaving, it took me a while to speak up and proclaim that the name being spelled out before me was actually my late grandad's name. It may have been a load of crap, but I asked a few questions, and was satisfied and comforted by the answers that were given to me. 

So, yes, although the whole event was supposed to be spooky fun, I was surprised to walk away having had a spooky-but-comforting experience with 'the other side' (in my belief, anyway).

The rest of the event was spent drinking through the cocktail menu, sampling the yummy food and dodging the advances of the Victorian witch doctors - one of which who seemed to take a liking to me because I actually knew what a Victorian witch doctor was (thank you London Dungeons).

It was a fab event and a real interesting sneak peak about what the bar has to offer. I've never been to a Halloween themed bar before, but Gothic Midtown offered that perfect mixture of sophisticated fun and suspense. Yes there were creepy people walking about and chances to visit a tarot reader or try your hand at a ouija board, but it wasn't spooky fun as in people were constantly jumping out at you.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Halloween | Gothic Midtown | London | Pop up Bar

You could experience the scares as you pleased, and likewise, there were also some fab DJ's playing some great music in the main area.

There was definitely a spooky atmosphere throughout, but it's nice that no matter what your scare factor is, the bar caters to everyone.

I did not have the chance to experience the ghost walk myself but was told it was again fun but creepy, too.

So if you're still stuck wondering what to do for Halloween this year, I would suggest Gothic Midtown for their ghost walks with Derek Acorah, their Victorian pop up bar - or both. The bar is perfect to wind down after an evening of scares, so even if you are doing something else that's Halloween related in London, I'd definitely suggesting popping along to Gothic Midtown afterwards.

You can check Gothic Midtown for dates on the ghost walk and the pop up bar, as dates vary.

I'd also like to say thank you to Gothic Midtown for putting on such an exciting and spooky event - I had a lot of fun.

*Please note, some images used in this post were taken from Gothic Midtown's Facebook page, with permission.


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20 comments:

  1. I once used a ouija board with my sister when we was teenagers, and we got in touch with someone who said his name was 'Jud' and and was related to us. We was pretty scared the next day to find out that my grandad had a brother called jud who had died!

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    1. That's creepy. I love anything to do with the paranormal or the unexplained, I find it all so fascinating x

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  2. Oh wow! This place looks right up my street :) I love Halloween and London too. x

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    1. You should pop down! I've never heard of a Halloween pop up bar before so it's definitely unique! x

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  3. wow those drinks look really spooky. It sounds like you enjoyed yourself. I don't think this is my type of thing but the ghost walk sounds like fun for those who love scary things.

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    1. I think spooky stuff is a bit hit and miss really, some people love it and some people aren't too sure. This event provided a good balance though which was nice x

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  4. THIS LOOKS AMAZING. What a fantastic event, it sounds brilliant. Sorry, got a bit excited there haha. Seriously though, I'm jealous xx

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    1. Thanks! Yeah it was really awesome, you should pop down!! xx

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  5. Ghoust walk was awful in every way. A trudge around Lincolns inn field garden and a ridiculous script with derek achora. That's 30 mins of my life I wasted.

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    1. Oh? I heard it was really fun, I guess perhaps it's not to everyone's taste. Still, it's always fun to try something new :)

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  6. You said scary (spooky) walks and my heart started skipping a beat but sounds loads of fun

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    1. Oh god sorry haha! I meant spooky fun, not full on scary ;) x

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  7. This sounds so amazing and such fun! I'd love to try out an event like this! Those cocktails looks so good too!

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    1. They were sooooo yummy, I wish I could recreate them to be honest!

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  8. This looks like something I would enjoy. Hope they do it again next year so I can go. R

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    1. I've no doubt they will, it's been received very well x

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  9. This sounds like such an amazing event, I'll definitely need to keep an eye open for something like this year next year x

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    1. Yes, definitely! I've never actually heard of a Halloween pop up bar before so it's definitely unique! x

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  10. I love the sound of spooky drinks! Unfortunately, I am the biggest scaredy cat ever so no spooky walks or ouija boards for me! I'd get a heart attack even seeing the board!

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    1. Aww bless you, I think you would have enjoyed the drinks and dancing then for sure! x

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