The National Gallery

Museums at Night, an after-hours, twice-yearly, night-time festival of arts, culture and heritage, is gearing up for its October event, which will coincide with Halloween.

The festival, produced by arts charity Culture24, will celebrate its ninth year this autumn when it takes place from 26th to 28th October.

Hunting for history, after dark

The Museums at Night festival offers visitors the chance to engage with culture and heritage in a ‘unique and exciting way’.

During the festival, hundreds of museums, galleries and historic spaces all over the UK will be opening their doors after dark to put on an array of special night-time events, many of which will have a Halloween theme.

From spooky sleepovers with torch-lit tours and Halloween story-telling, to ghost tours with added pyrotechnics, there are plenty of options and locations to choose from. Many of the events are free, too.

Selected Museums at Night events

Barley Hall in Yorkshire will host a lecture called Body Snatchers, which will focus on the hidden history behind the shady practice of providing cadavers to anatomists during the Middle Ages up to the birth of the Industrial Revolution.

The National Archives in Surrey, meanwhile, will put on a mummy unwrapping party, the centrepiece of which will be the re-enactment of a 19th century mummy unwrapping, complete with music and refreshments.

And National Trust property, Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk, will host guided tours around the mansion, where storytelling can be expected. Light snacks can be purchased during this experience, which can be booked on both 27th and 28th October.

Full listings of all events can be found here.

More about the festival

The Museums at Night festival has experienced what’s described as ‘phenomenal growth’ during the past eight years. The festival attracted 220,000 visitors to 700 events in more than 500 venues across the country in 2016.

The event is designed to encourage new audiences into museums and galleries. The second Museums at Night event takes place each spring; dates for 2018 have been confirmed as 16th to 19th May.

For further information visit

(Photo credit: The National Gallery Photographic Department).