As All Hallows Eve approaches there’s surely no better time to be venturing on a ghost tour. Especially in what is reputed to be the most haunted county in all of the United Kingdom, Kent!
So when we heard about Maidstone Museum’s forthcoming ‘Museum Late – Chiller!’ Event which promised a horrifically good tour around the historic buildings’ gruesome collections – later followed by a guided ghost tour of the Museum itself which encompassing a range of frightful tales from the building itself how could we refuse!
The Museum itself is a stunning building which clearly carries a huge amount of history. The actual Museum was established in 1855 when Thomas Charles (a local doctor and antiquarian) left his collection of art and antiquities to Maidstone Borough Council. So for a venue hosting a gruesome collection and ghost tour you could not have asked for a more apt location.
Led upstairs by the staff (who are superbly dressed for the occasion) we’re given our very own ‘Shocktail’ and led into the Museum’s latest attraction ‘Scream and Scream Again’. This great exhibition celebrates the golden age of British horror with a range of movie posters and memorabilia of the age. It’s a wonderful opportunity to look back on these celebrated years in British film with a real wealth of ghoulish posters and interesting artefacts relating to the time.
It’s particularly fantastic to see signed work from local Whitstable acting legend Peter Cushing, alongside a range of other classic artwork and films from the time. Our guide is fantastic and offers a real in-depth knowledge to the artwork and items on display including a range of truly disturbing vintage dentistry equipment. It’s also great to have small information cards on display, with tales of some of the more ghastly supernatural happenings in the museum making the whole visit even more unnerving.
Moving on, we’re passed on to our ghost tour guide of the evening, Ash – who leads us through a range of stunning rooms giving us an insight into some of the more supernatural occurrences which have taken place within the historic building. Without giving too much away, there’s an incredible range of stories for one building alone and it’s staggering to consider just how many ghost stories appear to be linked to the Museum. It’s also a fantastic chance to tour the hugely varied rooms within the Museum itself. It’s particularly chilling to hear tales of the grey lady and hanging man. There’s also a few ‘happenings’ throughout the tour which were thoroughly entertaining and helps keep you wondering what might be lurking in the shadows…
It’s also interesting to hear our tour guide’s own personal experience within the museum. In such an atmospheric building it’s hard to imagine what it must have been like to encounter an apparition when you’ve considered yourself to be the only person in the museum.
Following the tours end we had a really interesting opportunity to walk around and see the full range of exhibitions again. In such a unique time of day this was a great idea and we thoroughly enjoyed having the chance to revisit some of the earlier pieces on display and have a chance to properly see them all.
We hugely enjoyed the Chiller! Museum Late event at the Museum which offered something uniquely and entertaining for a range of ages. Also encompassing a fantastically well thought out exhibition and a detailed ghost tour, so there’s evidently a huge amount on offer for the ticket price alone. We can only hope there’s more to come in this vein from the venue.
Don’t forget the ‘Scream and Scream Again’ exhibition runs until December 2nd – http://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/whats-on/events/scream-scream-again/
You can also visit the Museum Late event for Scream Night on Friday 1st December where you’ll be able to watch a classic Hammer horror movie – Dracula A.D. 1972 – http://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/whats-on/events/scream-night/
Scream & Scream Again Exhibition (10 October – 2 December)
Admission: £4 adults, £3 children, £12 Family (up to 4 people)
Also for ghoulish girls and boys there’s some upcoming Spooktacular Fun at Maidstone Museum with a special Ghost for Kids on 9th and 16th November!
If they dare to leave their parents behind, kids can follow our spectral storyteller to explore some of the museum’s most creepy rooms. Then, to celebrate their bravery, they can enjoy icing their own gingerbread ghostly ghoul!
Arrive early for free entry to the ‘Scream and Scream Again’ exhibition from 16:00 – 17:00 for children on the tour with a parent/adult.
Ashley Tucker, who will be leading the tours, said: “Parts of the Museum building are several hundred years old so who knows what secrets they hold? There have been many stories of strange noises and ghostly apparitions over the years, especially from staff and volunteers working late. We’ll explore some of the older, spookier rooms for ourselves after dark on this fun tour.”
Tickets for the tour are just £5 per child and can be booked online at www.maidstonemuseum.org.