Top 5 scariest West End moments
Posted on 16 August 2019
It's still only August but the 'season of the witch' is slowly creeping up on us with the revival of the scary theatrical spookfest, Ghost Stories. Set to open in less than two months, the pants-wetting play is certainly not the only petrifying West End show on the block, as fans of The Woman in Black can attest. Here are our picks for the top five scariest London and Off-West End theatre moments!
Top 5 scariest West End and UK theatre moments
5. The Bone House (2009)
The Chris Fassbender play was revived for a run at the 2009 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and to call it bone-chilling would be putting it lightly. The Bone House is a play structured as a lecture given by Eugene Crowley, who is an expert on serial killers. Exploring our cult fascination with murderers, the show sees Crowley talk about a particularly dangerous sadist, The Midnight Cowboy, whose signature is killing his victims in front of an involuntary witness. The play was an hour-long and began at midnight. The most terrifying moment: when the lights go out and the theatre becomes pitch black. Is The Cowboy lurking in the darkness?
4. Carrie The Musical (1988)
Royal Shakespeare Company's original production was widely considered a dud with both script and technical issues being the final nail in the coffin. The infamous scene where pig's blood is dumped on Carrie at the prom presented one of the show's technical problems as the substance would cause the actress's microphone to malfunction. That being said, the ill-fated adaptation of the terrifying Stephen King novel had one big scary moment for those who dared to travel to Stratford-upon-Avon on opening night. Unfortunately, that moment was not an actual part of the story. Barbara Cook, who portrayed Carrie's overprotective and religiously hysterical mother Margaret, was nearly decapitated by a set piece that had slipped. It left the audience stunned for all the wrong reasons and the actress quit after just that one performance. The musical has since garnered a cult following, but given the mishap, it's reasonable to believe that Carrie The Musical is perhaps as cursed The Poltergeist films.
3. The Exorcist (2017-18)
It seems like only yesterday that the stage adaptation of one of the most frightening films of all time was scaring the bejesus out of West End audiences at the Pheonix Theatre. Featuring special effects complete with all the abject and terrifying "fluids" (i.e. urine, blood, and vomit), The Exorcist was certainly not a family-friendly affair. Other than a flood of green slime, the scariest moment of the play is perhaps the possessed girl's swivelling head, and lest we forget the demonic voice done by none other than Ian McKellen! Can horror fans expect an encore?
2. The Woman in Black (now playing)
It's been terrifying London theatregoers for 30 years now and was even adapted into a film starring Daniel Radcliffe, so it comes as no surprise to see this hit London musical on our list. Complete with an empty rocking chair, quiet locals who deny paranormal activity, creepy apparitions, and creaky wooden doors, this is English scary storytelling at its finest. Perhaps the moment that will really have you shrieking in terror is when a locked room at the end of a hallway begins to bang, clang, and clatter. The biggest fear being the anticipation of what's hiding behind the other side.
1. Ghost Stories (returning to the West End soon)
Last on our list is, of course, Ghost Stories, because nothing screams "Halloween" more than a play with the word "ghost" in it. This spooky show is an analogy of three people's experiences with the supernatural. The revival will be set up in a similar fashion to The Bone House, in which audiences attend a lecture of sorts that goes horrifyingly wrong. While the details are scarce on what exactly will freak you out, what is truly terrifying is that past stagings of the show had video monitors on display outside the theatre that showed the reactions of horrified audience members. And, naturally, nothing gets scarier than a play with an age warning — those under the age of 15 beware for a frightening scare or two (or three)!
Ghost Stories opens at the Ambassadors Theatre in London on 3 October 2019 and is booking until 4 January 2020. If you're a fan of horror and all things macabre, then you won't want to miss this spooky production!
Save up to £31 on West End Ghost Stories tickets!
London theatre ticket prices can be scary, but we've got a special ticket offer for Ghost Stories to take the edge off! Book by 31 August 2019 and save up to £31 on tickets for Ghost Stories. Since the play has the potential to make you soil your pants in fear, consider it a much-deserved discount to cover your dry cleaning bill. This special offer is valid for all performances Monday through Friday, excluding the performance on 28 October. Get £78 tickets for £58, £66 tickets for £47, and £42 for £24 when you hurry and book by the end of the month!
You can also take advantage of our 72-hour Ghost Stories flash sale, in which £66 tickets are now on sale for £35, available this weekend only! So be sure to catch the show's long-awaited return at London's Ambassadors Theatre!
The Woman in Black Fortune Theatre tickets still on special offer!
Save up to £27 on tickets for The Woman in Black in London's West End when you book by 17 November 2019.
👓👉 Don't forget to read our blog on 13 facts about The Woman in Black.