What better place to have some Halloween fun this month then in the land of witches, wizards, and other spooksome creatures? On the Warner Bros Studio Tour in London, you can enjoy a Harry Potter and the Dark Arts tour, which is just the regular tour with a few seasonal extras thrown in (from 17th October-3rd November). I don't want to spoil any surprises (okay.... maybe one in a bit), but much like the Christmas festivities the studios do each year, it's definitely worth going when there are added extras. The ticket you buy has timed entry, and after standing in line for what feels like forever and a day you're finally led to a screening room where you get to see some Harry Potter film highlights, before being magically whisked into Hogwarts' Grand Hall.
The tour leads you around full sets from the films: Dumbledore's office, Harry and Ron's bedroom, Snape's potion-making classroom, Hagrid's cottage, and so on. As you go round, you'll keep remarking how small everything is. Even the Grand Hall, which looks mahoosive on film, is surprisingly compact. Film really does make everything look bigger. You'll also keep looking up and seeing the lighting rigs and realise just just how magic film is in bringing static studio sets to life.
As well as seeing the sets, you'll get lots of information on how the films are made, including a look at costumes, props, make-up, special effects, and prosthetics. You can even try a bit of green screen fun yourself by flying on a broom and playing some Quidditch. One of the most jaw-dropping sights is the Hogwarts model, used in long shots as the 'full size' school, which is presented in changing lights so you can see it in both 'daytime' and at 'night'.
Okay, here's a spooky spoiler! I was so excited to be walking up the Diagon Alley to browse all the shops, that I didn't see this Death Eater lurking in the shadows and full on screamed when it jumped out at me. I got the fright of my life, everyone laughed, the Death Eater posed for a picture before running off, and my heartbeat eventually returned to normal. Move along... nothing to see here.
Not exactly Halloweeny, but my favourite set has to be the office of Dolores Umbridge (above). Those pink hues! Those purples! The walnut furniture! Such class, so pretty - made all the more sinister when you know just how non-fluffy and pink-cute she actually is. I also loved trying Butter Beer, riding the Knight Bus, and being scared by a giant spider. All in all the tour is brilliant for fans of Harry Potter, though it would also appeal to those interested in seeing a working studio and learning more about how films on this scale are made. Get your Halloween tickets and get ready for some scary fun!