Events & Activities · Whitehall Historic House

Halloween reflections…

Each year we try to make Halloween a spook-tastic family-fun oriented event at Whitehall, and indeed at Honeywood Museum in Carshalton. This year, whilst following the same restrictions as everyone else, we were pleased to be able to host children’s activities at both sites, in the form of spooky treasure hunts: What’s in the Whitehall Witch’s Cauldron? and Honeywood Halloween: Monster Mayhem! The treasure hunts took place on various dates between the 23 and 31 October, with all pre-booked spaces selling out! If you attended these events with your little witches and monsters, please do share any photos as we would love to see them! If you missed them this year, do look out early next year – or sign up to our Cultural Services Newsletter in order to be informed as soon as tickets are released.

For those wondering whether Whitehall is actually haunted, and what living in this 500-year-old building might be like, we recommend At Home in Whitehall, a book created in collaboration with our friends from Sutton Mencap. It follows their adventures and explorations at Whitehall – including the Great Whitehall Ghost Mystery Story! Read more about the project here, plus At Home in Whitehall is available to borrow across Sutton Libraries and the London Consortium of Libraries

So, whilst we all prepare for a very different All Hallows evening tonight, we thoght we’d take a quick look back at our 2018 ‘murder mystery‘ Museum Late event at Whitehall, which was organised by one of our Duke of Edinburgh students, Blythe Pratt from Nonsuch High School for Girls.

The edited text below was written by Blythe, who undertook her placement with us from September 2018 November 2019. As well as helping out with events and activities at Whitehall, Blythe also undertook some research in our Local Studies room at Sutton Central Library, looking through some of the original photographs we have in the Local Studies collection of different areas in the borough. Here, Blythe recounts the Halloween event she organised and shares some of the spooky images taken on the evening.

‘I first started volunteering at Whitehall Historic House in September 2018 for my Gold Duke of Edinburgh award.  I chose to volunteer here because of my interest and love for history in general, and of the local area.  I’m also interested in working in museums or a history related area in the future, and therefore wanted to get experience of what it was like to work somewhere like Whitehall, as well as what kind of events, displays and activities you would have to work on for the general public’s enjoyment.

When I started I was given the task of organising a ticketed Halloween event in the October half-term for adults and children to attend.  It was to be a ‘whodunnit’ murder mystery trail around the house. 

For the event itself I created A4 sheets which outlined the story. I then plotted and installed a Halloween trail around different rooms of Whitehall. Staff and volunteers dressed in Victorian costume and took on certain roles. The trail consisted of props and various written cluse around there house, along with whispers from the staff and volunteers to help them ‘solve’ the mystery trail. As visitors solved the various clues they progressed to the end of the trail, which culminated in Whitehall’s spooky attic.

It was great fun organising the event and really satisfying seeing visitors enjoying themselves and solving the mystery. Overall, I really enjoyed my time volunteering at Whitehall and I would say that anyone who is interested in history or archaeology, and anything like that, should consider volunteering at places history related as it’s an enjoyable and interesting experience. It has also really helped me to consider future career options too and has strengthened my interest into going into museum work in the future.

You can visit Whitehall on Thursday and Saturday weekly, full details on how to book your FREE tickets can be found here

Look how spooky Whitehall used to look in the 1940s! Thankfully our National Lottery Heritage refurbishment has made the house a much more welcoming place to visit!



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