The UK's original and largest festival of live horror performance!
Scaring the living daylights out of audiences since its inception in 2011,
the London Horror Festival is a celebration of
the ghoulish, the thrilling and the downright macabre.
Every Halloween season thousands of people enjoy the London Horror Festival,
where highlights include multiple sell-out runs, world premieres by award-winning new playwrights and critically-acclaimed performers, and a host of exciting new work for all ages and interest groups.
The London Horror Festival runs in October, offering a multitude of horror performance at exactly the time of year when audiences desire it. Our programmes always include a number of shows which can be considered ‘family friendly’ as well as plenty of hardcore horrors for the more mature crowd.
Over the past ten years we have championed horror theatre, proudly presenting programmes featuring new writing, adaptations of literary classics, immersive interactive experiences, LGBTQIA+ cabaret, musicals, opera, burlesque, live podcast recordings, comedy, clowning, puppetry, storytelling, magic, midnight mind-reading and Séance shows, film screenings with live choirs, radio and playwriting competitions, lectures ... and much more!
Each year promises a broad range of horror theatre, comedy and performance art,
from psychological spine-chillers to all-out splatter, improvised ghost stories to body horror.
Our purpose is to foster new talent as well as nurturing the already
burgeoning live horror scene within the UK.
In honour of the past ten years of the London Horror Festival we have been using the hashtag #Celebrating10YearsOfTheLHF across our social media channels
- please feel free to join in and share your favourite memories of the festival,
whether as a creative or an audience member - we'd love to hear your stories!
We are currently seeking sponsors for our tenth anniversary edition.
Find out how you can support the growth of this increasingly popular annual event here.
Festival Director and Producer: Katy Danbury
Katy circa early 90's
Memories and Testimonials:
(Last Orders: The Haunting of the Old Red Lion 2019, Hubert Is Very Dead 2018, The Stomaching 2017)
I love the sense of community the festival cultivates, and of course the consistently exciting and experimental and inspiring work it attracts.
For me, theatre is often dull and elitist and detached from what audiences really want + need. Something like the LHF is amazing and essential because it brings horror - one of the most [wrongly] underrated genres of art, yet so continuously popular - and smashes it onto the stage, breathing new life into what is [at its heart] one of the most dynamic and communal mediums.
(The Agency 2019)
My favourite memory of the festival... Performing in 'The Agency', an immersive piece in which the audience took over as the Ministry of Justice and their decisions changed what happened in the show. One night they made all the wrong choices so we put the whole audience to death by putting dollops of lethal lube on their foreheads. Good times. It's still the show I am most proud of being involved in.
Blackshaw Theatre Company
(Scare Slam 2016-2019)
We are so pleased to have made a home for the 'Scare Slam' at the London Horror Festival. The festival team are fantastically organised, responsive and friendly, and seriously know their stuff in terms of horror, theatre, and promotion. It's been great working with other horror fans, and creating a network of like-minded artists by taking part in the festival.
The Off-Off-Off-Broadway Company
(Mr Fox 2019, A Curse of Saints 2016, Peaceful 2014)
After my first taste of LHF with "Peaceful", a show I perform with my cohorts at The Off-Off-Off-Broadway Company, I couldn't have picked a more welcoming and engaged audience for my first ever solo project, "A Curse of Saints". Although I was terrified to be alone on stage, I felt wrapped by the warm and fuzzy embrace of the festival and all involved. For a fest revolving around the dark and even gruesome, LHF is ironically the warmest, friendliest experience on the Fringe scene. LHF remains one of our absolute favourite festivals. Not only is it the one-stop shop for lovers of dark tales, but Katy Danbury ensures it all runs as smoothly as possible, and there's always such a strong spirit of camaraderie. May it be undead forever!
(Mother Must Die?! 2019)
We had great fun being part of the London Horror Festival this year, and felt very supported by Katy and the Pleasance. From start to finish we had all the information and support we needed, and we would really love to be a part of the festival again. In fact, our only regret is that we didn't get to see more of the excellent and varied programme that was on!
(He's Behind You! - The Slasher Panto 2019 & Brexit Chainsaw Massacre 2016)
PopHorror loves taking part in the London Horror Festival because it promotes such a diverse range of artists, performance styles and shows, all united by a gleeful love of horror. The LHF team are accessible and supportive, and really care about curating what is now a landmark festival of live arts.
Megan From HR
(Children of the QuornTM 2019)
We have only positive things to say - the whole team was a delight to work with, was super helpful when we needed you, and everything ran like a well-oiled machine from where we were standing! Thank you so much for letting us get involved and for all your hard work putting it on
The Electric Head
(Go To Hell! 2019)
We were thrilled to perform at the Pleasance theatre as part of LHF 2019. The organisers and staff could not have been more helpful and supported us every step of the way. Everything was incredibly easy and all our questions were answered.
We hope to come back to the Pleasance as soon as possible as we were made to feel very welcome there.
Grand Guignol de Milan
(Italian Horror Stories 2019)
London Horror Festival is more than a simple “horror fringe festival", is a real meeting point of all the expressions that this genre can find on the stage with young companies and international calibre actors playing together to celebrate this culture.
It’s a great possibly to experiment and to see new ways of working in a field (the horror theatre) that is more alive than ever, and London is the perfect city for it. After two editions of the festival we’re just waiting to apply to the next one.
(Ideomotor 2015 & Knock Knock 2016)
The London Horror Festival programmed my first ever full length play ‘Ideomotor’ and I couldn't have asked for a more supportive organisation. They were willing to take a risk on an unknown writer and allowed me full creative control. I enjoyed the experience so much that I came right back the following year with a brand new show!
“My experience at the festival was amazing, it was very well produced and I got all the support that I needed in order to focus on my work. Being part of a festival that is not happening in your home country is always a bit of a gamble. In this case it wasn't. Great Work!
Stack Ten Theatre Company
(The Wicker Hamper 2016, Waking the Walking Dead 2017 & The Wolves of Erin 2018)
The London Horror Festival was a fantastic and varied festival to be part of. We had great support from other companies in the festival, the LHF organizers and even their patron; on our opening night Nicholas Vince saw our director doing front of house and took over from him which sums up the supportive, enthusiastic atmosphere we found throughout the festival. Speaking to audiences after shows you found out they’d travelled from places like Devon just to be part of the LHF and watch some of the shows.
Underground Clown Club
(Knock Knock 2016 & Who's There? 2017)
LHF gave us the opportunity and the platform to take our crazy idea and turn it into a show. They gave us their time, support and resources, the combination of which allowed us to enjoy the most successful run in our theatre companies history. We cannot wait to return this year.
Burlesque In Underland
(Scary Tales 2016)
London Horror Festival was so much fun. We thank you for the opportunity to showcase our work in a theatre for the first time to lots of new audience which we found worked very well :) The festival had lots of variety and things we've never seen before and we are looking forward to attending the shows again next year. The LHF producers are very creative, organised and a pleasure to work with.
Ben Whitehead: Fred Strangebone / Honky Bonk Presents... / Theatre in the Bin
(Fred Strangebone's Freakshow 2015, Honky Bonk House of Horror 2016 & Frankenstein in the Bin 2018)
To all companies considering involvement in the LHF...
This dead soul city and its hell bound inhabitants are lucky to have such an enriching exhibition of darkness.
The LHF provides a unique platform for the horror genre. It’s a place for lovers of the macabre to wash themselves in the gore of theatre.
Bring them your nightmares, skin crawlers and the devils on your backs.
The LHF team are extremely supportive and give you the feeling of belonging to a family...of weird twin nieces, strange uncles, grannies in the attic and daughters in the cellar.