Zombies, vampires, the undead: these are all creatures that make up for successful franchise films, and all were originally born from gothic literature. The first ever Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto (1764), was written by British author Horace Walpole who found the inspiration for the novel in his gothic castle in west London. After an elaborate restoration, it is now possible to visit this extraordinary and eccentric historical house.

Halloween is upon us! Besides dressing up and devouring tons of sweets, there’s no better way to mark this demonic date than by watching a scary film. However, what would you watch if you are a bit of a scaredy pants, like me, but still want to join in the Halloween movie fun? Well, then you might enjoy one of the films on my alternative and arthouse Halloween film list!

The most comprehensive retrospective to date in the UK on American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat opened today at the Barbican Centre in London. The opening was heralded by two brand-new pieces by street artist Banksy in celebration of Basquiat. Banksy’s tribute couldn’t be any more fitting as Basquiat didn’t only start his career as a graffiti artist, but his colourful and ‘freestyle’ drawings have clearly influenced so many graffiti writers and street artists ever since.

Ever wanted to experience the early morning hustle and bustle of Smithfield Market, the last surviving market in central London? Or what about learning more about the history of Soho and how its vibrant music scene in the 1960s influenced David Bowie’s career? These are just two examples of the 40+ guided tours that will take place from early morning till late night on 25 May all across London. The goal of this day is to raise £20,000 in 20 hours for the MS Trust: 20in20.