Looking for ghostsWant to get in the mood for Halloween? Try a visit to the Oxford Castle in Oxford, England, for two weeks of ghost hunts, seances, and sessions with psychics and illusionists during Ghost Fest 2009, beginning Friday and continuing through Oct. 31.
Built in 1071 for William the Conqueror, the castle officially became a prison in 1230 and remained so until 1996, except for one 30-year gap when it was condemned and renovated. Since then, the castle has been used in a variety of films and the complex is now home to several restaurants and a hotel.
Throughout the year, the castle conducts a tour called Oxford Castle Unlocked during which, according to its Web site, organizers reveal "episodes of violence, executions, great escapes, betrayal and even romance" inside what they call one of the most-haunted places in the U.K. The Ghost Fest will use this as the setting as it goes about tracking down and communicating with the spirits that dwell in the castle or are drawn there by seances.
A schedule of events is on the castle’s Web site under www.oxfordcastleunlocked.co.uk/evisiting/2009-events/ghost-fest-2009.htm. But be warned, not all events are for everyone. Watch for ones marked with an asterisk proclaiming they are "not suitable for those with a nervous disposition" and attend at your own peril.
Dali until DecemberSince its debut in March 2007, the Dali Universe exhibition in London has been a draw for fans of the surrealistic Spanish artist. Spread over 32,000 square feet in the County Hall, the exhibition brings together 500 of the eccentric artist’s works and gives an overview of his talent in using a variety of materials.
The show is divided into sections, including "Dreams and Fantasy" (with the statue "Profile of Time" with a melting clock, one of his best-known images, and a statue of Alice in Wonderland skipping rope), "Sensuality and Femininity" (with the crimson satin Mae West lips sofa) and "Religion and Mythology" (with illustrations of the Bible and Dante’s "Divine Comedy").
Other favorites include Dali’s "Lobster Telephone" and his spindly legged space elephant carrying an obelisk.
The exhibition is open 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Tickets cost 14 pounds (about $23) for adults, 9 pounds for ages 15 to 18, and 7 pounds for ages 7 to 14. It will close Dec. 21. Find more at www.thedaliuniverse.com.