Brand new data indicates that this year’s Halloween frenzy may be the most extreme yet! According to Statista, an online statistics hub which collates facts and figures from more than 22,500 reliable sources, retail expenditure on Halloween-related products has grown exponentially over the last year, with £419 million going towards ghoulish goods including decorations, confectionary and fancy dress costumes. That’s £189 million more than the total spent in 2013! Halloween has even surpassed Valentine’s Day in terms of expenditure and is now ranked as the third largest retail event in the UK.

With popularity continuing to grow for this particular holiday, Richard Jones, a Blue Badge Tourist Guide with a passion for all things spooky, is preparing for an influx of bookings for his special ghost walks.

Richard Jones is a licensed tour guide and researcher who is most famous for his ghostly walking tours of London, the first of which he carried out in the summer of 1982. He has devoted 33 years of his life to showing people the more sinister side of London, dwelling on aspects of the city which aren’t always acknowledged in history books. Jones has conducted over 5,000 of them and is said to be an expert in his field; in fact, he is so knowledgeable, that the Sunday Express has appealed to him in the past and asked him to recommend the most haunted sites in London. As a result, these tours are both distinctily unique and enriching.

He is also a best-selling author, with 22 novels in his name. Like his tours, most of these take a closer look at some of the darker parts of the capital and periods of British history. Some of his books shine a light on the tale of Jack the Ripper, a serial killer who committed a series of brutal murders in Whitechapel in the 1800s and whose identity still, to this day, remains unknown. Jones’s critically acclaimed documentary entitled ‘Unmasking Jack the Ripper’ has been an important source of factual information for many GCSE history teachers all across the UK.

Richard Jones has even dedicated one of his haunted tours to this historic murderer, one which takes place seven days a week. Thrill-seekers congregate at 7pm outside Aldgate East Underground Station and spend the next two hours venturing into the more ominous areas of Whitechapel where Jack the Ripper was believed to be active. Jones, himself, conducts these freelance tours, along with his team of expert guides, leading people down alleyways where murders allegedly took place and to the pubs where victims supposedly spent much of their time. Tourists are taken through the police investigations which took place following the murders (and, ultimately, failed) and are even shown a potential suspect - all by the time the walk reaches its end in Mitre Square.

Although The Jack the Ripper Walk would be a suitably horrifying way to spend the evening of the 31st, Richard Jones has also mapped out a special Halloween London Ghost Walk, which adheres perfectly to the spirit of Halloween. This tour has occurred annually for 36 years and sees adrenaline junkies navigating their way through creepy alleyways and churchyards and ‘the city’s most paranormally active building’, accompanied by Jones and his wonderfully chilling commentary. Each location comes with its own ghost sightings and stories and many who have participated in the walk in recent years claim to have experienced something supernatural at some of these sites. Anything could happen, a notion which makes the whole event all the more exciting. The tour concludes on Gresham Street almost two hours later and tourists are left with a whole new perspective of this iconic city and a few guaranteed sleepless nights.

So, if you’re looking to enrich yourself and learn more about where you live, or if you’re simply looking for a scare, join Richard at 7pm this Halloween for some frightful fun.