It’s Halloween – the scariest day of the year! To celebrate, we’re having a peek into Woking’s Story, the permanent history museum at The Lightbox, to see what spooky objects we can find to inspire our trick-or-treat fancy dress.

1. Firstly, a dismembered squirrel’s tail – that begs the simple question: why?

2. Perhaps slightly creepier, we then stumbled across a braided ponytail chopped from the head of a 19th Century Heathlands Mental Health Trust patient. This supposed therapy was used as an alternative to punishment in order to calm a patient down.

3. Spookier still – it’s the lockable neck collar, used to prevent Brookwood Asylum patients from biting themselves or others. We can only imagine how distressing this must have been for whomever had to wear it.

4. Look away now if you’re squeamish! Here’s a syringe large enough to make even the bravest of men tremble in their boots.

5. Lastly, but by no means least scary, we found a Celtic cross from Brookwood Asylum’s Chapel, dating back to 1867. This is perhaps the most frightening of all, as Halloween itself originates from the ancient Celtic holiday, Samhain.

We’re not convinced that we’re feeling too inspired by any of these items for our Halloween costumes, but we’re most definitely spooked. Thankfully, Woking’s Story is fully kitted out with a whole range of fancy dress costumes from throughout history, free for all to try on and explore.

This blog post was written by school student Charlie, who recently took completed his work experience at The Lightbox. If you or someone you know might be interested in gaining some valuable experience in an art gallery or museum, please contact our Learning and Engagement Manager, Heather Thomas at [email protected] or call 01483 7374815.