Oxford Castle's Spooky Tour is a thoroughly underwhelming experience, best avoided.
Over the course of an hour, we were led around a handful of locations in the Oxford Castle, and told stories of the various ghosts and spooky goings on that there had been. Although there were some occasional moments of interest, by and large this tour was dull and unimpressive.
Both the structure of the tour and the material delivered were extremely weak. During the tour, we were told maybe two and a half actual ghost stories, all of which were badly structured, giving away the conclusion of the tale at the beginning and leaving the actors to struggle through to the ending, robbed of all suspense and interest in the story. We were passed between three different tour guides, killing any chance of rapport.
The set pieces of the tour, especially those involving audience reaction, felt pointless and forced - little more than offensively transparent magic tricks. Everything felt at once like it went on for far too long and was being rushed.
Scares seem to be set up and then not fulfilled - there was a lot of play made of a 'mysterious' banging noise on the stairs, but never any pay-off. It would perhaps have also helped the mood if the tour extras weren't hanging around in full view at several points, slightly solving the 'mystery' being hyped.
The actors, while not at all spooky and reluctant to stay in character, were at least professional and kind. The crypt area was reasonably beautiful and creepy, though the mood was slightly killed even there by the obvious information signs left up. Most of the locations we visited were either extremely underwhelming (a bare room in a tower - no explanation ever given for why there were stocks in it) or freely available to the public anyway.
There is very little to commend this tour. The rich history of Oxford Castle and the locations within it are woefully underused, and there is almost no fun to be had from the painfully laboured ghost stories. It feels like a lazy tourist trap Halloween cash in.