It’s that time of the year when the villains overshadow the popular heroes.

Death Eaters, evil stepmothers, twisted fairies, ghosts and goblins are getting ready to steal the spotlight from their more heroic nemeses at theme parks around the world as Halloween draws near.

It’s perhaps the one occasion when everyone’s favourite animated and fictitious villains can emerge from the shadows and bask in their evilness.

At the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour in London, for instance, the lights at Diagon Alley will dim and the cobblestoned streets will be overrun with ominous, caped Death Eaters to help kick off the launch of a new Dark Arts section.

Visitors will also be able to visit Malfoy Manor, which was used as a base by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and his Death Eater followers. For two weeks starting next month, the studio will also replicate the Halloween feast from Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone in Hogwarts’ Great Hall.

At Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, the United States, Cinderella’s Castle will be taken over temporarily by some of Disney’s deliciously dastardly characters for the Villains’ Sinister Soiree, where guests will get the chance to meet their favourite villains like Cinderella’s wicked stepmother, Lady Tremaine and Maleficent, the evil fairy from Sleeping Beauty.

Over at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, Mickey is throwing a special after-hours Halloween party where families can dress up and go trick-or-treating throughout the park, which will also put on an array of special entertainment for the occasion.

A section of Spooky Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy will also be temporarily haunted, with ghosts appearing out of the darkness of space, reaching out to grab “voyagers” as they hurtle through space to a soundtrack of bloodcurdling screams and creepy sound effects.