The leaves are falling, the days are shortening, Halloween is fast approaching and thoughts of ghouls and goblins creep into our consciousness.
The season has exploded in recent years. No longer the sole domain of wee trick-or-treaters, Halloween has been fully embraced by adults, neighborhoods and even cities. As a result, creative entrepreneurs have devised fabulously creepy ways to feed our hunger for spine tingling thrills at this time of year. For some frightful experiences, we’ve compiled a list of some of the creepiest places you can go in and around Vancouver.
When: 8pm, October 16-31, Tues, Thurs, Friday, Saturday
Where: Meet at Cathedral Square, beneath the bells of the Holy Rosary Cathedral
Designed for adult audiences and led by a professional actor, this tour shares some of Vancouver’s earliest and most gruesome history as you make your way through Gaoler’s Mews, CPR Railyards, the city’s first jailhouse, old bawdy house and saloons. You will hear anecdotes of a time when Vancouver was a wild frontier town plagued by fire, smallpox and many unsolved murders. Participating actors appear out of nowhere during the tour to startle even the coolest customers.
When: 7:30 pm, October 16-31, Wednesday, Saturday (and some Fridays)
Where: Meet at the Angel Statue outside of Waterfront Station
This 90-minute tour also takes you through historic Gastown and shares tales of all the ghosts that have visited the area and the role Gastown played in Vancouver’s history.
When: 7:30 pm, October 26th
Where: Meet at Christ Church Cathedral (Burrard & Georgia)
Also presented by Ghostly Vancouver Tours, this one will teach you about the history of Vancouver’s entertainment district siting notable people and landmarks, like Hotel Vancouver and Penthouse Night Club, and recounting ghost stories based on local lore and paranormal investigations.
When: 7:00 pm (onwards), October 11-31 (except Mondays and Tuesdays) (18+)
Fright Nights is back this year with 8 different haunted house to send shudders down your spine. New this year is the gory, dilapidated Bloodshed cabin, the site of a ruthless redneck rampage. Other haunted houses include:
- Car-N-Evil Haunted House
- Haunted Mansion
- The Asylum
- Hollywood Horrors
- Keepers Doll Factory
When: Mon-Thurs: 5:30pm to 9:30pm, Fri-Sun: 5:30pm to 10:00pm, October 11-31
Where: Stanley Park Railroad (off Pipeline Road in Stanley Park, via the West Georgia Street park entrance)
For slightly tamer tingles, and appropriate for the younger set, visit the City sponsored, Stanley Park Ghost Train.
This year “Jack O’ Lantern’s journey through the Dark Forest” takes train passengers through a mystical and magical Celtic Halloween world where nothing is what it seems. In addition to the train journey, kids can also enjoy a maze, crafts, movies and a pumpkin patch in the plaza area.
When: 7-10pm, October 11-31 (except Mondays)
For those willing to wander further afield to get their freak on, Reapers Haunted Attraction and Maze of Terror in Chilliwack is a must! Imagine a corn maze covering over 22,000 sq ft of land with little or no light? The Black Out Maze of Terror i,s terrifyingly, just that! It also includes a Chainsaw Massacre experience with a deranged character roaming the maze with the evil power tool.
Billed as the “scariest indoor theatrical horror experience in Western Canada”, the indoor Haunted Attraction this year at Reapers is an insane asylum with crazed patients and deranged doctors at every turn.
When: 6, 7, 8 and 9pm starts, October 11-31 (19+ except the 6 pm tour where children can be accompanied by parents)
Where: Fort Langley National Historic Site
Also out in the valley, in the typically quaint Fort Langley, you can participate in a spooky 2-3 hour program of scintillating ghost stories recounted by an experienced tour guide while you wind your way through the graveyard and other historic Fort Langley sites.
Check your pulse – these experiences will make your heart race, or stop cold. Either way, they will chill you to the bone!