I am in love with halloween. All holidays, actually but especially this one. Growing up with lots of rules and protocol, this was the time I could be something totally different. As a little girl I chose to be a variation of a princess almost every year, except the one time I was a Pink Lady with a poodle skirt. (Don’t worry, I’m currently reading Glennon Doyle’s ‘Untamed’ and it certainly makes a ton of sense.) As I mature, I can stand for a few spookier, more intellectual Halloween exploits. Here are a few spooky Halloween activities for you to enjoy in cities across Canada.
Spooky Kingston, Ontario
Kingston is one of Canada’s oldest cities, and has had it’s fair share of gruesome deaths and ghosts. There are plenty of buildings and places in the city crawling with history, gruesome stories and alleged ghost sightings; not to mention hidden burial grounds, haunted hotels, a prison that held some of Canada’s most notorious criminals, a famous Fort from the War of 1812 and even a boarded-up asylum. All of the gory details can be had on the Haunted Walk of Kingston. I did it this past summer and it was awesome. Also a great excuse for a drink afterwards at the new chic Frontenac Club Hotel.
Scary Toronto, Ontario
One must look no further in Toronto than stunning Casa Loma, where the Schitt’s Creek stars hung out to celebrate all of their 2021 Emmy wins. Legends of Horror transforms the castle into a theatrical experience. In the form of “promenade theatre”, the audience walks at their own pace through a 2 km trail commencing in the lower gardens of Casa Loma and winding its way through the castles tunnels and darkest spaces never before open to the public.
Halloween in Halifax, Nova Scotia
The Citadel fort that has dominated Halifax Harbour since 1749 is creepy at the best of times. But when it’s gate swings open to reveal a tour guide in full period uniform standing on the drawbridge holding a glowing lantern, things take a darker turn. You pass through ditches, along cobblestone alleys and over eerie ramparts. Descend into dark tunnels toward prison cells that once housed hapless soldiers at your own peril. The haunted history of Halifax Citadel recounts many a ghost story, tales of the unexplained, all recounted in chilling detail.
Ghoulish Fun in Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver’s famous ghost train is still shuttered for 2021, but there are still lots of events to explore. First, for the adults, check out the Parade of Lost Souls on October 30th. Follow the Carnival Band, bring a shrine, installation or perform along the hourly route. The parade route is a secret! Lost Souls After Party is at Wise Hall with live music, performances and visuals, 9:30 pm – 1:30 am. For kids, our beloved Vancouver Aquarium offers Fin-tastic Fall Days. Explore the Trick-or-Trout Maze and immerse yourself in the new SCOOB! 4D Experience movie. Dress-Up Days and Trick-or-Treat giveaways happen October 30 and 31.
Scary Science in Fredericton, New Brunswick
The annual APEGNB Haunted Tour – Low Scare at Science East Science Centre offers little ghosts and goblins spooky delights and fascinating sights–all in the intriguing and mysterious old York County Jail! Explore the wonder and science of Halloween, with oodles of hands-on fun to keep kids entertained!
Scream in Calgary, Alberta
At ScreamFest in Stampede Park, you can walk through each of the six haunted houses, try your hand at carnival games or axe throwing, or check out some of the food trucks that will be parked outside. October 28th is an adults-only night.
Light the Candles in Montreal, Quebec
Candlelight Haloween symphonies are set in the Basilica Notre Dame. Listen to music with only candlelight lighting up your surroundings. If you aren’t into this tamer type of event, you can try Fright Fest. This is a month-long festival at La Ronde. As of the beginning of October, the amusement park is transformed into a nightmarish place. W stayed at LHotel on our last pre-pandemic jaunt and it was a perfectly grand boutique option if you are traveling into the city.
However you choose to spend the holiday, I wish you delight, a great bite and a ton of fright!