As Halloween enthusiasts know, Halloween truly starts on October 1st, or sometimes even earlier. The people of Vancouver embrace this entire season of creepy haunts and ghoulish frights with events and attractions running all month long. Aside from the endless parties, night club events, and pub crawls, there are a ton of spooky activities to check out all around Vancouver. Some of these kooky locales are great for kids and families, others are more sinister and are best left for the adults to venture fearfully into after dark.
Fright Nights at Playland
Possibly one of the biggest and most terrifying spots in all of Vancouver during the month of October is Fright Nights at Playland. Running from October 4th to October 31st, Fright Nights features 8 haunted houses, 20 night rides, and a comedic sideshow performance called the Monsters of Schlock. The terrifying haunted houses feature grisly names like The Bloodshed, Car-N-Evil, and Materia Medica. The typically genial atmosphere of Playland is transformed into a ghastly land of haunts and horrors, making this environment more suited to the adult crowd and not recommended for children under 12, or guests who are pregnant, who have high blood pressure, or who are sensitive to strobe lighting.
Stanley Park Ghost Train
Every year, the train in Stanley Park is transformed from a happy jaunt around the park into a sinister ride through a chilling new landscape. The theme for 2019’s Stanley Park Ghost Train is Alice in Nightmareland, and this vision of fear and lunacy runs from October 11th to October 31st. On this haunted train ride you’ll follow Alice and the Not-So-White Rabbit through a series of stone doors into a gothic graveyard world of crypts, tombs, and terror. The Stanley Park plaza also offers crafts, movies, exhibits, and a pumpkin patch you can check out before you board your train.
Parade of Lost Souls
The Parade of Lost Souls is a time-honoured tradition in the Commercial Drive area that draws about 10,000 lost souls every year. This celebration of life and death is held on or around All Hallow’s Eve with the parade route kept secret until the midnight before the event. This year’s Parade of Lost Souls will be held on November 2, 2019, with the parade happening from 7pm until 10pm and the Lost Souls After Party running from 9pm until 1am. This parade is a grass-roots type of festival which is planned, organized, and performed by the local community.
After Hours at the Aquarium
Ever wish you could go to the Vancouver Aquarium for an adult only type of evening and leave the kids at home? After Hours at the Aquarium is a 19+ Halloween event that takes place on October 31st from 6:30pm until 11pm. Sip cocktails and check out the deadly sharks and unearthly jellyfish. There’s a costume contest, trivia, and a free shuttle that will take you to Canada Place at the end of the night, helping you to plan safe ride home. For a VIP experience, upgrade your tickets and enjoy early event entry at 6pm, a special VIP bar and lounge area, a live DJ, one souvenir photo, a meetup experience with a snake, and a few other tricks and treats.
VanDusen Glow in the Garden
VanDusen Glow in the Garden is a family friendly walk in the park with a slightly spooky twist. A spell has been cast on the garden, causing it to glow. Kids can help Anna the hummingbird and her friends lift the spell as they wander through the garden. They can collect all six stamps in each glow zone and trade them in for a small prize at the end of their adventure. Glow in the Garden is open from October 17th to October 27th from 5pm until 9pm.
Burnaby Haunted Village
The Burnaby Haunted Village is only open for a few days, from October 25th to October 28th, so get your tickets early and mark it on your calendar. This family friendly event runs from 6pm until 9pm which means you’ll be able to explore this spooky village just has the dark has settled and the night has begun to creep in. Costumes are encouraged, so don’t be shy to dress up before you venture out into the Haunted Village. There is plenty more devilish merriment to be had at the Hill Street Bash and the party at the Love Farmhouse.
Haunted Trolley Tour
Available from October 11th to October 31st, Vancouver’s Haunted Trolley Tour takes you through the dark and troubled past that is hidden within the deepest recesses of this old and storied city. The trolley will take you into Stanley Park in the dead of the night, usher you into the Mountain View Cemetery for some ghostly thrills, and spirit you along Vancouer’s Gastown district to give you a taste of the ancient and spooky architecture this city was built on. The tour is about two and a half hours and you’ll be regaled by the wit and wisdom of your local guide.
There is no shortage of haunted houses to check out in the Vancouver area once October rolls around. The list of horrifying haunts is long, but there are a couple of popular spots that have become infamous over the years. Check out Brinkworth Dungeon’s Mansion of Monsters from October 18th until November 2nd. Located in Langley, their den of terror features 5000 square feet of hand crafted horror. Potter’s House of Horrors, located in Surrey, runs from September 27th until November 2nd. They offer an ultra-scary show with live actors, animatronics, and loud noises or a family hour show which is a little tamer. For the mildest of spooks, check out their Li’l Haunters attraction with a friendly play area, smaller haunted houses, and other fun activities for the littlest boils and ghouls.
Maan Farms Haunted Corn Maze
Corn mazes are always a main staple for good ol’ Halloween fun. Maan Farms offers not one but two terrifying maze attractions. The Haunted Corn Maze is full of gory scenes and intimate scares. Their Pitch Black attraction is a journey into the dark which offers you the option of being grabbed, held back, directed down hidden paths, and even temporarily taken from your group, should you choose to participate in a hands on type of experience. The also offer a less terrifying pumpkin patch, wagon rides, and flashlight corn maze for those not looking for hair-raising, blood-curdling scares.
Reapers Haunted Attraction and Maze of Terror
Located out in Chilliwack you can find Reapers Haunted Attraction and Maze of Terror.The insane asylum themed haunt is filled with crazed patients, twisted doctors, and menacing hospital staff. Their Maze of Terror is a 22,000 square foot nightmare landscape of darkness and as if that’s not chilling enough, you may hear a mad fiend with a real chainsaw roaming around out in the dark with you.
These are only a handful of some of the best spooks and scares in Vancouver during the Halloween season. You can take the tots to any number of pumpkin patches, participate in all kinds of costume parties, and find a horrifying haunted house on nearly every block. And that’s before you even get to October 31st, when the real terror begins!