Gray skies. Deep, dark forests. Eerie mist rolling in off the ocean. Vancouver was made for Halloween. Here’s a round-up of this year’s spookiest Halloween happenings. Read on, if you dare:
Fright Nights at the PNE (Oct. 15-31): Vancouver’s Playland has been converted into a haunted amusement park, complete with roving bands of scarers, spooky rides and, of course, plenty of haunted houses. Official website: www.pne.ca/fright-nights. Click here for our review.
Haunted Vancouver Trolley Tour (Oct. 8-Nov. 1): Hop on board an old-fashioned trolley for a narrated tour of Vancouver’s scariest sites, including the city’s oldest cemetery and the morgue. Official website: www.vancouvertrolley.com/seasonal_tours_halloween.php. Click here for our review.
Stanley Park Ghost Train (Oct. 8-31): Every night this miniature train brings passengers deep into the forests of 1,000-acre Stanley Park for a chilling production of Alice in Nightmareland. There’s also a haunted petting zoo. Official website: vancouver.ca/parks/events/ghosttrain/index.htm. Click here for our review.
Spooky Seas at the Vancouver Aquarium (Oct. 16-31): Get up close and personal with the skulls of killer whales and great white sharks. Then head to the special 4D theatre (3D + smells, sensations and more) for The Curse of Skull Rock, a haunted pirate adventure. Official website: www.visitvanaqua.org/events/halloween2010. Click here for our review.
Haunted Village at Burnaby Village Museum (Oct. 28-30): Gravediggers, trolls and witches wander about as you walk through the recreated 1920s village after dark. You can even get measured for your own coffin. Official website: www.burnabyvillagemuseum.ca. Click here for our review.
Dunbar Haunted House (Oct. 15-31): For the last seven years, a local family has converted their own home and backyard into an elaborate haunted house, complete with trained “frighteners” to terrify unsuspecting guests. This year’s theme is the Terror of History. Proceeds go to the B.C. Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund. Official website: www.dunbarhauntedhouse.com/wordpress.
An Evening in the Morgue at the Vancouver Police Museum (Oct. 4-26): Visit Vancouver’s City Morgue, where more than 20,000 autopsies were performed from 1932-1980. A graphic presentation gives an inside peek at the work of the city coroner. This is probably the most terrifying Halloween happening in the city and only appropriate for adults. Official website: vancouverpolicemuseum.ca/Halloween.htm.
The Great Big Boo (Oct.22,23,28-30): This Halloween musical stage show, with lots of dancing and singing, is very kid-friendly. It starts in North Vancouver (Oct.22), before moving onto Surrey (Oct. 23) and finally Ft. Langley (Oct. 28-30). Official website: www.thegreatbigboo.com
Thrill the World (Oct. 23): Every year, tens of thousands of people around the world simultaneously perform Michael Jackson’s famous Thriller dance (You know the one . . . where all the zombies get their groove on). Join hundreds of costumed dancers for the Vancouver performance on Oct. 23 outside the Roundhouse Community Centre. Official website: www.ttwvancouver.com. Click here for our review.
Parade of Lost Souls (Oct. 30): A cherished Vancouver tradition, this community parade and party in the Commercial Drive neighborhood brings out thousands of revelers in costume, not to mention a few impromptu marching bands. Official website: publicdreams.org/event/parade-of-lost-souls-secret-souls-walk.
And here are a few more that I couldn’t leave off the list:
Halloween at Capilano Suspension Bridge (Oct. 30 and 31): After you cross Capilano’s hair-raising suspension bridge, check out the massive display of Jack-o-lanterns and get your fortune read. Official website: www.capbridge.com/specialevents.php. Click here for our review.
Jack-O-Lantern’s Spooky Stroll at VanDusen Botanical Garden (Oct. 30): A path lit by 125 carved pumpkins winds its way through the garden as part of this kid-friendly exhibit. There’s also storytelling and kid’s activities. Official website: vancouver.ca/parks/parks/vandusen/website/events/calendar.htm#oct.
A Maritime Halloween at Vancouver Maritime Museum (Oct. 31): Halloween-themed fun includes pirate activities, a haunted fo’c’sle and spooky arts and crafts. Kids under 10 get in free if they’re wearing a costume. Official website: www.vancouvermaritimemuseum.com/page153.htm.
So what’s your favorite Vancouver Halloween activity? Please comment below.