30+ things to do in Vancouver this Halloween

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halloween guide 2014

Halloween in Vancouver is one of the better times of the year as the tree lined streets become a bit scarier as we approach October 31. From parties to haunted houses, we have the city’s most comprehensive Halloween coverage.

Kid-friendly Halloween activities in Vancouver

Pumpkin Patches Vancouver

Trick or Treat

Whether it’s at a mall like Oakridge or Metropolis at Metrotown or at the annual trick or treat in Yaletown, dress up your kids and take them out to get some treats. As a bonus, you can save your kids from unnecessary visits to the dentist by eating some of their candy.

Carve a pumpkin and dress up your house

Go to your local grocery store or pumpkin patch and get carving. if you’re really into Halloween you will also want to decorate your house and spook your neighbours.

Hit up a pumpkin patch

The quintessential family activity. We’ve compiled a handy list of pumpkin patches in Metro Vancouver. Be sure to check that out before you head out to grab the perfect pumpkin.

Stanley Park Ghost Train (October 1 to November 1)

Bridges are collapsing, a hysterical mother was found living in a shoe and a little girl eating cheese is being terrorized by a spider. This year’s theme for the annual Halloween Ghost Train, which takes thousands of visitors on a twisted journey through the spookier side of Stanley Park, is “Mother Goose’s Ghastly Garden,” a cabaret of nursery rhymes shows the seedier side of timeless classics.

  • When: Runs 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. daily (Friday to Sunday evenings, 5 to 10 p.m.) with additional afternoon rides on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Where: Stanley Park
  • Tickets: $11 for adults, $7 for children and seniors, and free for kids three and under.

Trick or Treating on Trinity Street

One of the best spots for trick or treating in Vancouver is Trinity Street. The houses in this neighbourhood get tricked out for Halloween with elaborate outdoor displays, and the good-humoured residents report up to 800 trick-or-treaters on Halloween night. Parking is difficult to find, you have been warned.

Get dressed up

April O'Neil

Find the perfect costume

Before you can set foot into a party or out on the streets, you’ll need to look the part. We’ve come up with the ultimate costume guide for men, women and groups.

Costume Shops in Vancouver

Looking for a place to get the perfect costume? Don’t worry, we have you covered with our extensive guide to costume stores in Vancouver.

Zombies, zombies and more zombies

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Image: Tim Cheung / Flickr

Zombie Syndrome (October 7 to November 2)

On Death’s Door: Plague of the Zombie Syndrome is the third instalment of an interactive theatre adventure that hits the streets of downtown Vancouver every October. This year, participants are tasked with saving the world before the deadly Zombie Syndrome spreads across the globe and destroys mankind – easy, right?

  • When: October 7 to November 2 (Tuesday through Sunday)
  • Where: On the day of the mission, would-be zombie hunters learn the location of their top-secret rendezvous point
  • Tickets: $25 (plus tax)

Zombie paintball

Zombie Combat Zone is a fight for your life through a zombie apocalypse. North America’s most authentic live action paintball scenario game. Upon arrival, you will undergo a crash course bootcamp including a briefing on the situation and weapons training, then time to suit up and head out into the zone. You will be briefed on your mission prior to entering the zone.

Zombie Survival Zone in North Vancouver

For those of you craving that zombie action but don’t want to venture all the way to South Surrey, check out the interactive paintball experience, combining realistic paintball action with a zombie storyline in an outdoor setting in North Vancouver.

  • When: October 18 to November 15
  • Where: Northshore Paintball – 100B Capilano Road, North Vancouver
  • Bookings: Reserve your group

Haunted Houses in Vancouver

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Image: Ghost in the hallway via Shutterstock

The Dunbar Haunted House is no more but there are still plenty of haunted houses to check out in the Metro Vancouver area!

Fright Nights at PNE Playland

Featuring seven haunted houses (including a brand new house), 13 rides, the Monsters of Schlock, Kinshira fire performers plus other terrifying shows and attractions.

  • When: Varies from October 10 to November 1, see schedule
  • Tickets: $22 to $37 depending on day

Potter’s House of Horrors

The House of Horrors is a professional presentation in a labyrinth like walk through of approximately
9,000 square feet. It consists of several rooms and displays connected together by dark twisty hallways.

Reapers Haunted House in Chilliwack

One of the best haunted house experiences in the Fraser Valley. Over the past decade they have been told that their Halloween-themed attraction rivals scare houses at Disneyland and other professional entertainment parks in the North America. Worth the trip out to the Valley.

  • When: On until October 31
  • Cost: Reapers ($10), The Maze Of Terror ($10) and Reapers & The Maze Combo ($18)
  • Where: 9423 Gibsons Road, Chilliwack

Delta Haunted House

The haunted swamp house in Delta is back again this year with a new floor plan, characters and props.

  • Where: 8661 Byron Road, North Delta
  • When: October 29 to 31, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
  • Website: Facebook page

Note: Admission is by donation to the Childrens Miracle Network. 100% of all monies collected go to the charity.

Haunted Village at Burnaby Village Museum

Squawking crows meet chic Victorian steampunk at this year’s Haunted Village. Kids of all ages are invited to don their costumes and step back in time at this 1920s-era village, where you can peruse the selection of coffins at the coroner’s shop and buy a murder of miniature crows at The Crow’s Nest general store.

  • When: October 23 to 26 from 6 to 9 p.m.
  • Cost: Admission is $14 for adults, youth and seniors, and $9 for children (ages 2 to 12)
  • Where: Burnaby Museum – 6501 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby

Chinatown Haunted House

Once again, one of Vancouver’s fastest growing Halloween events is back, the annual Chinatown haunted house. From October 21 to 31, the Classical Chinese Garden will be transformed into a terrifying haunted house.

Vancouver’s only haunted house not suitable for children.

  • When: October 21 to 31 from 7 to 10 p.m. (entry every 10 minutes)
  • Tickets: Adults $12, Students $10
  • Where: The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden – 578 Carrall St, Vancouver

Gravecouver Haunted House

Your worst fears, phobias and nightmares will be experienced at this indoor haunted house, featuring 13 individual scary rooms with rides, zombies and more.

  • Where: Metropolis at Metrotown – 4700 Kingsway, Burnaby
  • When: October 3 to November 1, opens at 7 p.m.
  • Cost: $13, VIP $20

Krakit Halloween Escape Adventures

Do you have what it takes to unlock the secrets of the room and get out in time? The newly opened escape room in Burnaby is offering up Halloween room themes are Asylum, Butcher Shop, Zombie Apocalypse and for those who want no spooks, the pirate’s room is for you. In October some of the theme rooms will have actors moving in and out unannounced. Did a zombie just enter the room?

  • Address: 4035 North Road, Burnaby (North of Lougheed Hwy on the West Side of North Road)
  • Phone: 604-868-5512 (Call for Private Bookings and Corporate Team Building Events)
  • Hours: 
    • Sunday to Thursday, 3 to 11:30 p.m.
    • Friday and Saturday, 1 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Parades and festivals

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Image: Halloween parade via shutterstock 

Halloween Parade Vancouver

For the first time ever, Vancouver will host a downtown Halloween Parade. See the supernatural, heroes and villains from films, comics, games, sci-fi and myths join the Halloween Parade with marching bands, vehicles and floats.

  • When: Sunday, October 19 from noon to 3 p.m.
  • Where: Begins at Granville and Davie, goes north along Granville, turns West on Smithe, continues on Howe and finishes at Howe and Davie

Parade of Lost Souls

Although the original organizers of the festival disbanded, they have said that the parade will continue, with another organization taking over. The original Halloween Parade takes place in the Commercial Drive ‘hood.

  • When: November 1
  • Where: Commercial Drive area, exact location will be announced at a later date

Parties all over the city

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Bars and clubs all over the city get ready for Halloween

Deck out in your scariest or most revealing costume and head ot one of the many bars and clubs hosting Halloween parties. Here is the ultimate guide to Halloween parties in Vancouver.

Dooms Night 2014 Vancouver

The ultimate Halloween party takes place at the PNE over two nights. Headlining on Day 1 is Martin Garrix, one of the most sought out acts in the world. The star-studded lineup doesn’t stop here as returning on the main stage will feature #1 World Hardstyle artist Headhunterz with mega house stars MadeonBassjackers, and Jay Hardway.

Day 2 will feature Dash Berlin‘s return to Vancouver. The Halloween extravaganza will have trance super star Audien, and the most sought out Hardstyle artist Audiofreq alongside house stars Dubvision and Mike Hawkins.

Take a tour of the city’s haunted past

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From trolley tours to late night strolls, uncover the city’s gruesome past with one of the guided tours offered.

Haunted Halloween Vancouver Trolley Tour

Tour Vancouver’s eeriest haunts with the Vancouver Police Museum and Vancouver Trolley Company’s Haunted Halloween Vancouver Trolley Tour. The annual offering dares brave visitors to board a frightful trolley bus and travel through the city listening to storytellers spin tales of murder, treachery and intrigue. With a walk through Mountain View Cemetery and a chilling visit to Vancouver’s original city morgue (where more than 15,000 autopsies have been performed), this jaunt is not for the faint of heart. The 2.5-hour tour runs nightly.

  • When: October 15 to 31 (excluding Sundays and Mondays)
  • Where: Departs from Canada Place hourly from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Reservations are required; individual bookings and private charters are also available.
  • Tickets: $40 (must be 13 or older to participate). Reserve early: tickets are limited and sell fast.

Lost Souls of Gastown Tour (ongoing)

Venture into Vancouver’s eeriest alleys and oldest neighbourhood on this gothic foray into the depths of Gastown. Guided by a centuries-old resident, participants relive some of the city’s most mysterious, gruesome and historic events, learning about the lives – and deaths – of notorious figures like Gassy Jack (the founder of Gastown) and John Bray (a Klondike gold prospector whose brutal murder hasn’t stopped him from haunting Gastown’s main drag).

  • When: Daily from Tuesday to Saturday at 8 p.m.
  • Tickets: $22 for adults and $19 for seniors and students

Secrets of the Penthouse Halloween Edition

Secrets of the Penthouse is back! This Halloween, tour inside Vancouver’s most notorious venue with club owner Danny Filippone as your guide.You’ll hear stories of vice squad busts, mobsters, bootlegging, Rat Pack parties and murder, plus the tale of the fabled Penthouse ghost.

  • When: Thursday, October 30
  • Where: The Penthouse Nightclub – 1019 Seymour Street, Vancouver
  • Cost: $49 – book online

Fort Langley’s Grave Tales

A 90-minute, deliciously macabre night time stroll through this National Historic Site of Canada. Suitable for attendees 17 years or older, the tour involves a costumed storyteller guiding thrill seekers through the quaint village and its misty cemetery, sharing eerie stories of the mysterious burials and old-school amputations that once took place there.

But younger adventurers, fear not: a family-friendly Grave Tales is available for youth and teens (adult supervision required for kids under 12).

Check out one of the city’s haunted hot spots

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Image: Ghost via shutterstock 

Although Vancouver is a young city, there are plenty of haunted spots in the city. Make sure to check back with us closer to Halloween as we shed light on some of the city’s haunted hot spots including the The 7 Ghosts of Hycroft Mansion and the Fairmont’s Hotel Vancouver Famous Lady in Red.

Random Halloween happenings

Halloween SkyTrain Party

Image: Lydia Yan

Phrike FilmFest

The Phrike FilmFest 72 Hour Film Competition hits Vancouver the weekend of October 10 to 13. $20,000 in prizing is up for grabs including, $5,000 for Best Film and the Grand Goblin Award. The FilmFest takes place at The Imperial on October 19.

Named for the goddess of horror from Greek mythology; PHRIKE, her spirit of trembling fear will inspire Filmmakers, Actors and Makeup Artists to compete to see who can make the Best Horror Film within 72 hours and take home the Grand Goblin Award.

Light off some fireworks

Diwali and Halloween night are two opportunies to illuminate the light in your own backyard. Last year was the first time fireworks were being set off in downtown Vancouver as well. Remember to be safe.

Thrill The World

For the first time ever, a very popular GLOBAL ‘zombie’ event founded in 2006 is coming to Surrey. The event will also take place in Vancouver. Details:

Thrill the World Vancouver

  • When: Saturday, October 25 from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Thrill time is at 4 p.m. sharp.
  • Where: Olympic Village Plaza
  • Cost: Suggested $10 donation to cover costs, otherwise it is free

Thrill the World Surrey

  • When: Saturday, October 25 from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Thrill time is 3 p.m. sharp.
  • Where: The Cloverdale Youth Park – 6188 176 St. (in the skate park beside the Cloverdale Recreation Centre)

Nosferatu: A Special Halloween Presentation

Gillian Anderson conducts the VSO in a live performance of the soundtrack for the 1922 silent film.

  • Where: Orpheum Theatre – 601 Smithe Street, Vancouver
  • When: October 30 at 7:30 p.m.

Evil Dead: The Musical

Bigger, badder and bloodier, the zombies are back for another round in this hilarious camp fest, complete with the ‘splatter zone.’

  • Where: Norman Rothstein Theatre – 950 W. 41st Ave.
  • When: October 22 to November 1
  • Cost: $40/$20
  • More info: evildeadmusicalvancouver.ca

An Evening with the Paranormal Society

Join the Vancouver Paranormal Society as they share their discoveries from investigations at the Historic Stewart Farm and elsewhere.

  • Where: Historic Stewart Farm – 13723 Crescent Rd., Surrey
  • When: October 9 or 16 from 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Cost: $15, registration required
  • More info: surrey.ca/heritage or call 604-592-6956

Feature image: Halloween pumpkin via Shutterstock | Creative by Digital Fluency

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