Just like a child, Halloween has grown up. Once a night of homemade candy and handmade costumes, Halloween is now a month-long celebration of fright and fun. These days fans of fright prolong their pleasure with a variety of events, including masquerade parties, fright festivals and, of course, haunted houses.
According to U.S.-based National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail association, almost a quarter (21%) of North American consumers plan on visiting a haunted house during Halloween season. To help you plan your season of terror, here are 10 of the most anticipated Vancouver haunted houses and the best scare-spots in the Lower Mainland.
Community haunted houses
Are you looking for a great scare in the neighbourhood? Here are some of Lower Mainland’s best neighbourhood haunted houses. Remember, these attractions exist because the homeowner or community association loves Halloween, so come eager to share their enthusiasm.
Location: 3414 Emerald Drive, North Vancouver
Runs from October 11 to October 31, 2019
Monday to Friday: 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 12:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Price: By donation (all proceeds go to the Firefighters Burn Fund)
For a great outdoor family-friendly haunted house check out North Vancouver’s Haunt at Edgemont. Initially created by Trevor Watson, Jodie Blank and Asha DeChamplain in 2006, to bring more Halloween spirit to the community, the Haunt at Edgemont has grown to a must-do Halloween event. The front yard is turned into a cemetery, complete with ghosts and ghouls, a horde of zombies and a really, really, really big werewolf (a fan favourite). For the really brave, stroll through to the backyard where you may encounter evil clowns, cackling witches, giant spiders and the best of twisted-face pumpkins one can imagine.
This house is on the corner of Edgemont Boulevard and Emerald Drive. Go early enough and you can grab a hot cup of cocoa at one of the cafes in Edgemont Village.
Commercial haunted houses
Krakit Escape Nights:
The Saw Room, The Asylum, Zombie Apocolypse
Location: 4035 North Road, Burnaby
Monday to Thursday: 3 pm to 10:00 pm
Friday: 3 pm to 11:30 pm
Saturday: 11 am to 11:30 pm
Sunday: 11 am to 1o pm
Price: Adult $25; Child (6 to 12) $15 (taxes included)
What would you do if you had only 45 minutes to escape one of a terrifying situation? That’s what Krakit asks you to find out. By booking one of their themed rooms you get to test your skills and perseverance while dodging maniacs (played by live actors). Games are designed for groups of two or more and you can set your scare level (go wimpy or max it out for full fright).
Location: 12530 72 Ave, Surrey
Runs all October
Monday to Sunday: 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, depending on what experience you choose
Price: Vary and range from $12.99 to $29.99
Back in 2003, a bunch of high school kids wanted to raise some money for their school. Their love of theatrics and Halloween spawned the idea of a haunted house and the generous donation of a plot of land by Potter’s Farm and Nursery gave the idea life. More than a decade later, this Surrey haunted house is a local fave, with guests treated to Zombie Town, Clown Central, the Possessed Jungle as well as the Sewer of the Damned – this ain’t no Ninja Turtle episode!.
Be prepared to be impressed. Not only does Potter’s Haunted House offer two frightening haunted tours (Monstrosity and Devil’s Descent) but it also knows how to make all ages and family members feel welcome. Families with kids can choose to come to a less-scary version of the scary haunted houses (known as Family hour) or they can opt to attend L’il Haunters, a less-than-scary introduction to the magic and wonder of community haunted houses. Go online for more information and to buy your tickets (and skip the line).
Fright Nights at the PNE
Location: Playland entrance on East Hastings and Windermere Street
Runs from October 4 to October 31, 2019
Times: 7 pm to midnight or later
Price: Start at $37 and go up (you can save money if you buy online)
Not one, not two but eight haunted houses are all part of the PNE’s annual Fright Nights! This is just one reason why this annual Vancouver haunted house attraction is one of the best-known Halloween fright options. Not only do you get to cruise through eight, separate haunted houses but you can also enjoy a variety of other attractions including over a dozen carnival rides. Keep in mind, though, there is a ban on costumes of any kind. This attraction is not recommended for children under the age of 12.
Location: 309 West Broadway, Vancouver
Runs: Currently available (and until October 31)
Sunday to Saturday: 3 pm to 9:15 pm
Want one of the “most technically advanced” haunted house experiences? Consider spending some time with the producers of Exit Entertainment. Originally created by Takao Kato, these franchised live-escape game rooms offer thrills, excitement and, yes, even scares. There are numerous locations throughout the Lower Mainland (including Richmond, Burnaby and Surrey) and each has at least a handful (and as many as a dozen) separate “rooms of terror.” Each room has a different theme, but all utilize the newest in haunted house technology.
Location: Board at Canada Place
Runs: All October
Tours leave every half hour from 6 pm until 9:30 om
Price: $55 and up (including tax)
While this trolley ride isn’t exactly a haunted house, it is a great way to take in the ghoulish history of Vancouver, BC. Hop on the trolley at Canada Place and spent the next 2.5 hours on an adult-only tour that includes a stop at Mountain View Cemetery and the Vancouver Police Museum (but be careful, you just might stumble upon an autopsy in progress!).
Location: 100-289 Abbott St., Vancouver
Monday to Thursday: 2:30 pm to 10 pm
Friday: 2 pm – 11 pm
Saturday: 11:30 am to 11 pm
Sunday: 11:30 am to 9 pm
Price: $25 per person (minimum group size is 2)
What would be scarier? Investigating paranormal activity in an old, abandoned house where a ghost is rumoured to murder anyone who sets foot across the threshold? Or would waking up with your hands shackled to a pipe in a basement by a cannibalistic killer get your heart pumping? Either scenario is possible at Vancouver’s SmartyPantz escape rooms—and both are ideal ways to celebrate fright during this Halloween season.
Location: Stanley Park Railway
Runs: October 11 – 31, 2019
Price: Range from $6.30 – $12.60
Donations: Partner charity is the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. Bring a non-perishable food item.
Evening trains: Monday to Thursday | 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm, Friday to Sunday | 5:30 pm to 10 Pm
Matinee trains: Friday to Sunday | 11 am to 5 pm
It’s an Alice in Wonderland turned nightmare land theme! Experience a gothic world filled with all kinds of terrifying tombstones, crypts and surprises as you wander through a graveyard on this mysterious train.
Select any or all of these Vancouver and Lower Mainland haunted houses and you’re sure to add a bit of spook to your October nights.
Content updated as of September 3, 2019