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.
Haunt at Edgemont
Location: 3414 Emerald Drive, North Vancouver
Runs from October 7 to October 31, 2017
Monday to Friday: 6 pm to 10 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 12 pm to 10 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.
The Valley Hunt
Location: 1311 Appin Road, North Vancouver
Runs from October 20 to October 31, 2017
Monday to Friday: 7 pm to 10 pm
Saturday: 4 pm to 10 pm
Price: By donation (proceeds go to the Firefighter’s Burn Fund)
What do you get when you get a family who loves their neighbourhood, wants to give back to their community and loves Halloween? The Valley Haunt!
Started over 15 years ago by Karen Dietz, the Valley Haunt has grown into a must-do frightmare event. Housed in shipping containers, donated by BigSteelBox, this haunted house is a claustrophobic nightmare of ghoulish delight. In fact, the family suggests that only kids 10 and older attend the freaky display, and donations are gratefully accepted (all money goes to the BC Professional Firefighters’ Burn Fund).
Location: The Beaumont Studios – 316 West 5th Avenue, Vancouver
Runs from October 13 to October 31, 2017
Sunday to Wednesday: 3 pm to 10 pm
Thursday to Saturday: 3 pm to midnight
Price: Kids $5, adults $10 (proceeds go to the BC Women’s Hospital)
If you’re loving the creepy clown phenomenon, you’ll love the Haunted Circus. One of Vancouver’s newest haunted houses, this one is sure to scare even the most stoic member of your household. Keep in mind, this creepy circus gets extra scary after 6 pm, when it’s not suitable for kids.
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).
Reapers Haunted Attraction (and the Maze of Terror)
Location: Fantasy Farms, 9423 Gibson Road, Chilliwack
Runs from Friday to Sunday between October 1 to October 29, 2017
Open Tues to Thurs starting October 17 and ending October 31, 2017
Friday and Saturday: 7 pm to 10 pm
Sunday: 7 pm to 9 pm
Tuesday to Thursday: 7 pm to 9 pm
Price: $11 per attraction (or $20 for both)
If bark signals bite then Reapers Haunted Attraction is sure to terrify you. Billed as the “scariest indoor theatrical experience in Western Canada,” this haunted house experience goes all out to entertain and terrorize. It’s an insane asylum-themed haunted house housed in 22,000 square-foot labyrinth of horror. Keep in mind, this is definitely not a family-friendly option, although the Maze of Terror does tone it down just a smidge.
Potter’s House of Horrors
Location: 12530 72 Ave, Surrey
Runs from October 6 to October 31, 2017 (closed Monday Oct. 9)
Monday to Friday: 4 pm to 7 pm (extended hours on Oct. 20, 26 and 27, when it’s open until 7:30 pm)
Saturday and Sunday: 12 pm to 7:30 pm
Price: Vary and range from $6.35 ($5 + $1.35 fee) up to $50 for one adult admission into two haunted houses
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 6 to October 31, 2017
Times on Oct 6, 7 & 8: 7 pm to 11 pm
Times on Oct 13, 14, 19, 20, 21: 7 pm to midnight
Times on Oct 15, 18, 22, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30 & 31 : 7 pm to 1 am
Price: Start at $59 and go up
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.
Exit Escape Nights: The Butcher Shop or Transylvania: Vampire Hunters
Location: 309 West Broadway, Vancouver
Runs: Currently available (and until October 31)
Sunday to Saturday: 3:45 pm to 10:15 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: October 6 to October 31, 2017
Closed on Sundays and Mondays, except Sunday October 29 and Monday October 30
Tours leave each evening at 6:30 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm
Price: $40 (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!).
SmartyPantz: Morning Never Comes or Thirst for Blood
Location: 100-289 Abbott St., Vancouver
Monday to Wednesday: 2 pm to 10:30 pm
Thursday: 2 pm to 11:30 pm
Friday and Saturday: 11:30 am to 11:30 pm
Sunday: 11:30 am to 10:30 pm
Price: $25 per person (minimum group size is 4)
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.
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.