Metro Vancouver's Halloween activities provide a scarily good time
Once you feel that familiar chill in the air and start seeing pumpkin-spice everything invading the local coffee shops, you know that Halloween can't be too far off.
Ghosts and goblins will soon be popping up at favourite attractions such as Fright Nights, Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train, Dunbar Haunted House, Potters House of Horrors, Judge Dee's Chinatown Haunted House, Parade of Lost Souls, and Haunted Vancouver Trolley Tour.
And while the tried-and-true classic scares are here to stay, there are a few new-to-us spooky activities this year, such as White Rock's Zombie Combat Zone (take potshots at the living dead in a live-action paintball game), the In the House festival's Oubliette of Dreams, the Mission Arts Council's Haunted Mansion (a fractured take on popular fairy tales), Academie Duello's Swords 'n' Spooks (in which you can batter a piñata with swords), and the Halloween Social (an adults-only dance party with 24 interactive themed rooms).
Scares are in spades at theatres this season, with shows like The Zombie Syndrome: On Death Island, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Young Frankenstein, Zombies From the Beyond, Frankenstein, and The Hound of the Baskervilles providing some spooky entertainment for theatregoers, whether they're in the mood for camp, mystery, or music.
Film fans can get into the Halloween spirit with movie events such as Drop-In Movie Night at Leigh Square, Retro Halloween Classic Movie Marathon, and screenings of Halloween, Nosferatu, Sexcula, The Howling 2, Beetlejuice, Corpse Bride, and The Buffy Musical.
There's lots of kid-friendly fun to be had in the suburbs this year, with Maple Ridge's Pirate House, Aldergrove's Laughing Stock Ranch's Annual Halloween Spooktacular, Langley's Grave Tales and Family Fright at the Fort, and Burnaby's Haunted Village, Halloween Howl, Halloween Hoopla, and Halloween Hanted Mansion Spookfest. However, if you're stuck within the city limits, the VPL's Halloween Storytime gives some literary thrills and chills; you can also take in some pumpkin carving at the Roundhouse. The Halloween Hunt provides an opportunity for some inside trick-or-treating and the Cloudscape Comics Halloween Party features a family-friendly haunted house.
The Halloween Costume Ball (held at Telus World of Science) puts a decidedly adults-only spin on the classic costume party, while the SPOOKulele Ball tackles spooky songs with over 120 ukuleles. Howl-o-ween '13 and Something Wicked This Way Comes feature performances by bands like Mercer Van Eyes, Psychic Alliance, Stolen Organ Family, and Closer.
If pumpkin carving's more your thing, don't forget to stop by Southlands Heritage Farm, Laity Pumpkin Patch, Chilliwack Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch, and Richmond Country Farms to pick out the perfect gourd.