Ottawa’s haunting season is spooktacular

Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Many pumpkins assembled on some grass. Two have painted faces and all with warts.
By Linda Scales

Ottawa has an abundance of Halloween activities to inspire you to either suit up for the haunting season or to simply partake in a bit of spooky fun. If you don’t know what to do (or where to go), consider some of the suggestions below.

A budget Halloween

  • The Spooktacular Healthy and Active Skate at the Minto Sports Complex on October 28, from noon to 1 p.m., is for the uOttawa community. FREE
  • The Governor General is preparing to scare people of all ages. On October 31, the Rideau Hall Visitor Centre will be a haunted dollhouse. You’ve been warned. FREE
  • Selfie alert! Visit the giant pumpkins in the ByWard Market until October 31. This year the heaviest weighs in at 663 pounds. That would make a lot of pies. FREE
Poster of the film Young Frankenstein

A big screen Halloween

A giving-back Halloween

  • The tenth annual Great Pumpkin Charity Ball, on October 29, is supporting several charities, including the Canadian Cancer Society and the Ottawa Food Bank. Only 750 tickets are available for this costumed event at Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts in the Byward Market.
  • For a completely difference experience, how about dressing up for a nighttime bike ride through Ottawa and Old Hull followed by yoga, food and drinks? The Ottawa Hull-oween Night Ride, on October 31, is supporting mental health research at the Royal.

A very scaaaary Halloween

  • On October evenings, the Haunted Walk offers tours such as “Ghost and Gallows — Are You Afraid of the Dark?” about the assassination of Thomas D’Arcy McGee, following the haunted hallways of the old Carleton County Jail’s death row.
  • An interactive (and spooky) experience is Incident at the Bunker: A Zombie Adventure! It takes place October 29, 30 and November 5 at the Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War museum, located just outside of Ottawa.
  • On Friday and Saturday evenings until October 29, the Billings Bridge National Historic Site becomes the Haunted House on the Hill, a spooky 19th-century estate. And on October 29 at both Billings Bridge and Pinhey’s Point Historic Site, adults can participate in traditional seances led by psychic mediums. Reservations are recommended to visit the haunted house and required for the seance.
  • Until November 5…. If you liked Alfred Hitchcock’s movie version, you will be kept on the edge of your seats with the Ottawa Little Theatre’s staging of Dial “M” for Murder.

A unique Halloween

  • On October 28, the Museum of Nature is intent on having Nature Nocturne party-goers scaling the walls in fright, when it becomes the creepiest place in town. The Halloween bash will celebrate the museum’s new reptile exhibition.
  • If you want to be awed and dazzled, visit Upper Canada Village’s Pumpkinferno on selected evenings in October for an outdoor exhibit of some 7,000 hand-crafted pumpkins.
  • And finally … it’s the haunting season at Saunders Farm, where you will find lots of things to scare you or make you laugh. Be careful not to get lost in the maze!
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