Ghosts, castles and haunted walks: Some scary things to do in Toronto as Halloween approaches
Take a look at some of the haunted walks and other creepy things around the city
Halloween is almost here. Time for pumpkins, costumes, candy – and a few scares.
If you're too old for trick-or-treating, don't fret because there are dozens of frightening and fun events in Toronto all month.
From haunted walks and houses to block parties, there is enough to keep you occupied until Halloween candy goes on sale in November.
Scary Events and Festivals:
Spooky Lagoon: Toronto Island Stories
New to the 2017 Halloween season, Spooky Lagoon takes passengers across the harbour and into the early history of Toronto Island. Those who brave the boat tour will discover the true story of the 1815 murder of the island's first lighthouse keeper – John Paul Radelmuller. The tours are available on the weekends during October.
Legends of Horror
Toronto's Casa Loma has once again been transformed into a massive haunted house. The Legends of Horror house is a theatrical interpretation of classic horror figures. Characters include the Creature from the Black Lagoon and Dracula rising out of his coffin. Audiences get to walk through the two kilometres of terrifying trails that begin in the lower gardens and wind through the castle's tunnels and darkest corners.
Haunted High Park
High Park, like Toronto Island, is one of the city's most frequented outdoor spaces. It has hiking trails, a dog park, and a haunted history. For the remaining weekends in October, you can explore the grounds and discover the legends and ghostly tales. The walk features a tour through of the allegedly haunted Colbourne Lodge and more.
Halloween on Church Street
Halloween on Church Street is one of the biggest events the city has to offer for Halloween. The annual block party in Toronto's Church and Wellesley Village brings in thousands of costumed attendees each year. The pedestrian-only strip begins at 6:30 p.m. on Halloween night. Admission is free and the event will have guest DJs and access to all of The Village's cafes and bars.
Night of Dread
Every year, Clay and Paper Theatre puts on an evening filled with masks, puppets, costumes and more. Night of Dread is a family-friendly event that begins with a parade starting at Dufferin Grove Park. Parade-goers are told to wear their "most dreadful attire" to march through the city. After the hour-long parade, there are festivies including live music at the park. This year's Night of Dread is on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 6 p.m., with the parade assembly beginning at 4 p.m.
These don't interest you? You can also check out:
- Halloween Haunt at Canada's Wonderland
- Screemers at Exhibition Place
- Toronto's Horror Hallways
- Dark Waters at Ripley's Aquarium of Canada
- Haunted Walks at Black Creek Pioneer Village
If events and parties aren't your thing and you want a more authentic scare, Toronto has many houses and landmarks with haunted histories. Check them out:
Historic Fort York
Fort York was once the site of bloody battles in the War of 1812. Naturally, witnesses have reported seeing ghostly soldiers in red coats on the grounds near the entrance and old barracks, as well as a woman's spirit. If you're brave enough, head to the site after dark.
The land where the provincial Legislature now sits was once home to an asylum in the mid-19th century, which explains why there have been reports over the years of various resident ghosts. Among them is a hanging lady, a fallen soldier and a woman who covers her face with an apron.
Royal Ontario Museum
The ROM is said to be haunted by its original director, Dr. Charles Currelly. He has allegedly been spotted wandering the halls in a nightshirt. The old planetarium is also said to house a little girl who used to sit in the seats watching the shows with the living audience members.
Want an excuse to search for the ghosts? The ROM hosts parties every Friday night called "Friday Night Live," and on Oct. 28, their theme is "Wicked" for Halloween. Costumes are encouraged.
Lower Bay Station
Lower Bay Station is used for storage and as a film set these days, but allegedly there is one passenger left — the ghost of a woman in a red dress. She's said to have no legs and black holes for eyes.
The "IT" House
This house may not have the same haunted history as the ROM or Queen's Park, but if you've been scarred by Steven King's Pennywise or little Charlie, then the houses where some of the IT movie was filmed should be on your Halloween bucket list. An old mansion in Riverdale — 450 Pape Avenue — has quickly become a tourist attraction after the horrorfilm wrapped its production. The creepy exterior shots were filmed on a set in Oshawa, but the mansion has still garnered a lot of attention, and some have even claimed to have seen some supernatural behaviour.