If you’re coming to visit Ottawa during the month of October, you’ll definitely learn that Ottawa doesn’t mess around when it comes to Halloween festivities. Ready to be spooked? Here are a few of the events that will send shivers down your spine:
Saunders Farm | Sept. 24 – Oct. 31, 2016 (select days)
Days of fall-tastic family fun and nights of locally grown frights! Younger children will certainly enjoy the Pumpkin Patch Hayride, Wagon Ride, Fairy Gardens, Themed Mazes, Puppet Shows and the Jumping Pillows, to name a few, and with so many options the kids are sure to be entertained for hours. New this year; go back in time with a vintage 1930’s era carnival. Here, you’ll find a 1917 carousel, a 1930 Ferris wheel and more.
And for the older and more adventurous families, visit the farm at night. After the sun goes down, Saunders turns into a creepy, barren place populated by ghosts, goblins and monsters of all kinds. If you are brave enough, visit the Barn of Terror or go on a Haunted Hayride. These night time attractions are not recommended for guests under 10-years-old.
Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg ON | Sept. 30 – Oct. 30, 2016 (select days)
Come and stroll through a hauntingly beautiful and spellbinding outdoor exhibit of about 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins, set against a stirring night-time backdrop just inside the gates of historic Upper Canada Village. Marvel at this eclectic display of scenes from exotic places and historic ages, meet up with forest animals and sea-born creatures, see story book heroes, mythical characters, cultural icons and more …. all carved from pumpkins. These mesmerizing, glowing carvings are sure to delight and entertain any age. Make sure to bring a camera!
Haunted Walks of Ottawa – Special Halloween Season Tours
Sparks and Elgin Streets | Oct. 1 – 31, 2016
The Haunted Walk’s Halloween season will offer exciting twists on existing tours and showcase special events. On the “Ghosts and the Gallows: Are you Afraid of the Dark?” tour, they will explore the old Carleton County Jail, one of North America’s most haunted buildings, in near darkness. On the “Stranger Tales: A Haunted Walk City Adventure” tour, you’ll enjoy the Original Haunted Walk experience with added interactive, problem-solving elements. Solve clues and end up in one of Canada’s most haunted buildings. This is a brand new tour!
Paranormal Investigation of The Mill
Watson Mill, Manotick, ON | Oct. 15, 2016
Fans of the hit television show “Ghost Hunters” are in for a real treat when they go on a Paranormal Investigation of Watson’s Mill. During this heart-stopping thriller of a tour on Oct. 15, participants can go to the Mill with real ghostbusters as they use infrared cameras, electromagnetic field (EMF) meters and digital thermometers to try to hunt Ottawa’s haunters. Who knows, maybe you’ll see Ann Crosby; the beautiful, tall, blonde-haired woman who is said to haunt the mill. Reservations are required. Also, from Oct. 20-22, 2016, you can enjoy a haunted house on the mill’s fourth floor.
Haunted Chairlift Rides
Camp Fortune | Oct. 21-22 and Oct. 28-29, 2016
Camp Fortune Ski Centre is getting into the Halloween spirit this year! Hop on the Skyline chairlift for a spooky round-trip ride. The chairlift will operate from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and admission is $10 CDN per person. The night will start off as family-friendly and get more spooky as the hours go on. Good luck with this Halloween adventure!
Nature Nocturne – Reptiles – Beautiful and Deadly
Canadian Museum of Nature | Oct. 28, 2016
This month’s Nature Nocturne event is inspired by the museum’s new Reptiles – Beautiful and Deadly exhibit. Put on a reptile-themed outfit and get ready to dance the night away through the museum. Nature Nocturne is a popular Ottawa event! This event is 19+.
Also, on Oct. 29 and 30, you can enjoy family-friendly activities at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Act like a reptile and snack on some spooky insects and, you can even hold a live insect in your hand!
Incident at the Bunker: A Zombie Adventure
Diefenbunker Museum, Carp, ON | Oct. 29, 30 & Nov. 5, 2016
The Haunted Walk of Ottawa and The Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum are partnering together again this Halloween to present, “Incident at the Bunker: A Zombie Adventure.” Guests will be led on an interactive adventure deep inside the underground labyrinth. What mysterious events took place around the time the bunker was decommissioned? Who or what still lingers in the bunker today? This Halloween experience is a perfect combination of storytelling, interactive challenges and unexpected surprises! Those who make it out alive will have quite the tale to tell! This experience lasts 60 to 75 minutes.
Ottawa’s Great Pumpkin Charity Ball
St. Brigid’s Haunted Castle, 310 St. Patrick St. | Oct. 29, 2016 (8:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.)
Celebrate Halloween in style at the 10th Annual Great Pumpkin Ball with the theme ‘Poison: Descent into Darkness.’ Enjoy great live music, a DJ, fantastic door prizes, psychic reading booths, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and more. Proceeds benefit the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing.
Halloween at Rideau Hall
Rideau Hall | Oct. 31, 2016 (5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.)
Head to the historic Rideau Hall on Halloween night to enjoy some fun Halloween-themed activities. Venture onto the grounds, if you dare… This activity is open to children and adults alike. And it’s free!
Giant Pumpkins in the ByWard Market
ByWard Market BIA | Oct. 4 – 31, 2016
All month long, walk around the ByWard Market area and see real, giant pumpkins. This is a great fall season photo op. Some of these locally-grown pumpkins are more than a thousand pounds!
Canada Agriculture and Food Museum | Oct. 29 – 30, 2016
You are invited to enjoy special activities just right for the occasion. See the Agriculture and Food Museum’s friendly animals and enjoy various Halloween-themed activities. More details to be announced.
In the last couple of years, Ottawa has become home to several escape room attractions. Visit one with a group of friends and see if you can find clues and solve puzzles that will help you escape. In Ottawa’s downtown core, you’ll find Escape Manor, Room Escape Ottawa and Jigsaw Escape Rooms.
Also, just west of Ottawa’s downtown core in Carp, Ont., you’ll find Escape the Diefenbunker. Just this winter, Escape Manor teamed up with the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum to launch the world’s largest escape room. Can you escape from a four-story underground bunker? A reservation for these escape experiences is recommended.
The Hintonburg Seance
Hintonburg Neighbourhood | Throughout October
The team at Escape Manor want to know if you can handle REAL FEAR? Meet at an undisclosed location in Hintonburg to participate in an authentic Victorian Seance in which you will raise the dead. This extremely frightening 90-minute interactive experience is presented in collaboration with Ottawa mentalist James White. Midnight seances are available. This event is 18+ and it is not recommended for people with heart conditions.