Haunted House

Toronto Haunted House 2008 Extravaganza

Out of the hundreds of things that happen every year around Halloween, my favourite attractions have been, and always will be, haunted houses in the Toronto area. No two are ever the same, and they never fail to entertain. Even though I absolutely HATE it when people jump out at me (but then I love it later), the anticipation is always the worst and I end up laughing at myself. Or swearing under my breath. It varies.

After working at a haunted house last year, I've become slightly infatuated with the whole idea, and think they're far too underrated. This year there are quite a few major haunts that you should definitely check out during the next month if you have the nerve.


Screemers (Oct 17-Nov1) is the behemoth haunt in Toronto. Boasting six main attractions this year along with a mini-carnival fondly known as "The Field of Screams", Screemers has been running solid for 15 years at Exhibition Place. Features include "The Black Hole", "The Asylum", and apparently a chainsaw in there somewhere. I'm too scared to go to this thanks to my friends warning me about certain things, so I'll just...uh...wait here, you guys tell me how it is. Admission is $28.50. Ages 10 and up .

Canada's Wonderland

Canada's Wonderland (Oct 1-Nov1, Fri-Sun) is also becoming a major stop-in, raking in over 10,000 visitors last year. They claim it's never the same as previous years, so stay on your toes and don't be "that guy" who isn't scared because they "totally remember it from last year" (side note: those guys always get scared, haha). Features ten mazes and a live show. I also would also like to share my distaste for not being able to link to specific things about this event due to the website using nothing. But. Flash. Ugh. Admission is $24-$42 depending on if you want a meal deal. No, you can't get in for free with a Season Pass, as convenient as that would be.


Nightmare On Queen St 2 (Oct 24-26, and Oct 19-Nov1) is being brought to you by Playdead for its second year. They do things a little differently at the mansion. Not only will you encounter usual haunt monsters, but you'll be able to get up close and personal with blood and gore courtesy of some of the best SPFX artists in the city. I was a part of this last year, and if past experience has anything to say, it's going to be awesome. Points if you recognize me creeping around this year! Admission is $10. All Ages.

Casa Loma

Casa Loma's Haunted Mansion (Oct 29-30) is available for the tamer crowd and those of you with kids. The castle features a Spooky Attic, Dragon's Den, Magic Mirror, and Ghouls and Goblins around every corner. There are also a few live shows to see at various points throughout the day, "Magic Mike" the magician and "Frankenstein" presented by the Men in Tights. Admission is $12 for adults, $7.50 for seniors/youths, and kids are $6.76. "Frankenstein" is $2 for adults, $1 for kids. Get all that?

Haunted Adventure

Finally, for those of you with cars who want to venture outside of the city, The Haunted Adventure (Oct weekends, Fri-Sun except the 12th) at Magic Hill Farm in Stoufville has been tried tested and true for 18 years as one of the original haunts around. These tend to be the creepiest, since it's a forest and an actual old stone barn rather than a set up building. I grew up going to farm haunts, and they're very effective. Trust me. And who doesn't love a haunted hay ride? RIght on. Admission is $14-$38 depending on how many attractions you want to see, and kids cost less as usual. Parking is free.

Photos courtesy of IrenaS, lockphilip, jefe46, and mountainhiker via flickr, and hauntedadventure.com.

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