Ghost walks can make for some of the best Halloween memories when you’re growing up. A neighborhood transformed into a haven of haunts, like you’re stepping into a Halloween Town ala The Nightmare Before Christmas, is pretty enthralling for a kid, in a scary-yet-fascinating-and-slightly-overwhelming way. Treat your fam to an experience that will spook and delight before Halloween – take your pick of one of these 5 well-loved ghost walks across Canada.
The St. John’s Haunted Hike (St. Johns, Newfoundland)
The oldest city in North America, St. John’s is home to some creepy legends. The dark alleys and laneways throughout the historic downtown serve as the backdrop for stories of murders, public hangings, and ghost sightings. The Haunted Hike’s founder, Dale Jarvis is an expert on the province’s folklore and has worked to make this walk a major treat. Choose between the Sinners & Spirits Tour follow along with a guide in period costume and hear fact-based stories, or choose the more family-friendly Ghosties & Ghoulies Tour for a walk based around humour and the supernatural.
Dates: Sinners & Spirits Tour, Sundays and Mondays at 9:30 p.m.; Ghosties & Ghoulies Tour, Tuesdays to Thursdays at 9:30 p.m.
Prices: $10 adults / $5 kids under 12.
Winnipeg Ghost Walk (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
This walk’s creator Matthew Komus (who wrote Haunted Winnipeg, Ghost Stories from the Heart of the Continent) created this walk to guide ghost story enthusiasts through the dark streets with stops at some of Winnipeg’s most haunted buildings. Stops along the way include the tales of historical hauntings at the Cube at Old Market Square, the Burton Cummings theatre, and the most haunted building in Winnipeg. The lesser-known creepy stories make this walk a gem.
Dates: Oct 8 -31, 7:00-8:30 pm
Fee: $15 adults / $10 youth
The Original Haunted Walk of Ottawa (Ottawa, Ontario)
Be led by lantern light through a few of the nation’s capital city’s haunted spots, including the Bytown Museum, the Fairmont Château Laurier and Ottawa’s haunted high school. Talented dramatists and storytellers give you a glimpse of the city’s dark past in the form of local stories and also ghost stories that have taken place throughout Canada.
Dates: Schedule and prices vary. See calendar for full details.
Prices: $14.75 adults / $12.75 students / $10.75 youth (10-14) / children (under 10) free
Victoria’s Discover the Past Ghost Walks (Victoria, British Columbia)
Created by John Adams, a historian and storyteller who has been leading tours of Victoria since 1970, the stories the ghost walks are built around are as well-researched as they are entertaining. There are 9 routes to choose from, but there’s also a dedicated Halloween route, which is different each year and we always includes a new batch of Adams / and his team’s favourite tales. Whichever you choose, your tour will allow you an eerie experience of Victoria’s most storied streets and alleys.
Dates: September 13 – October 15, nightly at 7:30 p.m. plus Fridays & Saturdays at 9:30 p.m.
Prices: $15 adults / $8 children under 8 / $13, students and seniors / $35 family
Ghost Tours of Niagara (Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario)
One of the most scenic towns in Canada, Niagara-on-the-Lake is also thought to be the most haunted. Experience a candle-lit Fort George after usual touring hours, a “haunted” version of the historic military post that defended Upper Canada during the war of 1812. The 2-hour walking tour will take you into the Officers’ Quarters, a building that is usually off limits, and explore in depth just a few of the hundreds of reports of paranormal sightings that have occurred here.
Dates: October 16 – 18, 23 – 25, 30 – November 1, 7:00, 7:15 & 7:30 p.m. 10:00, 10:15 & 10:30 p.m. (excluding Sundays)
Prices: $17 / all
Won’t be able to make it out to a ghost walk this year? Chill out and watch a few of these family-friendly Halloween movies instead.