When you’re young, Halloween has little to do with fear. Sure, there are ghosts, goblins, and witches roaming the streets, but most of them are just other kindly tots on the hunt for full-size chocolate bars, same as you. Sure, it can be a little spooky, but the only real fear is that your parents might eat all your candy.
As you age, however, the holiday tends to become about the fear factor. Maybe you watch a horror movie or visit a haunted house. Maybe you light a candle at home and try to conjure a few wayward spirits: Halloween becomes about the hunt for genuine scares.
If that’s you, look no further. There are dozens of Halloween events around Metro Vancouver this year, and while many of them are of the family-friendly variety, there’s also a handful of experiences that are anything but — these three events, for example, are way too scary for children. They may even be too scary for you.
Playland’s annual Halloween event has a truly terrifying premise: as you shuffle nervously through the eerie, dimly-lit space, actors jump out at you. It’s like attending a Fringe Festival, but instead of handing you pamphlets, the actors swing prop axes and get all up in your face, screaming bloody murder. It’s a very intense experience.
There are eight haunted houses to explore at this year’s event. And in addition to the murderous clowns, chainsaw-wielding guys, and headless women in old-timey nightgowns, Fright Nights features blood-chilling rides, gripping live shows, and plenty more.
The event runs through Oct. 31 at the PNE Fairgrounds.
Reapers Haunted Attraction & Maze of Terror
What’s scarier than having to drive all the way to Chilliwack? The terrifying, pitch-black corn maze you have to navigate once you’re out there.
Reapers is insane asylum-themed, with crazed patients and twisted doctors roaming the 22,000 sq. ft. maze of terror. And if that’s not enough for you, you’ll love the Chainsaw Massacre element, as a crazed man with a chainsaw chases you through the corn. Or maybe you won’t love it, since it sounds honestly terrible. The only thing less appealing to me than being lost in a Chilliwack corn field is hearing a chainsaw-wielding psychopath approach. But hey, maybe I’m just a coward. If you’re a braver soul than I, go play hide and seek with Leatherface, see if I care.
Reapers runs through Oct. 31 at 9423 Gibson Rd., Chilliwack.
Potter’s House of Horrors
As somebody who loves gardens and hates ghosts, I can think of few things more unsettling than a well-stocked nursery that transforms into a haunted house. Typically at the garden centre, I want the only shock to be the price of a mature bromeliad. But Potter’s Farm in Surrey leans hard into the scares at their Halloween House of Horrors, where instead of shopping for plants you’ll be pooping your pants. Make your way through two haunted houses — either Devil’s Descent and the Death Valley Motor Inn, both of which boast all the latest animatronics, digital sounds, and high-tech scares, all alongside trained actors doing their best to make you regret going to the nursery at Halloween. The whole experience sounds just awful. You’ll love it.
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