Halloween-themed fall getaways for friends
Scare up some Halloween fun this fall with your friends in Ontario.
Fear and Brunching in Southwest Ontario
The legendary Fear Farm at Snyders Family Farm in Bright returns with wandering zombies, fire eaters, illusionists, fortune tellers and a haunted house. It runs during September and October, so book in advance. Paris Fair at the Paris Fairgrounds, is an agricultural fair filled with food, shopping, midway attractions and non-stop entertainment from September 1–5, 2022. Or head to Ireland House Museum in Burlington for some fireside ghost stories and specialty spooky cocktails at Spirits with Spirits.
Stay: The Arlington Hotel is a gorgeous heritage property in downtown Paris … Ontario.
Eat: The hotel restaurant, edit., serves a fine weekend brunch, or visit the rooftop patio at Stillwaters Plate & Pour (weather permitting).
Drink: Enjoy a seasonal special at the Paris Beer Company, located in the Paris Wincey Mills Co., a year-round market hall. Or head to the Brickhouse Brew Pub nearby in Woodstock to sample Upper Thames Brewing Co. craft beer.
Terror to Terroir in Niagara
Brace yourself for an epic apocalyptic battle at Zombie Attack, one of several terrifying attractions along Clifton Hill, Niagara’s Falls’ famous street of fun. Check out more hair-raising thrills at Ghost Blasters, Haunted House, House of Frankenstein and Nightmares Fear Factory. Don’t miss Haunt Manor on Lundy’s Lane, Canada’s largest haunted attraction. And find out why Niagara-on-the-Lake is Ontario’s ‘most haunted town’ on a guided Ghost Walk. Purchase tickets in advance for the Ghost Tours of Fort George that take place in late October. Horror film buffs won’t want to miss Frightmare in the Falls at the Niagara Falls Convention Centre on October 28–29, 2022.
Stay: Discover the eerie history at The Olde Angel Inn, Ontario’s oldest operating inn.
Eat: Enjoy panoramic views of the falls at Massimo’s Italian Fallsview Restaurant in Niagara Falls, casual fare at The Grist Craft Kitchen & Brewery in St. Davids or pair a farm-to-table menu with award-winning sparkling wine at Trius Winery Restaurant. There have been claims of sightings of a ghost with a ghoulish past that often appears at the site once occupied by the Buttery Restaurant, which is now Corks Winebar & Eatery.
Drink: There’s no shortage of options for wine lovers in the winery-rich Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Escarpment regions, but if you’re craving a craft brew head to the Niagara Brewing Company or Silversmith Brewing Co.
Explore the Haunted Side of Hamilton
From hauntings at Dundurn Castle and The Custom House to morbid tales at Albion Falls, spooky stories abound in Hamilton. Uncover these and more on the guided Dark History Tour of Hamilton.
Stay: The Barracks Inn in Ancaster is just the right balance of heritage and luxury or find all the modern amenities at the Sandman Hotel.
Eat: Although you may not catch the ghostly sightings reported on Augusta Street, you will find great places to eat like The Ship and B-Side Social.
Drink: Look for Halloween-themed events at Hamilton’s craft breweries, including Collective Arts Brewery, Grain & Grit Small Batch Beer and Clifford Brewing Company. In Ancaster, the Coach and Lantern is the place to go for drinks, entertainment and tales about its ghostly past.
Cheers and Chills in Kitchener-Waterloo
Explore macabre stories of murder and mayhem from Kitchener’s past on a guided evening walk along back alleys and side streets with Badass Berlin Walking Tours. Experience bone-chilling terror at Bingemans Screampark with six horrifying haunts that are not recommended for kids. Visit the Waterloo County Jail and the Governor’s House in Kitchener. Built in 1852, the jail is the oldest existing government building in the city and is said to be haunted by the spirits of former inmates.
Just 30 kilometres north of Waterloo, Monster Month takes over the villages of Elora and Fergus in October with zombie walks, a twilight zoo and other Halloween events.
Stay: The Walper Hotel is an iconic 1893 downtown landmark boutique hotel, reputed to be inhabited by a benevolent paranormal presence.
Eat: For a hearty stick-to-your-ribs meal, head to Lancashire Smokehouse for Southern-style BBQ or visit Proof Kitchen + Lounge, one of Waterloo’s favourite weekend brunch spots.
Drink: Oktoberfest, Canada’s largest Bavarian festival takes place September 23–October 15, 2022, so get ready to link arms and celebrate the spirit of ‘gemuetlichkeit’ with great food, beer and polka dancing. Craft beer fans will also want to make the pilgrimage to Waterloo Brewing, Ontario’s original craft brewery, to sample their signature series.
Pro Sports and Scares in Toronto
Canada’s most cosmopolitan city has its fair share of scare. Casa Loma, the fabled gothic mansion atop the city, opens its doors again this season for Legends of Horror, an hour-long, self-guided sleuth through the mansion past nooks and crannies not usually open to the public. For horror film fans, Toronto After Dark presents nine days of the best new thrills and chills from the world of cinema, October 19-23, 2022.
Enjoy the thrill of a pro sports game. Catch the Blue Jays (ends early October), Maple Leafs (starts early October), Argos (end late October) or Raptors (start early October) and pay a visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame, possibly haunted.
Stay: Legend has it that screams and footsteps have been heard in the 19th-floor stairwell of The Fairmont Royal York, one of Toronto’s most distinguished historic hotels. There have also been reports of the empty service elevator riding up to the closed Crystal Ballroom. At the Gladstone Hotel, some claim to hear a piano playing in a part of the historic building that has no piano.
Eat: Bring your appetite and your sense of adventure to Storm Crow Manor.
Drink: Toronto’s Craft Beer Market offers over 150 taps of draft beer, the largest selection in Ontario.
Haunting Season in Vaughan
Canada’s Wonderland, Ontario’s largest theme park transforms into a nighttime scream park this haunting season during Halloween Haunt with monsters, scare zones, thrilling night rides and live shows. Make reservations in advance. It's best for kids 13 years and up and runs for select nights between September 23 and October 30, 2022. Keep the fear alive at Screemers scream-inducing walk-through mazes.
Stay: Aloft Hotels provides upscale comfort in the heart of downtown Vaughan and close to popular attractions.
Eat: Feast on the fresh and high-quality seafood flavoured with delicious seasoning, sauces and spices at The Captain’s Boil.
Drink: Catch up with friends while you check out the latest sports events on the big screen TV and choose from an extensive list of craft brew offerings at The Mills Taphouse.
Ghostly Encounters Along Georgian Bay
One of the most popular Halloween events in Ontario, Pumpkinferno is an extravaganza of carved pumpkins with a sound and light show, and themed Halloween experiences at Discovery Harbour in Penetanguishene. Get your tickets early—they sell out quickly.
Survive the Scream Shack, a petrifying escape game in Midland that is not for children or the faint of heart. Keep your eyes wide open as you pass through Balaclava, one of the many ghost towns in this region.
Stay & Eat: Blue Mountain Village offers a variety of accommodations with special packages and deals, plus shopping, dining and special events.
Drink: On a warm, fall day, enjoy a vineyard picnic and wine tasting at Coffin Ridge Winery.
Halloween Haunts in Peterborough
The Historic All Hallows’ Eve at Lang Pioneer Village is an all-ages event that explores the roots of Halloween with magic shows, fortune tellers and more on October 28 to 29, 2022 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Are you ready to brave corn farm zombies in The Stalking Dead Escape Maze? Not recommended for players 13 years or younger. Join Trent Valley Archives on one of their Eerie Ashburnham Walking Tours, led by the light of a lantern.
Stay: Enjoy the indoor/outdoor pool and waterfront views at the Holiday Inn Waterfront.
Eat: Start your day at the Silver Bean Café in Millennium Park and end it at the Ashburnham Alehouse Café on Hunter Street East. With over 100 variations of poutine, The Whistle Stop Café is a must.
Drink: Catch live music or take a brewery tour at the Publican House Brewery.
Delve into Kingston’s Dark Past
Take Kingston’s original haunted walk through the old Sydenham Ward of Canada’s original capital. It features haunted hotels, tales of hidden burial grounds and grave robbings, the site of hangings at the old courthouse and the city’s famous haunted courtyard. Or ride the Ghost and Mystery Trolley Tour through Kingston’s paranormal past to haunted spots like the Rockwood Asylum, the Cataraqui Cemetery and the grave of Sir John A. Macdonald.
Visit the infamous Kingston Penitentiary that once confined Canada’s most notorious criminals. Enter cells, segregation rooms and recreation yards on the 90-minute guided tour and expect full-body goosebumps. Don't miss out on tickets for the Ghost and Mystery Cruise, an evening cruise along Kingston’s harbour that will be full of mystery and intrigue. Fort Henry National Historic Site is a UNESCO World Heritage 19th century military living museum that transforms into one of North America’s top haunted houses each Halloween season. Fort Fright taps into our deepest fears with nightmarish scenes of death, decay and creepy clowns.
Stay: Guests at the Rosemount Inn receive an added touch with its services and hospitality. Check into stylish accommodation at Frontenac Club with suites that have large windows and cozy fireplaces. The hotel also provides history tours for those interested in its storied past.
Eat: Choose from a bevy of seasonal local selections on the menu at Everly. Take in the magnificent views of Kingston’s waterfront while dining at Aquaterra.
Drink: Kingston is home to great craft beer, discover your new favourite flavour with Kingston Brewery Tours.
Ottawa’s Scary Secrets
Canada’s capital comes in at a solid 10 out of 10 on the scare scale. The Haunted Walk hosts several spine-tingling tours. Descend into the city’s paranormal past on the original haunted walk, tours of haunted jails and the homes of former Prime Ministers or embark on an interactive zombie adventure deep inside the Diefenbunker Museum, a former military bunker from the Cold War era or attempt to survive one of several other spooky themed escape rooms from Escape Manor. Tucked away beside the Bytown Locks, the Bytown Museum is one of the city’s oldest buildings and is said to be home to the restless spirit of its construction manager.
For the ultimate terror, Saunders Farm is hosting The Sawmill 2 Underground, for 13 nights only, tickets are limited.
Stay: Check into the grand, historic Hotel Fairmont Château Laurier and keep an eye out for the phantom of its previous owner, who tragically perished on the Titanic.
Eat: Dine in or take-out at Queen St. Fare in the ByWard Market.
Drink: Stop by Bicycle Craft Brewery to sample a flight of the latest seasonal beer or round up the crew and hop on board a specially curated bus tour of Ottawa’s breweries with Brew Donkey.
Ghosts and Zombies of Perth
Don’t let the idyllic setting fool you, fear and frights abound in the town of Perth during the Halloween season. Learn about the sordid past of this pretty place on the Perth Ghost Walk led by a local historian.
Keep an eye out for details on the Perth Zombie Walk and costume contest, as well as the carved pumpkins on display after dark at the Crystal Palace.
Stay: Pine Brae Accommodations provides off-the-grid glamping in a cozy cabin that is perched on a hilltop. Surrounded by nature, the views are sensational.
Eat: European-style dining at Maximilian Restaurant is just steps away from the Tay River, with a menu that features schnitzels, goulash and seasonal sausage. Order a side option of homemade mashed potatoes or butternut puree at family-owned Stone Cellar, known for traditional meals.
Drink: Enjoy the small-town atmosphere with brews from Laketown Beer Co. and spirits, moonshine and dessert liquors at Top Shelf Distillers. Book a spot on the patio of O’Reilly’s Ale House, and savour the latest selection of craft beers, ciders and seltzers.
Mysteries in Muskoka and Almaguin Highlands
Make the trek up to Screaming Heads, a large farmland north of Burks Falls that’s home to eerie installations and massive concrete monoliths.
Beyond the scenic beauty of the fall foliage in Algonquin Park lies an unsolved mystery. In 1917, beloved artist Tom Thompson (associated with the Group of Seven) drowned on Canoe Lake, within the park. Many speculate that he was murdered and still haunts the lake. Rent a canoe from The Portage Store and paddle on Canoe Lake.
Paranormal Muskoka offers unique guided and self-guided haunted heritage tours in Muskoka and Almaguin Highlands.
Catch a show at the Gravenhurst Opera House, but be forewarned, local lore suggests a former employee haunts the theatre by altering the lighting and temperature.
Stay: The Inn at the Falls in Bracebridge is rumoured to have more than one resident ghost.
Eat: Portage Store Restaurant has a casual dining atmosphere with access to a patio. There’s also a large window inside with great views of Canoe Lake.
Drink: Sawdust City Brewing in Gravenhurst has live entertainment that fuels its energetic atmosphere. Over on Brewery Beach Road in Bracebridge, Muskoka Brewery continues to showcase a variety of popular brews. Katalyst Brewing recently added non-alcoholic beer to its creations.
Restless Souls of Sudbury
Northern Ontario’s largest city grew from its humble roots as a mining town and holds a myriad of dark tales from its struggle to prosperity. Due to the rise and fall of the mining industry, there are many defunct mine pits and ghost towns surrounding Sudbury, like Sellwood, abandoned in 1932. Today, if you take a walk where the town once stood, all you’ll find is a scattering of ruins and the graves of three young children.
Northern Screams Attractions host the Fields of Fear, three gory and gruesome scenarios to survive in Capreol, in the north end of the city along the Vermilion River. While in Capreol, catch the terror train to Sellwood Asylum at the Northern Ontario Railroad Museum and Heritage Center, an annual haunted attraction.
Select weekend evenings in October, you’re invited to wander the spooky Haunted Heights Trail in McCrea Heights. Check out the special Halloween-themed frights and delights taking place at Science North and Dynamic Earth.
South of Sudbury towards Killarney is the site of Burwash Camp Prison, an abandoned prison that now sits on a private land. Contact the property owners at Avalon Eco Resort directly for permission to visit and to arrange a tour of the ruins.
Stay: Eateries and pubs are within walking distance of the cozy historic estate at Parker House Suites, or you can stay indoors to prepare a meal in your suite kitchenette.
Eat: Relish delicious handheld food at Laughing Buddha and savour satisfying pasta meals at Ripe. Sumptuous Mediterranean dishes and lots of sharable options are available at The Kouzzina. Respect is Burning serves Nonna-inspired pizzas. Enjoy Mexican delights at Tucos Taco.
Drink: Stack Brewing and 46 North Brewing celebrate everything good about craft brewing in Sudbury.
Things that Go Boo in the Soo (Sault Ste. Marie)
Sign up for a Haunted Hike Through Hiawatha Highlands, held on select Friday or Saturday evenings by Forest The Canoe. Your guide will share ghoulish stories as you explore the woods at dusk. And check for new dates and details for the annual Halloween Drag Show and Dinner held at the Marconi Cultural Event Centre.
Stay: Water Tower Inn is a family-operated accommodation with over 45 years of hospitality service in Sault Ste Marie.
Eat: At Antico Restaurant, authentic Italian flavours proudly prepared with passion are infused in the menu options led by the culinary artistry of owner Arturo Comegna, who has been cooking since he was 12. Create your own burger with your favourite toppings at Burger Don, a prohibition-themed hamburger restaurant known for its tasty comfort food.
Drink: Homegrown Outspoken Brewery has become a big presence in the community with its bold flavoured brews.
Journey into Terror in Thunder Bay
On weekend nights throughout October Fort William Historical Park, one of the largest and most unique living history attractions in North America becomes one of the most sinister during Haunted Fort Night. Book tickets for the terrifying tour through this recreated fur trade post in advance, available in September.
Stay: What was once the Superior Court of Justice is now the Courthouse Hotel, a beautiful boutique hotel.
Eat: Caribou Restaurant offers a diverse menu inspired by international cuisine and boasts a robust selection of wine.
Drink: Kick back and quench your thirst with locally made brews from Sleeping Giant Brewery.
Visit Festivals and Events Ontario to discover more seasonal fun in Ontario.
Last updated: March 11, 2023