By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
COVID-19 isn’t going to shut down every Halloween celebration in Victoria, British Columbia. Those events allowed to continue are smaller for a reason. Some are self-guided, like enjoying your time at two of this city’s most famous haunts–Hatley Castle at Royal Roads University or Craigdarroch Castle–and others are designed so you can wander cemeteries on your own and to appreciate the past.
Ross Bay Cemetery (with Sunday afternoon guided tours by Victoria’s foremost historian John Adams) is said to be the most haunted–if you believe the lore. Alternatively, theres attempting to find Doris, the famous Victoria Golf Course ghost. The latter is discouraged because the area is patrolled at night. But truth be told, it’s been said she’s moved on. Just what remains may well date to the time local aboriginal tribes who once resided here, prior to being converted to a huge sports park.
Not everyone wants to be confined into a coffin (at home) on the days leading up. Well, you have to be a certain famous vampire for that. The following is an ever-changing list as events are confirmed as a go by the Vancouver Island Health Association. If you have an activity which fits right in, please contact us or post in the comments section so others can enjoy!
Oct 29, 30 and 31. 8pm
Blue Bridge At The Roxy
2657 Quadra St
This sneak peek is only half of a bigger show. Brian Richmond’s new adaptation of the classic 19th century novel is going to be a four parter, and its arrival is certainly timely for the season.
Oct 15, 22, 29, 6 to 7:30pm
Tickets can be purchased online.
050 Joan Crescent
Victor Frankenstein created a monster. The terror and fear that monster inspired is legendary. But do you know the real story? Do you dare listen to it in the upper reaches of Craigdarroch Castle on a dark October night?
Actor Jason Stevens makes a rare non-Christmas appearance in this building’s dance hall (located on the 4th floor) with his interpretation of this classic gothic horror story. If you’ve been delighted by Jason’s one-man performance of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, you won’t want to miss his gripping take on Frankenstein.
Halloween Ghostly Walks
Oct 9–Nov 1, 2020
Meeting at Market Square
560 Johnson Street
From Market Square and beyond, this family run business has expert guides to through Victoria, BC’s haunted past. It’s a favourite amongst locals, and each person who takes you on this journey has their own unique approach to give you the chills. Dress warmly though, because this city can get quite chilly at night.
Pumpkins for Shelter
Oct 18 10am to 1pm
2500 Block by Estavan Ave.
This outdoor “pumpkin patch” event is a family-friendly event. There will be pumpkins for pick up, treats provided by Ruth + Dean, and a great family “photo op” with Nunn Other Photography, all by donation with proceeds benefiting local women’s shelters. Registration is required.
Galey Farms Corn Maze, Train Ride, Pumpkin Patch and Kids Haunted House
Oct 15 – 31, 2020
4150 Blenkinsop Rd
Tickets available online.
This city staple is open! Well, not quite, but for the youngin’s, they can get a joy of navigating around in a huge farm famous for their cherries and island vegetables. Looks like Carn Evil is making a return too! You just have to book a slot in advance.
Gouda Gabor’s Dinner and
A Drag Halloween Style!
Oct 31, 2020 6 to 10pm
1724 Douglas Street
For something intimate, this restaurant has a pairing perfect for couples! It promises to be fun, with the only way The Hallway knows. Tables to adhere to public health regulations.
Ocean View Estates Corn Maze
Oct 1 to 31st
7979 Central Saanich Rd
Admission and reservations can be booked here.
You’re on your own here, at Ocean View Estates with their corn maze. Just how nasty it can be depends on how daring, or deep you want to go, and how well you know your Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Victoria Bug Zoo’s
Virtual Halloween Costume Contest!
Oct 31, 2020, 5pm & 7pm
Entry by purchasing tickets online.
In addition to a virtual tour of this creepy crawly space filled with bugs, this operation has two costume contests that participants can phone into. The first is an all ages event and the other for adults.
Oct 26, 2020, 6 to 8pm
Quadra Village Community Centre
901 Kings Road
For a less scary, more family-friendly weekend activities, head to Quivering Village Carnival and Crazy Maze open from 6 to 8 pm. Kids will love their carnival games, a witch’s lair, photo booth, and a fortune teller.