If you’re visiting Ottawa in the fall, you’ll want to soak up some of the Halloween fun and festivities. Whether you want to get spooked in the city or frightened in the countryside, take your pick from the variety of Halloween-themed events and activities taking place throughout Canada’s capital region.
Haunting Season and Fright Fest
Saunders Farm | Sept. 22 – Oct. 31, 2018 (select days)
The 27th Haunting Season at Saunders Farm promises daytime and nighttime fun! There are over 35 daytime attractions for children, including hayrides, the discovery barn, a four-acre corn maze, 10 hedge mazes, original live shows, parades, amazing play structures, jumbo jumpers and nine farm fresh food booths.
The farm’s Fright Fest offers nighttime fun for older kids and adults, including six haunts: the Haunted Hayride, Barn of Terror, Coven and Big Top Fear House. There are also live shows, street food booths, and a tavern. (Fright Fest is not recommended for children under 10).
Pumpkin Fest and Skreamers
Proulx Maple & Berry Farm | Sept. 23 – Oct. 31, 2018 (select dates)
Each year, Proulx Maple & Berry Farm, located just 30 minutes east of downtown Ottawa, is transformed into a giant Halloween playground during the daytime (Saturdays and Sundays, Sept. 23 to Oct. 31).
And at night, leave the younger kids (under 10 years of age) at home to experience Skreamers’ Orleans Asylum for the Insane. The Asylum includes access to the laboratories, the Blaster Range (paintball), Urgent Escape Wagon Ride and Facility Canteen. (Weekends and select additional dates, Sept. 29 to Oct. 31.)
Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg, ON | Sept. 28 – Oct. 28, 2018 (select days)
Stroll through Pumpkinferno, a hauntingly beautiful and spellbinding outdoor exhibit of about 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins, set against a stirring night-time backdrop just inside the gates of historic Upper Canada Village! Marvel at this eclectic display of scenes from exotic places and historic ages, meet up with forest animals and sea-born creatures, see story book heroes, mythical characters, cultural icons and more. Make sure to bring a camera!
Haunted Walks of Ottawa – Special Halloween Season Tours
Sparks and Elgin Streets | Sept. 28 – Nov. 3, 2018
The Haunted Walk’s Halloween season offers exciting twists on existing tours and showcases special events, some of which are available in both English and French!
The “Ghosts and the Gallows: Are you Afraid of the Dark?” tour gives you the opportunity to explore the old Carleton County Jail, one of North America’s most haunted buildings, in near darkness. The premium version of this tour will allow you extra time to explore the darkened cells and haunted hallways, and take part in a few fun challenges.
The “Original Haunted Walk of Ottawa – Premium Edition” tour offers a dark twist on the tour that started it all! In addition to the classic local ghost stories of the Original Haunted Walk, you will be given the chance to explore the most haunted building in Ottawa, the Bytown Museum. You’ll never look at the city the same again!
Haunted House on the Hill
Billings Estate National Historic Site | Oct. 12 – 27, 2018 (select dates)
The Billings Estate National Historic Site, located just 15 minutes south of downtown Ottawa, is being transformed into a haunted house before Halloween. As you explore one of Ottawa’s oldest wood-framed houses, you’ll experience new terrors and chilling sights around every turn. This event is recommended for adults, and children under 14 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.
Incident at the Bunker: A Zombie Adventure
Diefenbunker Museum, Carp, ON | Oct. 13, 20, 27, 28 & Nov. 3, 2018
The Haunted Walk of Ottawa and The Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum are partnering again this Halloween to offer this interactive adventure deep inside the underground labyrinth of the Diefenbunker. What mysterious events took place around the time the bunker was decommissioned? Who or what still lingers in the bunker today? This Halloween experience is a perfect combination of storytelling, interactive challenges and unexpected surprises! Those who make it out alive will have quite the tale to tell! This experience lasts 60 to 75 minutes.
Haunt Nights and Children’s Halloween Party
Watson’s Mill, Manotick, ON | Oct. 18 – 27, 2018 (select dates)
Watson’s Mill, a historic grist and flour mill, is a natural place to host spooky events. During the Mill’s Haunt Nights (Oct. 18-20, 2018), you can enjoy a terrifying 3-floor haunted house (not recommended for children under 10). Young kids are welcome, however, to the Children’s Halloween Party on Oct. 27 for fun games and crafts.
Pinhey’s Point Historic Site, Dunrobin, ON | Oct. 20 and 27, 2018
Experience a traditional séance led by a psychic medium at the Victorian Séance. Learn how spiritualism was a popular and fascinating trend of the Victorian era in the time of emerging communication technologies like the telegraph and telephone. Light refreshments will be served. This evening event is recommended for adults 18 years of age and up.
Pinhey’s Point Historic Site, Dunrobin, ON |Oct. 21, 2018
The Haunted Horaceville event invites you to gather around a fire and listen to unsettling stories about the legends and lore of the Ottawa Valley. Take a lantern-lit tour of the historic house and grounds and sip on seasonal hot apple cider. Featuring guest storyteller Marie Bilodeau. This evening event is recommended for ages 15 and up.
Fairy Tale Frightfest
Billings Estate National Historic Site | Oct. 21, 2018
The Billings Estate National Historic Site is hosting the Fairy Tale Frightfest, an indoor and outdoor family-friendly Halloween celebration. See characters from your favourite stories who have taken over the Estate! Kids should wear their best costume and get ready activities, tricks and treats.
Canada Agriculture and Food Museum | Oct. 27 – 28, 2018
Visit the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum for their annual event, A Barnyard Halloween. Make some ghoulish treats including pumpkin pie ice cream, meet the Museum’s Mad Scientist and discover interesting facts about bats! Costumed visitors young and old alike can join the costume parade and children can decorate a pumpkin to bring home. All are welcome to visit the Museum’s spooky barn – enter if you dare…
Ottawa’s Great Pumpkin Charity Ball
St. Brigid’s Haunted Castle | Oct. 27, 2018
Celebrate Halloween in style at the 12th Annual Great Pumpkin Ball – a party in a deconsecrated church in the ByWard Market neighbourhood! Enjoy great live music, a DJ, door prizes, costume prizes, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and more. Proceeds benefit local causes.
Cumberland Heritage Village Museum | Oct. 28, 2018
Visit the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum, located less than 30 minutes east of downtown Ottawa for fun Halloween Hijinks. Put on your costume and enjoy treats as you follow clues to help identify the pranksters who are causing mischief at the museum.
Halloween at Rideau Hall
Rideau Hall | Oct. 31, 2018
Head to the historic Rideau Hall on Halloween night to enjoy fun Halloween-themed activities during their annual Rideau Hall-oween event. Venture onto the grounds, if you dare… This activity is open to children and adults alike. And it’s free!
Ottawa has a variety of escape room attractions to choose from all year long. Visit one with a group of friends and see if you can find clues and solve puzzles that will help you escape. In Ottawa’s downtown core, you’ll find Escape Manor, Room Escape Ottawa and Jigsaw Escape Rooms.
Also, just west of Ottawa’s downtown core in Carp, Ont., you’ll find Escape the Diefenbunker. Escape Manor and the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum have collaborated to host the world’s largest escape room. Can you escape from a four-story underground bunker? A reservation for these escape experiences is recommended.
For more fall fun, check out Ottawa Tourism’s suggestions of Awesome Autumn Adventures and Activities in Ottawa.