In September and October, the Ottawa area is filled with beautiful fall colours… as well as ghosts, goblins and treats! This year, popular Halloween festivities are back (some have been modified for health and safety), plus a few new live and virtual options. Whether you want to get spooked in the city, the countryside, or at home, you’ll enjoy these Halloween-themed events and activities (in order of start date) in Canada’s capital region.
Note: The information below is valid as of September 20, 2023. Reservations are required for many if not all of the options listed below.
Haunted Walks of Ottawa – Guided tours and new virtual experiences
Various locations and dates
The Haunted Walk is offering both on-location and at-home spooky fun. Join one of their popular walking tours of downtown Ottawa and follow a cloaked guide as they recount the city’s dark past. One tour takes you inside the historic Carleton County Jail-turned-hostel which is known as one of the most haunted buildings in North America. Tours are offered after dark, plus a less spooky afternoon option to visit the jail.
If you prefer to stay home, you can now conduct paranormal experiments at any time with The Haunting At Home – A Paranormal Adventure. This online interactive audio experience features ghost stories and the chance to communicate with “the other side."
And for a special LIVE online experience, try the Virtual Haunted Campfires on select evenings in September and October. Top storytellers, haunted tour guides and ghost researchers from around the world share some of their favourite ghost stories and terrifying tales around a virtual campfire (family-friendly, but best for ages 12 and up due to frightening content).
Proulx Maple & Berry Farm | Sept. 17 – Oct. 29, 2023 (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. Enjoy mazes, wagon rides and other farm fun (weekends and some weekdays).
And at night, the farm becomes Skreamers – A Haunting Experience, a spooky site where there have been reports of blood-curdling screams, a foul stench, unexplained power outages and inexplicably large crops. Skreamers is not recommended for children under 10.
Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg, ON | Sept. 29 – Oct. 29, 2023 (select dates)
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! Stroll the one-kilometre route and marvel at the eclectic scenes from exotic places and historic ages, meet up with forest animals and sea-born creatures, see storybook heroes, mythical characters, cultural icons and more. Make sure to bring a camera! Special accessibility nights allow those with physical limitations to drive through the site.
Acres of Terror
Cannamore Orchard, Crysler, ON | Sept. 29 – Oct. 29, 2023 (select dates)
Cannamore Orchard, about a 40-minute drive outside of Ottawa, presents terrifying and fun programming for all ages including a Spooky Wagon Ride, House of Terror, Spooky Village and Fog Maze – and all of it is wheelchair accessible. Daytime programming is modified to be family-friendly, while the evening experience is for those who are looking for a scare.
Haunting Season, Fright Fest and campfires
Saunders Farm | Sept. 23 – Oct. 31, 2023 (select dates)
The 31st Haunting Season at Saunders Farm promises daytime and nighttime fun! Daytime attractions for children include hayrides, mazes, puppet shows, play structures, jumbo pillows and The Coven (a spooky outdoor trail).
The farm’s Fright Fest offers nighttime fun for older kids and adults, including The Haunted Hayride, The Coven and The Shambles. You’ll also enjoy street theatre, farm-fresh food and craft beverages. (Fright Fest is not recommended for children under 10). Two-hour campfire sessions are also available on select evenings.
There are 5 updated haunts, a new rainbow-coloured Jumbo Jumper and two new state-of-the-art escapes, along with paved, accessible, well-lit pathways (NEW!).
Lansdowne | Oct. 13 – 31, 2023 (select dates)
Local Halloween programming experts from Saunders Farm are producing once more Ottawa’s hit indoor/outdoor haunted attraction: The Sawmill. The event takes you on a tour near the historic Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne in the Glebe neighbourhood. You’ll find out about a lost colony of millworkers from Ottawa’s early days discovered under TD Place’s South side stands during renovations in 2008. The experience features the latest in scare technology, over a dozen live actors and street theatre performances. Not recommended for kids under 12 years old.
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?