Halloween is around the corner, giving us another excuse to dress up, see friends, and, of course, indulge in a night of drinking. If you’re not spending the night trick-or-treating with kids, you may find it hard to get into the spooky spirit. However, there is plenty to do across the country during this commercialized holiday, whether you want a night on the town or a big bash with your closest friends.

WHAT TO WATCH

If you’re looking for a low-key night, or just love a good scare, there’s nothing like a movie marathon. If you’re craving something “tame,” turn to family favourites, like the Harry Potter or Halloweentown series. For a mild chill, try Paranormal Activity, or any of the Scream films. But if you’re really searching for a scare, IT, The Blair Witch Project, The Conjuring,  or the new Halloween featuring Jamie Lee Curtis are simultaneously cinematic and horrifying.

 

WHAT TO DRINK

Since the Halloween season is designed for extravagance, there’s no reason to be drinking a beer from a can. Just think of it as accessorizing with your drink. We’re using one of our favourite tequilas to craft some spooky cocktails for our Halloween party.

 

The Dark Side

 

1 oz. Casamigos Mezcal
.5 oz. Casamigos Blanco
.5 oz. Absinthe
1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 oz. Simple Syrup
.5 oz. Egg White
1/4 Bar Spoon Activated Charcoal

Method: Combine all ingredients into a tin shaker and dry shake (no ice) for 4-6 seconds. Add ice then shake vigorously. Strain into coupe glass and garnish with 1/4 bar spoon of activated charcoal over top of cocktail and swirl with a skewer.

 

 

Casa Candy

2 oz. Casamigos Blanco
.5 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
.25 oz. Simple Syrup
.25 Orgeat
Top off with Tonic Water

Method: Combine all ingredients, except tonic water into a tin shaker and add ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a tulip glass. Add fresh ice and top off with tonic water. Garnish with Cotton Candy (don’t let it touch liquid).

 

WHERE TO GO

 

Now that you’re truly in the monster mood, it’s time to grab your costume and hit the town.

Montreal offers a haunted hub for glitzy parties, underground bashes and annual community events that loyally coincide with the big day. If you are looking for eccentric theatrics, hit up La Voute’s annual Halloween Ball for a night of chills and thrills. On October 27th, Zombies are invading the streets, congregating at the Place des Festivals in the Quartier des Spectacles for the Zombie Walk around 1 pm before enthusiastically roaming around the city. Of course, no Halloween in MTL is complete without a screening of cult-classic “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” which will be screening at Cinema Imperial inside Place des Artes on Oct 26, 27 and 31st.

If you find yourself in Toronto this year, there’s plenty of paranormal activity around the GTA. A classic is the Halloween Haunt at Canada’s Wonderland, running all month long, complete with plenty of thrill rides, mazes and scare zones across the park. For an immersive experience, wander over to Casa Loma, where classic horror figures lead audiences through a one-hour self-guided walk winding its way through castle tunnels and dark spaces never before open to the public. The grounds of High Park are chilling after dark, where visitors can discover Victorian funeral and morning traditions inside the candlelit rooms of Colborne Lodge. If you’re looking to scream on the dance floor, Cabin Five is transforming into the Cabin From Hell for a massive bash, while Toronto’s largest nightclub Rebel presents Asylum, featuring Jed Harper + MC Stokes, Scotty Scratch and DJ Navas + MC Sketch.

Out west, Calgary has a diverse offering for All Hallow’s Eve, with ScreamFest returning for an extremely haunted walk throughout multiple houses with varying levels of scare. At Telus Sparkthere’s mixing potions, destroying pumpkins and Thriller dance lessons. On Oct 27, there’s an Adult-only party at the science center, complete with a DJ, food, and booze. For some other spine-tingling entertainment, step onto the Train of Terror, where you can expect low visibility, fog effects, tight spaces, and close encounters.

On the coast, Vancouver has some eerie attractions leading up to Halloween. Playland celebrates with Fright Nights and the PNE grounds, featuring half a dozen haunted houses and over a dozen rides. The Lost Souls of Gastown is one of the Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours that boasts terrifying tales of smallpox, fire, and murder within the neighbourhood, while the Secrets of Stanley Park tour will wind through the park’s seawall and forested paths while sharing stories about Deadman’s Island, cemeteries and crime scenes. On the weekend leading up to All Hallow’s Eve, Murdercon will be happening every night at Science World (19+),  or you could join UBC students on their weekend-long Halloween Club Crawl starting at 6 pm. The Opus Hotel will be hosting a Ciroc Vodka Masquerade on Oct 27th, but if you’re looking to get a scare on the 31st, head to the Nightmare in Stanley Park event, an adult-only after-hours party at the Aquarium.

Happy Halloween!

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Jane Bradshaw

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