Actual ghost towns to haunted castles: A spooky guide to Halloween in Alberta!
Oct 13, 2015
Presented by Travel Alberta
The month of October is definitely one of the spookiest times of the year. And in a place as historic as Alberta, there’s sure to be some ghosts and goblins around every corner. So if you’re like me, and like looking to have a little fun around Halloween, here are some suggestions for you and your families!
The ghost town of Rowley
Of course it’s always fun to visit a good ol’ ghost town and luckily Alberta has a few of them. One of my favourites is Rowley. Once on the brink of abandonment, the town now features a population of eight. That’s eight people…countless ghosts. It’s three or four streets feature several abandoned buildings and homes, a few of which are either being restored or hope to be. If you’re looking to take some spooky Alberta photos, I would say check out this town, which is about thirty minutes north of Drumheller.
The Last Chance Saloon
Another spooky town on your ghost down tour definitely has to be Wayne, Alberta. Wayne used to be a bustling mining town of more than 10,000 people. Now little remains of the town except for perhaps my favourite bar in all of Alberta. The Last Chance Saloon, which harkens back to a bar that would have existed when it was built back in the 30s. Look for the wall which still features bullet holes from a shootout that once took place in the bar. The Last Chance saloon also features a hotel which is so haunted, the staff doesn’t even let people go up to the second floor. Last time I was there, the staff all admitted to hearing and seeing ghostly figures. It’s the perfect setting for their Halloween Bash which will be taking place on Saturday, October 29th. I honestly can’t think of a creepier place to spend Halloween. If that wasn’t creepy enough, to get to Wayne, you have to cross eleven one-way bridges. If one of them were to ever wash out, you might be stuck there forever….mouhahaha! (or like a day.)
Little Boo Halloween Bash at the Atlas Coal Mines
Albertans have always known that the Atlas Coal Mines are haunted, but on October 30th, families will get to experience just how icky, sticky and gooey the mines really are! Every year, the Atlas Mines become a host to hundreds of little ghosts and goblins for their annual Little Boo Halloween Bash. Featuring everything from Pumpkin Bowling to the Glow Room, and even a hauntingly fun ride! At only $5 per victim…I mean person, Little Boo is the right price to enjoy some family-friendly chills.
Little Boo runs on Sunday, October 30th from 12:00 until 4:00pm.
Spend the night in a haunted castle!
Not that you ever need a special reason to book a room at the sensational Banff Springs Hotel, but if you’re looking for the haunted hotel experience, now might be the perfect time to check into the long thought to be haunted hotel. In the week leading up to Halloween, the Banff Springs is offering Halloween Heritage Ghost Tours. It’s a special package that comes with your accommodation and admission to the ghost tour. Then on October 29th, the hotel is hosting the Haunted Halloween Gala, which will feature admission to the ghost tour, a live séance, complimentary make-up stations, fortune tellers, circus performers and live entertainment well past the haunting hour.
Can you escape Escape before it’s too late?
Have you ever wanted to play a board game in real life? That’s the basic idea of game rooms, which are popping up all over the province. In Edmonton, you can find Escape City, which forces guests to work their way through a series of clues, riddles and puzzles in order to, wait for it, escape the room. The rooms come with some mysterious themes that make them a perfect Halloween destination for those looking to add a little excitement and thrills to their normal Halloween activities.
Okay this one could be both scary and funny, but isn’t that what Halloween is about?
Enjoy the spooky history of Heritage Park!
For two weekend’s this October, Heritage Park is getting a ghostly makeover! After an extra spooky run last year, Ghouls’ Night Out returns on October 27-29 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and October 30th from 4:00pm – 7:00pm. It’s a perfect night out for families with little ghouls, who are looking for a fun, safe night out. Evening activities include a Halloween dance,Broomhilda’s Skyscrapers Flying Academy, crafts, stories and games, a pumpkin patch,a haunted Tinkerman’s Toy Shop plus much more! Brand new attractions at this year’s event include a colourful Dia de los Muertos celebration, a ghost train and monster photo parlour.
For the bigger ghouls, there’s the Ghosts and Gourmet, which will feature a to-die-for dinner and spooky stories! Brave guests will enjoy an evening of spirited tale telling and meet the fascinating, permanent residents of the Park, if they dare. The dinner runs on October 31 & November 1st and 2nd.
For those looking for something a little more strange…
The Gopher Hole Museum is likely one of Alberta’s most famous museums, and with good reason. Since opening almost twenty years ago, the museum, which features costumed gophers staged in a variety of dioramas, is as curious as it is hilarious. The dioramas feature gophers in every-day human situations like getting married, going to the post office, school, and hunting (I assume ironically.) Admission for the museum is only $2 and well worth the drive, no matter where you’re coming from.