Never-ending Halloween

You can experience the horror all year round at these GTA events

Halloween may have passed, but who says you can’t experience the horror all year around? Below is a countdown of four events you must go to and experience.

4. Haunted Walk — Toronto

Whether it’s fall or summer, there’s always time for ghost stories. Grab a friend and join a tour guide, who will take you down the busy streets of Toronto, to old haunted buildings. Each place holds an eerie story, that will have you turning your back to see if you’re being watched.

3. Esc It — Markham

Imagine waking up locked in a room with the sound of a timer ticking down from 45 minutes. A piece of paper lies next to you, and on it are instructions on how to get out. Each clue is crucial to finding the key to unlock you from your nightmares.

Esc It Markham is the very first escape business that opened in the GTA. With eight rooms to choose from, the games range from easy to hard, and can have up to 7 players participate at one time. Can you beat the clock?

2. Halloween Haunt- Canada’s Wonderland

Everyone has heard of the 12 days of Christmas, but what about the 13 days of Halloween Haunt?

Although this event happens once a year starting from early October until Halloween, there is a lot of preparation that goes into creating those jump scares.

Media Relations representative Shannon Kelly says the planning begins at least 10 months in advance starting from January 1st.

Enter at your own risk
Enter at your own risk (Shannon Kelly )

“The team meets regularly to brainstorm themes, along with set designs for the mazes and other attractions,” Kelly said.

Spirit Manor is a brand-new maze where demons and spirits are around every corner. However, the Halloween Haunt team thought it would be a good idea to bring back Slaughter House- the very first maze ever created.

“It was a crowd favourite and now it’s back!” Kelly said.

This Halloween expect to see over 500 monsters, two scare-zones, 10 blood-curdling mazes, and spend some time in the dark, on thrill rides.

“A little secret, we usually go after those who stand in the middle of the crowd,” Kelly said. “They seem the most petrified!”

Over 500 monsters out to scare you
Over 500 monsters out to scare you (Shannon Kelly )

1. Nicholas Wallace — The Séance

What’s in a good ghost story? Is it one that stops you from making that midnight stroll down the stairs and into the kitchen for a glass of water, or the inability to fall asleep, because of the nightmares that await you in your dreams?

Illusionist Nicholas Wallace knows.

A spotlight on a white-sheet covering a rocking chair #ThingsAreGettingCreepier #TheSeance
A spotlight on a white-sheet covering a rocking chair #ThingsAreGettingCreepier #TheSeance (Suzanna Dutt)

He has been practicing magic for nearly ten years; when he decided to create a show for die-hard-horror fans and skeptics.

It so happened that he crossed paths with a Director by the name of Luke Brown who was working on a show in Hamilton about Horror author H.B. Lovecraft. Brown was looking for someone to design illusions.

“He invited me in and I mentioned I always wanted to do a theatrical séance. He really liked the idea and that’s how it was born,” Wallace said.

Brown and Wallace spent months reading horror novels and watching films, before they began planning the show now known as The Séance.

The Seance will be happening at the Theatre Passe Muraille
The Seance will be happening at the Theatre Passe Muraille (Suzanna Dutt )

In anything Wallace does he always looks for a hook other than just having a magic or mind reading show.

“I prefer having a premise and using the magic as a tool to explore the idea,” Wallace said.

And that is exactly how the séance begins.

Tickets from the box office have been picked up. The show is said to run for 90 minutes.
Tickets from the box office have been picked up. The show is said to run for 90 minutes. (Suzanna Dutt )

The lights come on and a thick haze covers the room. Wallace walks onto the stage holding a candle and introduces himself.

The 90-minute-presentation, starts off with the history of spiritualism and spirit communications. Once that has been covered, the show gets very interactive.

Audience members are shown ghost photography and few are selected to participate in using a Ouija board to connect with the dead.

It's a full house. #NicholasWallace picks the first member out of the audience. #WhatWillHappenNext
It’s a full house. #NicholasWallace picks the first member out of the audience. #WhatWillHappenNextIf that doesn’t rattle your bones, during the climax someone is chosen out of the audience to become a medium. (Suzanna Dutt)

“We’ve had people before, who became very upset as they took it as reality. But this time around I’m having people get it that it’s a scary show,” Wallace said.

Although there is a lot of screaming and jumping, the audience members are also having fun.

“We throw in some humor to diffuse the tension,” Wallace said.

From the two and a half weeks running, The Séance has received positive reviews in both Hamilton and Toronto.

A audience member is chosen to be a medium in the seance.
A audience member is chosen to be a medium in the seance. (Red Eye Media )

Wallace owes it all to a quote by director Alfred Hitchcock: There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.

“We definitely followed his advice in the show,” Wallace said.