Get ready for a spooky Halloween in Montréal!
This article was updated on October 25, 2018.
They say there’s ghosts walking the streets of Old Montréal (some of which you can spot easily in the Montréal en Histoires - Cité Mémoire lightshows throughout the area), and their presence is felt more at this time of year than any other. Montrealers love Halloween – little ghouls and goblins swarm the city’s neighbourhoods trick-or-treating door to door, while bigger kids party the night away at theme events and masquerades where creativity is key. We’ve compiled this list of some of Montréal’s most exciting Halloween events you won’t want to miss – and here’s hoping you make it out alive!
Tricks for kids (and kids at heart)
Bring the whole family to the Montréal Botanical Garden (part of the Space for Life area of facilities) for The Great Pumpkin Ball, including Esmeralda the witch, games and pumpkin decorating contests. The always-freaky Montréal Insectarium turns it up a notch with Spiders Unmasked, where you can share your arachnophobia en masse. Back outside, the Little Monsters Courtyard and the Gardens of Light lanterns extravaganza – featuring glowing artworks from Asian and First Nations cultures – will bring heart rates back down. Best of all, everything runs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily right up to Halloween.
The three maze levels of Laser Game Evolution will kick off their Halloween celebrations on October 26 with the No Limit party, featuring unlimited games, sweets and drinks for just $25 per person. The celebrations continue for the next six days, including make-up for little ones, a mystery box and a Panic Room. Meanwhile, down at Boulzeye, Lasertag-Billiard-Bowling, Halloween-themed bowling, laser tag and billiards are on offer for the whole family.
Pointe-à-Callière Montréal Archaeology and History Complex presents Strange Ghosts of Pointe-à-Callière on October 27 and 28, touring children through archaeological findings and telling haunting – yet tame enough for the young ones – tales of bygone times in Montréal, while the Stewart Museum turns off the lights and gives a spooky peek at history with the flashlights-only History and Memory.
The celebrated wax museum Grévin MONTRÉAL keeps the lights frighteningly low and the doors open until midnight, during which time we’re pretty sure the wax figurines come alive when you’re not looking. Take your chances on October 26 and 27.
From October 13 to 28, Exporail / The Canadian Railway Museum presents Railway Ghosts, featuring a haunted train station and mask-making activities. This is one train that won’t be arriving on time. Mowahahahaha! And if that’s not haunted enough for you, take one of Haunted Montréal’s three Ghost Walks – Haunted Mountain, Haunted Downtown or Haunted Griffintown. Had your own Montréal ghost sighting? The experts here also research paranormal activity and publish their findings on the Haunted Montréal Blog.
Artsy kids from the ages of 6 and up (and their parents) will love the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts mystery workshops on Sunday, October 28 at 1:00 PM and again at 2:30 PM, where participants will find inspiration both from the museum’s permanent collection and the spirit of Halloween. On October 31, the MMFA expands its hours from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM (with half-price admission from 5:00 to 9:00 PM), giving extended access to its eye-popping Alexander Calder: Radical Inventor exhibition.
Treats for grown-ups (not for the faint of heart)
2018 brings the first annual multi-venue Festival Halloween MTL, bringing chills and thrills all over the city centre. Fright night story times, improv sessions and lessons, a film screening celebrating the 40th anniversary of Halloween and back-from-the-dead concerts punctuate a packed schedule filled to the brim. We sent an intrepid Tourisme Montréal reporter to get the scoop, and you won’t want to miss what she’s uncovered.
Running from October 4 to 31, Malefycia creates a living, breathing place of horror for participants 18 and up, with live actors, spraying blood and terrifying effects so close to life you’ll be wondering what’s real and what’s not. This year promises more gasps than ever before – and as always, a suggestion to wear comfortable clothing, just in case. And speaking of escape, A/Maze Escape Games’ four locations around Montréal are offering special deals from October 26 to 31. Details on their website.
The undead take over the city on October 27, when the Montréal Zombie Walk returns to march slowly and kind of awkwardly but still scarily through the streets. Join (or run for your life from) over 10,000 zombies as they strike fear into the hearts of locals and visitors alike.
The minds at La Ronde asked themselves, “How do we make rollercoasters even more terrifying?” With the annual Fright Fest, the park mutates into a horror movie come to life, including chainsaw-toting zombies chasing you from ride to ride. Those with weaker stomachs may want to stock up on sick bags. Fright Fest runs from October 6 to 28.
If masked balls weren’t scary enough, the Observatoire Place Ville Marie adds on the thrill of heights on October 27 for their annual Bal Masqué at the Top!, all of Montréal stretching out below you at a worrying distance. Height and speed junkies will love the MTL Zipline as it rockets over the Old Port hanging from a single wire.
Secret Montréal takes guests back in time with their Ghosts of the red light district tour, exposing that some of Montréal’s streets aren’t quite as welcoming as you may think. There’s a reason the neighbourhood was nicknamed Sin City!
Mysterious and Spooky Grown-up Fun
Kinksters looking for some particularly adult thrills won’t want to miss Cirque de Boudoir’s Necropolis Halloween 2018 party at Théâtre Paradoxe on October 27. Keywords include fetish, freaks and fantasy – and a dress code that’s a couple of steps beyond the standard Sexy Nurse office Halloween costume.
And nothing quite says adult Halloween like The Rocky Horror Show, returning to the MainLine Theatre for performances from October 17 to 20. Don’t forget your hot dog wieners.
For those looking for a frightfully good meal, TABOO Cuisine Rebelle presents the Thriller Party on October 31 – reservations recommended, while Terrasse Nelligan promises Montréal’s first rooftop Halloween party with their ZOMBIELAND night on October 27. And psssst! Grab a gift at local jeweller Anne-Marie Chagnon’s boutique with your best Dracula laugh.
Mark Hamilton, blogger, Queer MTL community manager
Male, mid-to-late 30s, tall and bearded. Likes romantic walks on Mont Royal, long-distance cycling, beard oil products and antique travel guides. Has a bad habit of falling in love with men in vintage photographs who are certainly long dead. If he could be anything, he’d live his life as a professional flâneur. Until then, he spends his time writing, making music, and wandering.
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