13 Halloween activities certain to haunt Edmonton this year

By Gene Kosowan

We Edmontonians begrudgingly admit that the term "Deadmonton" can sometimes rub us the wrong way – but at least we know how to take a joke. And there’s no better time to embrace the moniker of Deadmonton than during Halloween. Sit back, because these 13 Halloween activities scheduled this year could get bloody. [Photo credit: Science is Magic]

13 Halloween activities certain to haunt Edmonton this year

Murder Mime: The Musical

This production, which focuses on an opera singer who loses his voice, drew plenty of laughs when it premiered at the Edmonton Fringe Festival in 2014. With an eight-person cast, this dark comedy/musical is sure to haunt audiences as it plays at the ATB Financial Arts Barn until Nov. 1.

Halloween Howl

If you ever come across zombies, vampires or werewolves in your path, we can only offer one bit of advice – RUN! This event takes that philosophy a bit further, with a three-kilometre (km), five-km and 10-km fun run, with prizes available for the best costumes crossing the finish line. All proceeds go to the Alberta Diabetes Foundation.

School of witchcraft and wizardry

Experience an academic coming-of-age similar to what Harry Potter and his Quiddich-playing pals went through at this event that draws folks in with magic but blinds them with science. With explosions and surrealistic plant life up for perusal, how can you say no to this display of higher education?

Haunted Halloween at Hangar 14

No doubt X-Files fans still get goosebumps over memories of episodes surrounding the infamous Area 51 conspiracies in New Mexico. Get spooked Edmonton-style as our very own Hangar 14 gets an eerie facelift Oct. 28. Check out historic flying machines as they form a backdrop to all sorts of activities including a scavenger hunt and a slate of other spooky sidelines.

Pumpkin Patch Pyramids

Who says playing with plants can’t be fun? Chalk it up to the vivid imagination of the Muttart Conservatory brain trust to generate attention towards this event that promises some tomb-focused fun, especially considering the facility’s pyramid setting.

Halloween Monsters

Ever have a 20-sided dice determine your fortune? That may be one enticement to attend this event, but another draw is one the kids might dig. How often do you get a chance to create scary monsters and other creatures in a building that’s exhibited some of the greatest artwork out there, from Emily Carr to Andy Warhol?

The Boo! Revue

A cabaret sendup of all things scary is what’s in store in the heart of Old Strathcona, with cameos ranging from the monsters in Shrek to the villains from Annie and The Little Mermaid. But there’s a charitable element at play as well with part of the proceeds going towards the Canadian Red Cross Society.

The Mad Dogs Experience

Fear not – it’s not as though we’re about to drop you into a den of rabid canines. Instead, you’ll discover a funky tribute to the late Joe Cocker, whose spastic vocal delivery certainly had folks alarmed over how long the dude was going to last onstage. Members of Boogie Patrol will be in Halloween finery and rocking it all the way up to the rafters, with special guest Bill Bourne.

The Jesus and Mary Chain

For sure, this event might not scream "All Hallow’s Eve," but the guitar feedback from this Reid brothers alt-rock act would definitely be a perfect match for any George Romero film soundtrack. The show is part of a junket celebrating 30 years since the group's Psychocandy record, which galvanized a following of fans guaranteed to show up dressed in black.

World's largest indoor trick-or-treat festival

When it comes to events involving West Edmonton Mall, everything is oversized. And when it comes to getting free candy at some six pickup locations inside the complex, munchkins aren't likely to be disappointed. For kids 13 and under.

Halloween Mash

Cable and network television channels screen oodles of horror marathons near the end of the month, but nothing beats the experience of checking them out in a bonafide movie theatre that has lasted in the city for generations. For classic celluloid buffs, be afraid (be very afraid) when you catch the unspooling of a double feature of The Abominable Dr. Phibes and House on Haunted Hill.

The Monster

The thousand-plus pipes of the world-class Davis Concert Organ are guaranteed to get a workout when keyboardist Dennis James pounds on the ivories to accompany this Lon Chaney silent classic. Chaney plays a mad scientist in this thriller that, despite its hammy delivery, still retains its charm.

Those are just a few ideas to get you started as we enter the spookiest season of the year. Say what you will about "Deadmonton" – given this level of cultural activity, it’s safe to say this is a time when Edmonton is more than alive!

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