Skyler Ash for Toronto Life 

Now that we’re well into October, pumpkins are popping up on doorsteps, grocery store shelves are stocked with chocolate and theatres are screening classic horror flicks. With Halloween only a couple of weeks away, we’ve compiled a list of the top hilariously horrifying haunts to get you into the spirit, ranked from kid-friendly to nightmare-inducing.


The Cranfield House

450 Pape Ave.

Although you can’t enter this famous dwelling, you can at least take selfies in front of Riverdale’s Cranfield House, the place where ItOrphan Black and The Strainshot scenes. Visit soon though, as plans to plop a condo on this site are in the works. Which reminds us of something else that’s pretty frightening: the rate at which Toronto demolishes beautiful old architecture. Free.
Rating: 4 out of 10. But would die for a glimpse of Tatiana Maslany.


Thornhill Woods Haunted House

1 Krisbury Ave., Thornhill, thornhillwoodshauntedhouse.com

The yard of this Thornhill house gets a scary makeover every year. Although you can’t enter the home, you can ogle the elaborate outdoor sets. It’s an ideal trip for anyone with children, or those who appreciate festive decor. All of the money made is donated to SickKids, and in 14 years the owners of the house have raised over $110,000. Free but donations are strongly encouraged. Oct. 29-31.
Rating: 5 out of 10. Get kinda spooky and really charitable at the same time.


Haunted High Park

11 Colborne Lodge Dr., highpark.org

High Park: beautiful by day, terrifying by night. Attendees will hit up Colborne Lodge—said to be haunted by the architect’s wife and a few dead soldiers—to learn about funerals. You can join in on a seance while munching on some “spooky” refreshments. We’re not exactly sure what that means, but the promise of snacks is intriguing. $32.50. Oct. 28.
Rating: 6 out of 10. Higher if there are not enough snacks to go around.



Burlington Ghost Walks

Emma’s Back Porch, 2084 Old Lakeshore Rd., Burlington, burlingtonghostwalks.ca

Take a trip west to the city of Burlington, which is apparently haunted by everything including animate dolls, head-turning statues and a smoking soldier. The real scare here, however, is the tour company’s website, which seems to predate the internet itself. $12. Saturdays until Nov. 11.
Rating: 6/10. It’s scary how long it will take you to get back home.


Fort York After Dark: Lantern Tour

Fort York, 250 Fort York Blvd., fortyork.ca

Fort York was the site of the Bloody Battle of York in 1813, where almost 200 soldiers lost their lives. Now, you can lose your mind on a terrifying nighttime tour of the fort and it’s lighthouse, both of which are haunted, of course. This tour isn’t recommended for children 8 and under. $13.50. Oct. 23-27.
Rating: 7 out of 10. It’s a bone-chilling history lesson.


The Haunted Walk

Departing from the Hockey Hall of Fame, 30 Yonge St., hauntedwalk.com/toronto-tours

With a variety of different packages, these spooky tours offer something for everyone. Wander through U of T’s haunted halls, the Distillery District’s cobblestoned streets or the grounds of Black Creek Pioneer Village. If you want an extra-creepy experience, make sure to sign up for the Victorian seance at Black Creek (guess there wasn’t much else to do in those days). From $19.75. Daily in October.
Rating: 7 out of 10. The thought of life before smart phones.


Terror Train Ride

Waterloo Central Railway, 50 Isabella St., St. Jacob’s, waterloocentrailrailway.com

Hop aboard the Terror Train, where commuters take a journey through an infected nightmare zone. If you’re 19 or over, you’ll start your ride with a “vaccination” (in other words, a Jello shot). This ride isn’t recommended for those 12 years of age and under. $39.95. (For an extra $10, you can gain admission to Bingeman’s ScreamPark) Wed., Oct. 31.
Rating: 7 out of 10. Scarier than the TTC during cold and flu season.


Halloween Haunt

1 Canada’s Wonderland Dr., Vaughan, canadaswonderland/play/haunt.com

Word on the street is that this seasonal Wonderland attraction is actually pretty scary now. It’s got rooms like the Forest of Fear and the Devil’s Circus, neither of which sound like places that you should bring small children to. Not to mention the 700-plus human monsters who are paid to make you scream. From $35.99. Select nights, Sept. 29-31.
Rating: 8 out of 10. Bring a change of pants.


Bingemans ScreamPark

425 Bingemans Centre Dr., Kitchener, bingemans/screampark.com

Walk your way through a series of scary sets like the “preparation penitentiary” and the “experimental grounds”. Different frights await you around every corner, but there are no refunds for chickens, so it’s best just to tough it out and live with the emotional trauma. For an extra $5, staff will bury you alive (temporarily, that is). From $29.95. Oct. 5-7, 12-14, 18-21, 23-28.
Rating: 8 out of 10 in general, but a 10 if buried alive—that’s the stuff nightmares are made of.


Fear Farm

936685 Blenheim Rd., Bright, fearfarm.ca

This 100-acre farm is definitely not promising a day of frolicking and family fun. Featuring six different attractions including The Stalking Dead and the Carnevil, there is something to tickle everyone’s freaky fancy. If you’re the kind of person who gets a kick out of being scared, this is the place to be. From $33.99. Sept. 28–Oct. 28.
Rating: 10/10. Old MacDonald’s farm this isn’t.