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Author: Mike Morrison

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Banff Springs Hotel

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With haunted hotels, abandoned mines and ghost towns, it doesn’t get much spookier than Halloween in Alberta. Whether you’re looking for a short scare or a spine-chilling road trip, there are plenty of opportunities to give you and your Scooby Squad a scare that will last long after the candy has been eaten! You’ve eaten all the candy, haven’t you?  

Wailing Wayne 

Pack your bags and book a room at the Rosedeer Hotel, which you can find in the all-but-abandoned town of Wayne. Rooms range from $65 to $80, but while you may be saving on a great price, it’s not your wallet you’ll be worrying about as you turn off the lights and try to spend the night in a very haunted hotel. One quick chat with the staff of the Last Chance Saloon, which is attached to the hotel, will have you convinced that there’s probably no spookier place to spend your Halloween weekend. They say the hotel is in fact so haunted that you’re not even allowed to go to the second floor.  

So if you’re looking for a hotel stay that you won’t soon forget, cross the 11 bridges it takes to get to Wayne and give it a shot. But don’t say we didn’t warn you. If you’re not brave enough to spend the night, and we don’t blame you, The Last Chance Saloon will be hosting a Halloween Bash on Saturday, October 29th. 

Menacing mines 

Nearby you’ll also find the Atlas Coal Mine, a national historic site that’s known for its haunted history as much as its importance to the region’s history. The museum is open for tours, but it’s another place where the guides are all too happy to share scary stories of what happens when everyone goes home at night. Whether it be an orb of light or mysterious loud noises, visiting the mines isn’t something you’ll soon forget. 

Terrifying town 

While you’re in the area, make sure you find some time to explore the town of Rowley. Once bustling, its population has dwindled to eight people, and countless ghosts. The town features several still-standing spooky buildings, that will undoubtedly put you in the Halloween spirit.  

Haunted hotel 

The castle-like Fairmont Banff Springs is one of Alberta’s most famous hotels, and this year, it will be honouring its haunted history with unique ghost tours, as well a Halloween Gala featuring a live séance, make-up stations, fortune tellers, circus performers and live entertainment. While there, make sure you investigate the very spooky history of Room 873, which, after countless bone-chilling experiences, was sealed shut. Staff will also cautiously tell you stories of the ghost bellman and a phantom bride, both still haunt the beautiful hotel.  

Horrifying Heritage 

If you’re looking for a family-friendly experience, Calgary’s Heritage Park combines its fascinating history with plenty of activities for every ghoul in your family. Ghouls’ Night Out returns on Oct. 27 to 29 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and October 30th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. It’s a perfect night out for families with little goblins 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! A colourful Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration will no doubt be a favourite, as will the ghost train and monster photo parlour.  

For bigger ghouls, there’s Ghosts and Gourmet, which will feature a to-die-for dinner, spooky stories and a ghost tour featuring “permanent” residents of the park, if they dare. The dinner runs on Oct. 31, Nov. 1 and 2nd. 

Eerie Edmonton 

Those looking to bust some ghosts in Edmonton should sign up for one of several ghost tours. The Ghostly Walk through Old Strathcona highlights haunted buildings, homes and shops. The tour is based on true stories that come from the area’s residents and runs throughout October.  You can also go on a guided haunted hike through the University of Alberta campus, which features a fantastic history of ghosts, urban legends and mysterious events. Keep your eyes peeled for the little boy haunting The Rutherford House and the scientist who can often be found in the Power Plant. 

Ghastly gophers 

Lastly, while not exactly terrifying, the Gopher Museum in Torrington, Alberta is waiting to become your quirky Halloween tradition. The museum features dozens of dioramas featuring stuffed prairie dogs dressed in human-like situations like going to the post office, school and hunting (ironically). There’s even one with gophers getting married. And if the image of deceased gophers dressed as a bride and groom doesn’t give you Halloween chills, nothing will!

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