Something wicked this way comes: Halloween events in Prince Rupert

Three community events celebrate the spookiest holiday this weekend, Oct 27-31

Nisga’a Hall Haunted House

Friday and Saturday, Oct. 27-28

The youth at the Nisga’a Hall put on their fourth annual haunted house. (Submitted)

During its first two years, many requested that the Haunted House at Nisga’a Hall stay open for two nights. This year, the youth group is obliging their patrons and adding a third hallway to the frightful display.

“They just have more ideas,” said Sabrina Clifton, the programs manager for the Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Society. “They have more props they want to use.”

The event is run and decorated mostly by the youth to fundraise for the Gathering Our Voices Aboriginal Youth Conference. Last year, 10 members and three chaperones were able to attend the four-day conference in Kelowna.

Clifton said the event is a good opportunity for the kids’ creativity to shine through. Zombies and a butcher’s room full of body parts are not unusual sights in this haunted house.

“They do really good with their makeup, and all their ideas. They get really excited for the day.

“Some of the kids get so scared, though,” Clifton said with a laugh. “We usually tone it down if it’s going to be a younger elementary school age. When they come through, they give us notice to tone it down and not be too scary for them.”

Some people like to go through a few times, Clifton said. In that case, the kids always try to change it up to keep the surprises coming.

Tickets are $2 per entrance from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and each group tour takes about 10 minutes. A canteen is also serving goodies such as pizza — if you can stomach it.

Terror at the Cannery

Sunday, Oct. 29

The cannery transforms into a terrifying sight on Oct. 29 (Submitted)

The fourth annual Chamber of Chills is set in the cannery’s bunkhouse. The North Pacific Cannery National Historic Site’s haunted house has previously been held in the more industrial areas on site, but this year the chamber will explore life — and death — at the cannery.

“Something about closed doors and hotel-like accommodations is always unnerving because it’s a place of secrets. In an open industrial workplace, it’s hard to keep a secret, but when the doors are closed in the bunkhouse and you don’t know what’s happening on the other side, the little hairs on the back of your neck begin to raise because anything could be going on and probably is,” said Michael Gurney, who writes the story and narration for the annual event.

Be warned — there’s a suggested age restriction of eight years old and up for the narrated tour.

“Out of concern for younger people’s physiological reactions,” Gurney said.

In the first rendition of Terror at the Cannery, they had one child pass out, and last year a young girl lost control of her bladder.

“As the author of the story, I felt that was a great compliment to me because it was obviously so terrifying… that was sort of the highest honour that a haunted house could strive for,” Gurney said.

Journey through the haunted cannery at noon and 3 p.m. on Sunday. Entrance is by donation, and costumes are welcome. There will also be games and free treat bags for the kids.


Tuesday, Oct. 31

Halloweenfest celebrates 30 years in Prince Rupert (File photo)

“It’s hard to believe we’ve been doing this for 30 years,” said Hallowe’enfest volunteer Bev Killbery.

The free community event was originally devised as “something for the kids to go where they can be safe and get candy without parents worrying,” Killbery said.

Kids can win candy at more than 20 ghoulish and goofy games such as ghost bingo — scream ‘boo’ instead of bingo — the mummy wrap, and many pumpkin-themed carnival games. Raffle prizes such as round-trip VIA Rail tickets to Prince George, Rampage tickets and a tablet can be won. Shake your bones in the monster mash dance party as judges determine the best dance group.

“People really put on their thinking caps” for group costumes, Killbery said. “It’s a great night to meet your neighbours.”

The family-oriented event is easily accessible through public transportation.

The Jim Ciccone Civic Centre opens its doors at 6 p.m. and the costume parade starts at 6:15 p.m. Volunteers pass out Hallowe’enfest bags and free tickets for hot dogs and drinks. Fireworks end the night with a colourful display at 8:15 p.m. Donations are welcome.

In a media release, the Prince Rupert RCMP posted some tips for a safe Halloween, including carrying a flashlight, not entering houses while trick-or-treating, and only visiting well-lit houses. They want to remind the public that vandalism and operating, selling or making fireworks is illegal.

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