Calgarians looking to get their fix of the supernatural this Halloween can find plenty of spooky scares with real ghosts.
At least according to Heritage Park. And only if you join them in one of their Halloween season ghost events.
“You get to hear a lot of true accounts of ghost stories that people have been sharing with us and that we’ve collected from from staff and guests over the years,” said Barb Munro, communications manager with Heritage Park.
The final Heritage Park Ghost Tours of the season end this Thursday, but the park has more ghastly events planned for those who like to meander with the macabre.
Not so frightening food
Starting on Oct. 21, the park is offering up Ghosts and Gourmet. This event pairs up a three-course meal at the Wainwright Hotel with a guided tour of the park at night.
“While they’re dining we have somebody sharing some ghost stories throughout the dinner and then everybody sort of breaks out into groups and then they go on a guided go through the park,” said Munro.
“The special thing about the Ghosts and Gourmet Ghost Tour is that you actually go into a few of the buildings,” she said.
Pre-pandemic the tours allowed patrons to enter one of the buildings during their walk. Ghosts and Gourmet will take seekers of the supernatural into two.
The event offers patrons of the paranormal a different type of park experience. Normally reserved for private events, patrons will be able to drive up to and park at the hotel.
Love at first fright?
Munro also said that the Ghost Tours and Ghosts and Gourmet events have been great date nights for park patrons.
“People just love Halloween and Heritage Park, and it’s a great sort of date night event that you can do,” she said.
One of the popular stops for tour goers has been the Prince House. The house saw three of Peter Prince’s four wives die within the home, along with Peter himself.
The house has been alleged to have be haunted ever since.
According to Heritage Park, the most famous spirit of the house is the Lady in White who is often reported to have been seen in the nursery.
Both of the events are ages 16+ and are intended for adults.
No fear for families with Ghoul’s Night Out
The park is also offering a family-friendly alternative to the more historically accurate tours.
Ghoul’s Night Out has been created for kids aged three to nine, but Munro says it’s for anyone who loves Halloween.
“You know, the park is so fun at night,” she said.
The event decorates the park with spooky Halloween props and has different characters for the kids to interact with.
“So nothing too scary,” said Munro.
“We had a scarecrow that that tells jokes,” she said. “And some years we had a witches flash mob so they’ll just break out into dance in the middle of the street.”
Food venues will be open. New for this year, kids will be able to trick or treat at the historical houses in the village.
Kids are also encouraged to dress up in costume.
“They’re not they’re not going to leave here terrified… they’re not going to want to leave because they’re having fun,” said Munro.
Making Halloween Covid-19 safe
Heritage Park has taken part in the province’s Restrictions Exemption Program.
Masks have been made mandatory throughout the park when indoors.
The Ghoul’s Night Out event has introduced timed ticketing to manage the flow of crowds.
Additionally, the format of the Halloween event changed to meet pandemic precautions.
“We’ve we’ve moved most of the activities outdoor, and have moved away from a lot of sort of high touchpoints to more of just visual entertainment,” said Munro.
The park has also stepped up cleaning of attractions and rides after visitors have used them.
Getting tickets for Halloween
Park patrons are encouraged to get tickets early as the Ghost Tours regularly sell out. Visitors should also check back regularly in case an event is sold out.
“I would say if people are interested to check our website because we have been having some cancellations just because of a Covid,” said Munro.
The final Ghost Tour of 2021 runs on Oct. 14. Tickets are $23 per person.
The Ghosts and Gourmet events run from Oct. 21 to Oct. 23. Tickets are $79.95 per person.
Ghouls Night Out starts on Oct. 28 and runs until Halloween. Tickets are $11.95 for kids aged three to 12, and $16.95 for anyone aged 13 and up.