• By: Sofia Donato

Pumpkinferno, FrightFest and more: Halloween in Ottawa 2020

There’s nothing quite like the Halloween season in Ottawa. It’s one of our favourite holidays here in the capital and one that we take ghoulishly seriously. Throughout the city, you’ll find spooky events at every turn with jack-o-lanterns lighting the way.

As well as exciting events out and about, there will, of course, be scary specials lined up for the perfect movie night in, with new titles coming to Netflix. Horror fans can delight at new game releases, such as Frictional Games’ Amnesia: Rebirth and you’ll also find Halloween themed slots such as Crazy Halloween at some of the top Canadian casinos like 7Bit Casino.

So, buckle up and get ready to discover all of what Ottawa has to offer this Halloween.

Let’s start with the un-boo-lievable cool Pumpkinferno in the Upper Canada Village. The annual attraction draws in thousands of enthusiastic fans every year with its incredible lights displays. You can take snaps as you walk around, and make sure to set aside about 45 minutes to see it all.

Unfortunately, due to COVID, the footfall will be considerably less this year. The number of visitors each night will be reduced from upward of 5,000 to a maximum of 360. With this in mind, if you do want to make a trip this year, book sooner rather than later. Doors opened on September 25th and will remain open until October 31st. As with all events, don’t forget to take your mask and follow the guidelines when you arrive.

Another Halloween treat (or trick if you’re scared!) is the month-long FrightFest out at Saunders Farm. The location is around 30 minutes from downtown Ottawa. Of course, downtown will also be kitted out with Halloween displays. So, set enough time aside for both!

FrightFest is a world-famous Halloween destination packed with rides, haunted houses, markets, and more. Sit by the campfire and tell your most haunting ghost stories and listen to others if you dare. FrightFest runs from September 11th until November 1st, but tickets are selling fast. As with Pumkinferno, it is running at a heavily reduced capacity. Only around 5% of the usual number of fans will be able to join this season, so don’t miss out.

If you’d rather stay home in the warmth and away from all the ghosts and ghouls, there’s still plenty to sink your teeth into. Horror films are never in short supply, and one of our favourite releases this year has been the Invisible Man. This movie is sure to give you all the frightened feels, so why not check it out?

Netflix has also announced its October listings which include some top titles. The follow up to the massively popular Haunting of Hill House, the Haunting of Bly Manor will surely be another hit. Anything set in a country manor in England is enough to give us the chills but throw in a dead nanny and paranormal activities, and we’re hooked.

Other releases include Rebecca, Hubie Halloween, Oktoberfest: Beet and Blood, The Worst Witch: Season 3, Insidious 1, 2 and 3, and The Silence of the Lambs. That’s enough to keep you terrified for most of October!

Coming out to coincide with the horror season are several highly anticipated games. The pick of the bunch for us comes out on the October 30th release of The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope. It is the second of eight planned episodes and has already been billed as better than the first. The Dark Pictures Anthology follows the massively successful Man of Medan series, and players can enjoy this interactive co-op series on X-box, PlayStation, or PC.

Whatever you plan to do this Halloween season, be sure to make it one that counts in Ottawa.

Photo: Frederick Tubiermont, Unsplash