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Nine Ways to Celebrate Spooky Season in Peterborough & the Kawarthas

victorian parlour room with cobwebs on top of furniture and a green tint to photo

It’s spooky season! Whether you’re looking for something truly terrifying, a little bit spooky, or wickedly entertaining – let’s have some Halloween fun together.

Halloween Haunts in Peterborough & the Kawarthas

Pumpkinfest at Buckhorn Berry Farm

Take a wagon ride out to the pumpkin patch, pick your own pumpkin, play on straw bales, and explore the corn mazes. Here you can visit the farm store, enjoy food truck fare, get spooked in the haunted forest, and even watch the pumpkin cannon blast off. At Pumpkinfest, there is fun for the whole family to enjoy!

Event Dates: Weekends throughout the month of October

  • Pumpkinfest
    a bunch of pumpkins


    October 21, 2023 at 11:00 am—$11.95 – $44.25

    3055 Berrie Rd
    Lakefield, Ontario K0L 2H0 Canada

The Stalking Dead

At Escape Maze, zombies are on the loose and we need your help. Join a group of scientists searching the grounds of a new cult centre to figure out what these creatures are and how we can protect ourselves from them. Add zombie laser tag to your evening and get moving!

Event Dates: Thursdays to Sundays throughout the month of October

  • The Stalking Dead
    zombie in a corn field

    The Stalking Dead

    October 20, 2023 at 6:00 pm—$32.75

    156 Cedar Bank Rd
    Peterborough, Ontario K9J 6Y3 Canada

Other Spooky Fun to Enjoy this Halloween

All Hallows’ Eve

Discover the origins and traditions of Halloween at Lang Pioneer Village Museum with an evening of spooky fun. See how Halloween was celebrated in the 19th century and enjoy a fun evening featuring wagon rides, a maze, tasty treats, face painting, and ghost stories!

  • All Hallows’ Eve
    Man stands at the doorway of Blacksmith shop decorated for Halloween.

    All Hallows’ Eve

    October 27, 2023 at 6:00 pm—$15

    104 Lang Road
    Keene, K0L1C0

Halloween Fright Night at Canada’s Dinosaur Park

Walk through Canada’s Dinosaur Park decked out for Halloween complete with ghosts, goblins, bats, skeletons, monsters and clowns. Also featuring animatronic dinosaurs and rescued reptiles. Enjoy some scary – yet fun – entertainment for the whole family.

  • Halloween Fright Night at Canada’s Dinosaur Park
    A lizard climbing a statue

    Halloween Fright Night at Canada’s Dinosaur Park

    October 20, 2023 at 7:30 pm—$15 – $24

    2206 County Rd. 38
    Asphodel-Norwood, ON K0L 2B0

Get Acquainted with the Dolls at the Creepy Doll Museum

With the cool weather comes cozy sweaters, woolen blankets, and crackly little voices beckoning you from the shadow….
Celebrate the Creepy Doll Museum’s 5th Anniversary at The Theatre on King! Catch a quick puppet performance by Brad Brackenridge.

  • Creepy Doll Museum

    Creepy Doll Museum

    October 27, 2023 at 7:00 pm—$10

    171 King St
    Peterborough, ON K9J 2R8

Drag Bingo: Night of the Living Drag

Get ready for a spooktacular evening out at Delta Bingo & Gaming! Grab your friends, wear your best costume, and enjoy evening of wickedly entertaining drag performances, fang-tastic cash prizes and thrilling games.

  • Drag Bingo: Night of the Living Drag
    friends at casino

    Drag Bingo: Night of the Living Drag

    October 28, 2023 at 7:00 pm—$40

    1019 Clonsilla Avenue
    Peterborough, K9J 5Y2

Get Creative and Paint A Pumpkin

Check out this SPOOK-TACULAR paint night at Kawartha Downs, where you can paint a pumpkin with various levels of difficulty for anyone from beginners to experts!

  • Paint Nite: Halloween Pumpkin at Kawartha Downs
    painting of a pumpkin

    Paint Nite: Halloween Pumpkin at Kawartha Downs

    October 27, 2023 at 7:00 pm—$45

    1328 County Road 28
    Fraserville, ON K0L 1V0

Monster Mash! Have Fun at a Halloween Dance Party!

Dance the night away at Kawartha Downs on Halloween Weekend. Cash prizes to the three best costumes!

  • Pure Country 105’s Halloween Dance Party

    Pure Country 105’s Halloween Dance Party

    October 28, 2023 at 8:00 pm—$15

    1328 County Road 28
    Fraserville, ON K0L 1V0

Self-Guided Haunted Walking Tour (inspired by Trent Valley Archives‘ sold-out Eerie Ashburnham Ghost Walk)

Each October, the Trent Valley Archives shows of some of the haunted history of Peterborough’s East City. While this year’s tours are sold out… here are a taste of some of Peterborough’s spookiest stories.

The Lundy House Ghosts (236 Burnham Street)

In 1840, Reverend James Hartley Dunsford, publisher of Peterborough’s conservative newspaper, built a hotel on this property. He called it Verulam House after his home Township in Victoria County. He had hoped that a new bridge connecting Ashburnham and the town of Peterborough would be built at Maria Street to replace the fallen Hunter Street Bridge. As this did not occur, the hotel did not remain in business long. 

The hotel burned in 1859, and was replaced by this beautiful mansion, built by lumber baron William Snyder during the early 1870s. It was called Verulam House in acknowledgement of the previous hotel. 

The house was sold to James Lundy whose family lived here until 1937, after which time it remained vacant for some years. During that time, neighbourhood children would sneak up the fire escape to play in the former billiard room on the top floor. Apparently, it was always very cold in the room, even during the summer. Billiard balls and pool cues were known to fly across the room all by themselves. 

Spooky Encounters at the Maple Leaf Hotel (72 Hunter Street East)

A hotel has stood on this spot since the 1880s. The first was Lipsett’s Hotel, which burned in 1893. The Maple Leaf Hotel was its replacement. A back section was added on in the 1920s,and the building now houses multiple apartments. There is an entity that has been experienced on the main staircase which is just inside the front door. It has been seen as a dark shadow and felt brushing past people. 

In one of the back apartments, a voice can be heard on the radio – not an unusual occurrence, except that the voice can be heard whether or not the radio is turned on or even plugged in. The voice has asked the tenant in question, “How are you today?” and has referred to him by name. Moreover, it seems that privacy is not a consideration for at least one spirit in this apartment. Once, when another tenant was in his bathroom shaving, a puff of smoke wafted behind him. He could see it in the mirror, and he felt someone, or something, brush past him. There was no one else in the small locked room. He then heard a woman singing from the shower but found no one there. 

A family who lived in this building also heard noises, as if the building were still a bustling hotel: glasses clinking, people whispering and laughing, 1920s music playing, and the smell of smoke. Sometimes, the children’s toys would start up and move, specifically battery-operated cars, but they moved awkwardly, as if curious hands were trying to figure out how to operate these unfamiliar mechanisms – curious hands that are from the pre-battery era.

Peterborough Lift Lock (2320 Ashburnham Drive)

Welcome to Lock 21, the world’s highest hydraulic lift lock in the world… and perhaps the most haunted.

One employee has seen a pair of his hip waders standing on their own in the tunnel. Because the workers here enjoy playing pranks on each other, he assumed it was one of those days. He moved the waders aside but noted that the elevator was in the down position, and there was no one else in the vicinity. So then he tried to stand the boots back up like they had been before – with the feet positioned in a V-shape, as if someone had actually been standing in them. He could not make it work. These boots have also been spotted inside the elevator. There is no explanation as to how they might have got there. 

There are huge yellow cotter pins that lock the bays that hold the boats in the lifts. Every morning, a worker takes the elevator down to the concrete pad and checks to ensure that the pins are locked in place. One morning a worker turned around and noticed wet footprints leading back the way he had come. The steps would have had to pass him, but no one had been seen. They went a short distance from there and disappeared around a corner. By the time he ran upstairs to show his colleagues the tracks, they had dried up. The worker’s dog had been in the upstairs office the entire time and was found cowering underneath a desk. 

Peterborough Theatre Guild (364 Rogers Street)

This building was formerly St. Luke’s Anglican Church, dating back to 1877. After it was gutted by fire in 1959, a local group of theatre enthusiasts raised the money to purchase the burned-out shell. The first theatre production, which happened to be set during World War I, was staged using the burned-out church as a backdrop a few years later. It was a fundraiser to support the extensive renovations. In 1965, the Peterborough Theatre Guild opened its doors. This building has a few different hauntings. 

In the mid 1980s, a stage manager was alone in the building, sitting on the stage and reflecting on that night’s performance. He heard a door open and close backstage and was startled when he looked up and saw an older English gentleman approaching him. The man was wearing a blue blazer. The two men shook hands and chatted for about 10 minutes about that night’s show. The manager turned to point out something and then discovered that the Englishman had completely vanished. The stage manager thought the experience was very strange at the time, but eventually forgot about it – until about a year later. 

A local artist had painted the portrait of a man who volunteered at the Theatre Guild for many years. When the stage manager saw the portrait unveiled, he recognized the face of the man he had chatted with a year earlier. It was Cliff Chapman, affectionately known as Chappy, who had worked as the custodian of St. Luke’s Anglican church for many years before the fire, and also lived in the house next door with his wife, Mabel. As it turns out, Chappy had died in 1983, some time before the stage manager ever met him. 

Chappy has been seen, or sensed, many times at the Theatre Guild. In addition to his blue blazer, he also sports a green cap and a cane. There is even a memorial seat, number 14 in Row H, dedicated to him in the auditorium. There are those who say they can feel a warmth just above the seat cushion that cannot be felt on neighbouring seats. As well, this ghost has been known to hold latecomers and chat with them until a break in the performance, and then ‘usher’ them to their seats. He vanishes before the theatregoers can thank him.