by Aparajita Bhandari
“Boys and girls of every age: Wouldn’t you like to see something strange?” —Tim Burton, “This is Halloween”
October is always a rather frightening month for us students, and the horror that is midterms and term papers might seem like more than enough of a scare. However, at the end of October, just as midterm season winds down, arrives the glorious day that is Halloween. Halloween was one of my favourite holidays growing up, probably due to the amount of candy it entails. Now, while we might be a little bit too old to go trick-or-treating, there are still so many Halloween traditions to be enjoyed. Pumpkin carving, haunted-house going and costume making are all activities that have no age limit, and definitely should be part of your Halloween this year.
One thing about Halloween that does get more difficult as we get older is figuring out where exactly to go on All Hallow’s Eve. With trick-or-treating or the party with the neighbourhood kids now off the table, it might seem impossible to make a decision. However, luckily for you readers, I have done the research on 2015 Halloween events so you don’t have to. So, worry about your costume, not your plans, and read on – first, some U of T events and then some events from elsewhere in the city.
University of Toronto Events
(Many colleges, clubs and student unions also have smaller events for Halloween.)
October 30th: Scary Skate An annual event put on by MoveUofT. It’s a free skating event at the Varsity Centre Arena. Costumes are highly encouraged as well as non-perishable food donations. Everyone, from beginners to professional skaters, is welcome at this event. Skates are available for rent at the arena. (Cost: Free! Check out the event on Facebook.)
October 31st: Hart House of Horrors (19+ event) The biggest Halloween party on campus, with 1200 tickets being sold. The dance party is held in the Great Hall of Hart House and promises a thrilling night of mad scientists, macabre shows, and ghosts and ghouls galore. This year the sideshow of Carnival Diablo, a travelling show of human marvels and oddities, will be at the House of Horrors as well. (Cost: $ 10)
There are so many Halloween events throughout the city that I’ve decided to focus on free or low-cost options for all of us broke students.
October 31st: Church Street Party Church Street will be closed from Alexander to Gloucester for a full night of ghoulish partying. Tons of bars and restaurants participate in this unique experience with costume contests and Halloween night events. Even if you don’t have the money to go into every venue on the street, thousands of people put on the most creative and outrageous costumes and join the outdoor street party, so you can still have a spooky Halloween experience without going frighteningly broke. (Cost: Free!)
October 31st: Silver Snail’s Snailoween (19+ Event) Those who like their Halloween to be more about comic books and cosplay rather than goblins and gore should head over to Silver Snail’s comic book store. The now legendary event promises to be “the nerdiest Halloween experience in Toronto”. (Cost: $ 25)
October 26th-October 31st: Toronto Ghost Walk If you want Halloween to involve archaic gothic buildings and real-life scares, you can take a two-hour walking tour of the downtown area with the Toronto Ghost Walk. The tour takes in sites on the University of Toronto campus, crossing 15 hotspots of historical terror and pointing out all of Toronto’s darkest and creepiest history. Be sure to book tickets in advance! (Cost: $ 15)
Hopefully you all have a super, spooky, and safe Halloween! What are you doing this year? And let me know if I missed out any events that you think are a must.