A Rocky Horror revival, a pug party and seven other things to do for Halloween in Toronto
A TIFF costume party
Toronto’s cinematic hub transforms into a mausoleum for Boombox, the TIFF Bell Lightbox’s annual costume party. The night has all of the classic Halloween party staples, including live music, dancing and a costume contest, plus some strange extras, like a celebrity séance and a lip-sync drag show. Proceeds from the event support film-based education, community outreach and filmmaker development. Thursday, October 25. $125–$175. TIFF Bell Lightbox.
A spooky night at Ripley’s Aquarium
If Jaws taught us anything, it’s that sharks can be scary. For Halloween, Ripley’s is channelling some horror movie inspiration to transform Toronto’s aquarium into a spooky party space. At Dark Waters, attendees can dance underwater to tunes from DJ Shamz and DJ Cozmic Cat. (Skinny dipping is strictly prohibited.) Friday, October 26. $30. Ripley’s Aquarium.
A monster mash at Casa Loma
Casa Loma’s immersive theatrical experience features an all-star lineup of boogeymen, including Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Phantom of the Opera and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. For Legends of Horror, attendees tour the gardens, tunnels and secret corridors of the castle, witnessing scary events along the way. To Wednesday, October 31. $45. Casa Loma.
A Howl-O-Ween pug meet-up
This Saturday, for the monthly Trinity Bellwoods pug meet-up, an army of costumed dogs will take over the west end for a parade. The get-ups are likely to be more cute than scary, but it’s an optimal chance to fit in some prime dog-watching. The afternoon features a green carpet walk, a photo booth and some post-parade play time in the Park’s dog bowl. Saturday, October 27. Free. Trinity Bellwoods Park.
A night with the king of kid-lit horror
Goosebumps mastermind R.L. Stine was the king of scary stories for anyone who grew up in the ’90s. This Halloween, the horror icon is stopping by Roy Thomson Hall to talk about his writing career and the events that inspired classics like A Night in Terror Tower and The Haunted Mask. Attendees will have a chance to ask Stine their burning questions and get their books signed. Costumes are also encouraged, because what better way to meet R.L. Stine than dressed as Slappy the Dummy or the Werewolf of Fever Swamp? Sunday, October 28. $22–$67. Roy Thomson Hall.
A Rocky Horror revival
Some things never get old, and The Rocky Horror Show is one of them. Whether you’ve seen Richard O’Brien’s iconic film once, twice or a dozen times, the beloved story of Brad, Janet and their cross-dressing Transylvanian friend never fails to put a person in the Halloween mood. This year, swap out a move night for a live version at the Lower Ossington Theatre—it’ll be a highly antici…pated show. Thursday, October 25 to Sunday, October 28 and Wednesday, October 31. $55–$65. Lower Ossington Theatre.
A terrifying tradition at Exhibition Place
As its name suggests, Screemers is designed to make you scream (or cry). So if you like to be scared on Halloween, you can spend your night at Exhibition Place running from freaky madmen who look like they want to kill you. The “attractions” include seven haunted mazes filled with over 120 scare actors, plus unlimited rides on the Midway of Horrors, a new magic thrill show and cocktails at the Vampire Lounge. To Wednesday, October 31. $40. Queen Elizabeth Building, Exhibition Place.
A silent dance party
There’s a moment at every party when the DJ plays an earworm you can’t stand, but at Hemingway’s silent rooftop disco, you won’t be forced to sing along. As three DJs spin a mix of 90’s and 2000’s throwbacks, top 40 hits and hip-hop, guests have the ability to control what they listen to through wireless headphones. Built-in LED lights are coordinated with the three channels, so it’s easy to find a crew to dance with. Bonus: if you want to ask someone about what their costume is supposed to be, you won’t need to yell over the music. Saturday, October 27. $10–$20. Hemmingway’s.
A nightmare on Church Street
If you think trick-or-treating is reserved for kids, you’re wrong. For Halloween, the Village is hosting a massive street party. The six blocks between Wood Street and Gloucester Street will fill with costumes and treats, and cafés, bars and stores will special events all night. Wednesday, October 31. Free. Church-Wellesley Village.