There’s a chill in the air
Screamfest owner, Mike Sheppard, says to “bring spare underwear” because it’s that frightful time of year again, and the biggest celebration of all that goes bump in the night has commenced above and below the grave.
According to Sheppard, Screamfest is the largest Halloween event in Calgary.
“Our whole goal is to give people a memorable time,” said Sheppard.
He warns people to be wary “we will scare you.”
This year Screamfest have added on to their entertainment for all ages with shows, rides and escape rooms.
It’s year 12 for Screamfest and 17 for Sheppard in the horror-festivities industry. He said he got started at horror festivities in B.C., with the Halloween event ‘Frightnight’ that he created and is still in operation.
Sheppard said if you’ve been down to the Calgary Screamfest grounds before, there are new attractions this year worth returning for. The new events this year includes zombie paintball, axe throwing, escape rooms and the slingshot ride that featured every year at the Calgary Stampede.
One of the highlights of the event takes place on Thursday, Oct. 26, Screamfest’s Adult Night, where liquor is licenced throughout the grounds, featuring burlesque shows and an after party at Cowboy’s.
“Scaring takes training,” said Sheppard.
Hundreds of employees and thousands of volunteers prepare months in advance for the weeks leading up to Halloween.
“For some of our staff, it takes hours to put their costumes on.”
If Halloween lovers are still missing out on festivities, there are many other ghoul friendly events around town.
The date for next year’s annual Zombie Walk is booked for Friday, Oct. 6, 2018. Public relations manager for Zombie Walk, Alison Mair, is preparing next year’s plans with Don’s Hobby Shop to create the walk of an undead lifetime.
“Having just a bunch of zombies walk down the streets of downtown definitely makes an impression,” said Mair.
According to Mair, every year leading up to Halloween, Don’s Hobby Shop hosts zombie tutorials and special effects makeup classes taught by makeup professionals.
Another event, suggested by Global News and Avenue Calgary, is the Train of Terror at Aspen Crossing.
The Train of Terror fires up Oct. 8 to 30 this year, and is now a yearly event for Halloween developed by current SAIT student, Jay Pocza. This event is made for adults only and features railway carts filled with creatures out to terrorize you while the train is in motion.
“I truly believe it’s [the Train of Terror] the scariest in Calgary,” said Pocza.
“People want off. One year we had a girl hyperventilate.”
Whether ghouls are looking for a scare or work, all Halloween events look for volunteers to scare and to share the love of the spooky season.