Halloween events will have families howling

There’s some scary fun in the fall air around the North Okanagan this Hallow's Eve.

Gabriel David Sumegi Newman takes visitors on his Ghost Tours of Vernon on Monday and Tuesday

Gabriel David Sumegi Newman takes visitors on his Ghost Tours of Vernon on Monday and Tuesday

There’s no shortage of Halloween events in the North Okanagan this week.

Besides all the parties in licensed establishments, trick or treaters have plenty to go, see and do while all dressed up.

The Okanagan Science Centre’s Drains of Darkness Haunted House is now open for those brave enough to enter.

The centre has been transformed into a cesspool of old, dark culverts, spooky research posts and bone chilling mountaintops populated by talented actors.

Open from 6 to 9 p.m. today through Sunday as well as on Tuesday and Halloween Wednesday, this version of the popular annual event is not for the weak hearted or very young. Admission is $7 plus HST for OSC members (with card) and $8 plus HST for non-members.

Youngsters and those less likely to faint at the sight of a severed head can check out the OSC’s Screams of Scientific Delight Junior Haunted House, which is open from noon to 4 p.m. today through Sunday as well as on Halloween Wednesday. The lights remain on for this tour through the science centre that features many fun hands-on activities for this kids. Admission is $5 plus HST for OSC members (with card) and $6 plus HST for non-members.

Those wishing to experience an outdoors adventure may want to head over to The Hub Arts Collective then to the Caetani Cultural Centre for the Toonie Tales and Caetani Lantern Festival and Parade, Saturday.

The event starts at The Hub, downtown next to the Towne Cinema on 30th Avenue, with the Toonie Tales at 5:30 p.m. Patrons can listen to stories inspired by drawings of the Caetani family created by artist Ryan Robson before the lantern parade sets off at 6 p.m.

The parade will be led through the streets of Vernon by the Kalamalka Highlanders Pipe Band before arriving at the Caetani centre on Pleasant Valley Road, where a fair full of fortune tellers, masked artists, and others will appear.

Everyone is welcome to come dressed in their finest festival regalia or just as they are, masked or unmasked, with or without lanterns.

The Greater Vernon Museum is also offering families a place to show off their costumes, paint pumpkins and partake in Halloween activities for its Ghosts and Goblins event Saturday. Visitors are asked to dress in costume and join museum staff for some ghoulish fun.

Hours are from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is by donation and space is limited. Pre-register by phoning the museum at 250-542-3142.

Also, starting outside the museum, The Ghost Tours of Vernon returns for two evenings only.

Catch host/storyteller/ paranormal scholar Gabriel David Sumegi Newman on Monday and Tuesday at 7 p.m. for a walking tour of local “haunts,” while Newman regales with ghost stories and macabre historical oddities.

“The rustle of leaves, the dark shadows, and the smell of fall makes the Halloween tours especially enjoyable,” said Newman, who has been conducting this storytelling walking tour for nine years.

Tours leave at 7 p.m. from the steps in front of the museum and run rain or shine or snow, so dress appropriately.

Ticket price is $10 for those over the age of 12 and $5 for those 12 and under (cash only). No reservations are necessary unless you want to book a private tour for 20 or more. Contact Newman at 250-260-8757 for more info.

Out in the fields of Spallumcheen Saturday, Historic O’Keefe Ranch’s second annual Paranormal Halloween is the perfect setting for a fun-filled evening. There, visitors will determine if the historic buildings at the ranch are haunted, finding out what the investigations have shown, and what ghostly tools have been effective in hunting the spirits down. There will be seven demonstration stations, a ghost walk and tour of the cemetery, a Halloween hay ride and raging bonfire.

Sponsored by the Canadian Paranormal Society and the Okanagan Paranormal Group, admission is $25 per person and $40 per couple plus tax. Tickets can be purchased online at www.okeeferanch.ca or call 250-542-7868 for more information.

And last but not least, the Downtown Vernon Association is once again hosting the Halloween Treat Trail on Wednesday from 3 to 5 p.m. Kids 12 and under should wear their costumes and visit participating merchants identified by orange and black balloons to receive a treat. A map is available at the DVA office, located in the old train station at 3101-31st St.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!