My back was to the door, uncaring that it was filthy, covered in dust and grime. I gripped the arm of a complete stranger in terror and fright. Fortunately, she didn’t seem to mind as she appeared to be as scared as I was in the dark, abandoned tunnel beneath the former staff dining hall of the Tranquille Tuberculosis Sanitarium. Wait, hadn’t this also been an insane asylum back in the day? While I knew that this was just the immersive Tunnel Theatre show, my pounding heart relayed that it didn’t matter. I was scared witless, somewhere underground north of Kamloops.
The city of Kamloops in British Columbia’s Thompson-Okanagan region is well known for its scorching summer temperatures, wine trail, and sports tournaments. But as the leaves begin to fall, the scary side of the city reveals itself. In October, Kamloops transforms itself into Spookloops. Whether your tastes run towards terrifying fright or terrific fun, there’s a Spookloops event for everyone. From zombie walks in downtown streets to orange-dotted pumpkin patches and spooky Ghost Trains, enjoy any of these excellent Kamloops Halloween activities at Spookloops.

Halloween Spookloops in Kamloops Events for Adults and Teens 2018

Ghost Train

October 26, 27, 29 | Kamloops Heritage Railway

Embark, if you dare, on a dark and mysterious journey into the mists that separate the living and the dead. A cast of unsavoury characters will fill your night and your nightmares. All aboard as these dark and gruesome tales of love, betrayal, and insanity unravel. There are more scares and creepy characters than ever before this Halloween. So be careful not to lose your head… or your mind. PARENTAL DISCRETION ADVISED.

Tunnel Theatre – Padova: The Untold Story

Thursday’s, Friday’s + Saturday’s in October | Tranquille Farm Fresh

Tranquille Tunnel Theatre is back for a season of underground adventures this October. Kids have gone missing, and the police refuse to help. And there’s a report of an armed groundskeeper and strange activities in the abandoned tunnels underneath the former TB Sanitarium. Can you help find the missing teens in the dark tunnels of Padova? Presented in partnership with Chimera Theatre, Padova: The Untold Story will take you back in time to Padova City in the 1990’s. (Note: My teen loved this immersive theatre experience. I was terrified, see above.)

Nights of Fright!

October 27-29 | Sunset Valley Farm

The Nights of Fright haunted corn maze will have you looking over your shoulder as you walk or run your way through eight acres of terror. Wait, did you hear that corn rustle?!

Cirque Sinistre

October 22-31 | Sahai Mall Parking Lot

The Laughing Stock Theatre Society is back once again to host their haunted Cirque Sinistre circus and maze at Sahali Mall. The child-friendly day is Saturday, October 28th from 1 pm to 5 pm with a tiny haunted house for trick-or-treaters and lots of child-friendly games and free snacks for the little ones.

Escape from Padova

Thursday’s, Friday’s + Saturday’s | Tanquille Farm Fresh

An escape room from which you may not exit… The Escape from Padova is an escape room experience in the abandoned tunnels of Tranquille. It’s Canada’s only tunnel escape rooms with actors.

Here’s the story; there’s an abandoned sanitarium outside of town has just been purchased, and they’re now calling it Padova City. You heard that there is something strange about the new owner and wanted to check it out for yourself.

Late one night, you find an entrance to the tunnels under the deserted facility and break in. The cold, dark tunnel that stretches out in front of you seems endless. Suddenly, an echoing slam rings out around you. You turn back and find the door has been shut and locked. You’re trapped underground…and you’re not the only one. Others have been down here for days, and they tell you about strange symbols and machinery that fills the chambers beyond. You’ve snuck into Padova; now you have to find a way to get out. The pressure is on to solve this complicated escape room experience in time. (I’ll proudly note that our group of 20 escape artists were the fastest recorded group to solve and escape the room, in 57 minutes.)

Halloween Spookloops Events for Kids

Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch

October 1-31 | Sunset Valley Farm

This haunted corn maze will have you getting lost in over 8 acres of twists, turns, and dead ends. Don’t give up you will find your way out even if it’s right back at the beginning. If you’re bringing younger kids who may scare easily, this maze is best done in daylight. After the maze, check out the vast selection of pumpkins and pick a few to take home.

Trick or Treat Train

October 21, 28 | Kamloops Heritage Railway

Nothing scary about this ride! A kid-friendly train packed with costumed characters, candy, and the chance to pick your own perfect pumpkin at the Pumpkin Patch. Jump on the 2141 Steam Train for a fun family outing in the fresh fall air.

BOO at the Zoo

October 26-28 | BC Wildlife Park

Get ready for another Halloween extravaganza at the BC Wildlife Park. Pack up the kids and get them involved in a scavenger hunt, haunted maze, and Halloween carnival games. Hours of fun for the whole family. Don’t forget to wear your best costume.

Kamloops Museum Halloween Fun

Various dates | 207 Seymour St.
Visit the Museum and kick off the fun with the family-friendly Victorian Halloween on Saturday, Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. There’ll be spooky stories by candlelight, the chance to pass around a fortune ball, and make Halloween masks.

If ghosts are graveyards are more your speed, the museum will hold a tour of the Pleasant Street Cemetery on Oct. 27 and Oct. 28 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

For the older crowd: The Museum will pair with Chimera Theatre to host an adult, Halloween themed escape-room scenario. Described as part puzzle and part scavenger hunt, participants need to solve the mystery before attacked by a madman. Held at the old courthouse, it takes place Oct. 29 to Oct. 31 with two timeslots per night.

Where to Feed that Frightful Hunger

It’s important to keep little ghosts and ghouls fed and watered while you’re out and about exploring mazes and pumpkin patches. Here are some suggestions for family-friendly noshing spots.

Noble Pig – This popular restaurant is dedicated to deliciousness. Hand-crafted brews, and locally sourced meals and condiments made from scratch.

Red Beard Cafe – This former cafe turned local hangout and dining spot on the way to Tranquille features lots of local yumminess, with many vegan and vegetarian options. Don’t miss the fantastic weekend brunch, or the chance to dip your grilled cheese or fries into the homemade blueberry ketchup. They need to bottle that stuff…

Hello Toast – The breakfast of your dreams awaits at this bustling downtown restaurant. Eggs benny, veggie scrambles, or my fave, Cayenne in the Rain (spicy eggs and potatoes – YUM), you’ll be spoiled by the choice and the excellent service.

Happy Spookloops!

Photo Credits: Tourism Kamloops, Kelly Funk, Peter Olsen, Claudia Laroye. 

Disclosure: The writer thanks Tourism Kamloops and Thompson Okanagan Tourism for the opportunity to experience Spookloops. As always, the writer’s opinions and fear of dark tunnels are entirely her own.