Carve the pumpkins, grab your garlic garlands and stay clear of graveyards — Halloween is back in town.
From blood, candy, ghouls and things that go bump in the dark, Red Deer has numerous goodies and spine-tingling events for all ages on Thursday.
The city’s two main shopping malls are sporting orange and black, cobwebs and bat wings, ready for their annual mall-wide trick-or-treat sessions.
Games and candy handouts kick off at 4 p.m. at Parkland Mall on Thursday, running until 7 p.m.
“Our community partners, like UNICEF, will be in the mall. We’ll have face painters and a balloon artist wandering around,” said Krista Dunstan, Parkland’s marketing director. “We’ll also have Momstown Central Alberta here and they’re putting up two bouncy castles on the northeast end of the mall and they’re also having a craft station.”
Around 15,000 people toured the mall last Halloween so staff “stuck with what worked,” Dunstan said, and planned a very similar Halloween event this year.
“It’s a great family event. It’s been going on for a long time. This is for fun and being able to walk around without your snowsuit on underneath your costume.”
Bower Place Shopping Centre is hosting a similar event with trick-or-treating from 5 to 7 p.m.
There will be a photographer on site to capture little skeletons, witches and goblins on the quest for sweets starting at $12 a photo.
For a more hair-raising ordeal, Red Deer also has two haunted houses, full of severed heads, blood-thirsty shadows and groaning, pus-oozing monsters.
Screamers Haunted House, located at 5239 53rd Ave., two blocks north of the Superstore, takes those who dare through a self-guided tour of various themes, including Lockdown, Evil Clowns, 50 Shades of Screamers, Buffet and Dinner.
Known as Alberta’s “premium haunted house,” Screamers wraps up the horror tonight until next year. Haunts run from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $15 at the door.
The Boys and Girls Club of Red Deer’s Haunted House, now in its 23rd year, is open until Halloween night from 6 to 10 p.m.
Brave the man-eating dog, flying vampire and dreaded Tormentor among other moving horrors lurking in the dark in the ‘psych ward’ at Lions Plaza (7710 50th Ave.). Tickets are also $15 at the door. A ‘Spook Pass’ providing admission plus other benefits for $20 can be reserved online.
Blood is the theme of the night for another good cause, the Halloween Howl, at 5020 68th St., also known as the Red Deer Blood Donor clinic. Do your part to save someone’s life on the night of haunts and be treated to candy and Halloween movies. The clinic hopes to have 64 blood donations throughout the day. It runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday. To book an appointment, visit at www.blood.ca or call 1-888-2-DONATE.
The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame also hosted its annual Family Halloween Night on Tuesday evening with games and costume prizes, as well as a spooky craft-making station.