The communities of Elora and Fergus are making sure the pandemic doesn’t put a damper on anyone’s Halloween spirit this fall. The scenic neighbouring villages about an hour outside the Greater Toronto Area have organized a packed line-up of family-oriented activities and events as part of Monster Month throughout October to help visitors get out and enjoy the spooky season safely.
“People are being incredibly creative and coming up with activities that people can enjoy even with pandemic public health rules in place and still have a lot of fun and a few scary thrills at the same time,” says Deb Dalziel of Elora & Fergus Tourism.
Among dozens of activities scheduled during the month-long celebration, a self-guided tour leads visitors through Elora’s historic downtown and showcases a hauntingly beautiful collection of illuminated sculptures created by artist Tim Murton called The Twilight Zoo — ghosts, skeletons, and other ghoulish creatures – that have decorated the village’s streets each October for nearly 20 years. Volunteers gave many of the monsters makeovers over the past few weeks to get them ready for visitors.
On weekends throughout October, most of Elora’s main streets downtown are closed to vehicular traffic, making it easy for pedestrians to walk through the village and get up close and personal with the resident monsters. A digital map marking the tour route – including a QR code version – is available at monstermonth.ca. For the first time, some of the monsters will feature QR codes which will allow visitors to access additional information about the creations and the area, featuring local actors.
“It creates another great way to share more about the village,” Dalziel says. “When you scan the code, it will take you to a creepy story or it might give you some ideas for visiting elsewhere in the village or another attraction nearby.”
Other highlights of Monster Month include:
- Spooky Stables at The GrandWay. Explore the first-ever Spooky Stables at Grand River Raceway in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Centre Wellington. A family-friendly walk takes place Saturday, Oct. 16 from 4-6 p.m. As the sun goes down, the scare meter gets dialed up for those who dare to join a more hair-raising experience from 6-8 p.m.
- Spooktacular Market. Scare up some great deals while exploring arts, crafts, and other goodies made by local vendors at the Spooktacular Market at the Elora Centre for the Arts on Saturday, Oct. 23, and Sunday, Oct. 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Presented by Celestho Crafters Collective.
- Zombie Walk. On Saturday, Oct. 29 and Sunday, Oct. 30 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. wandering zombie tourists will take over downtown Elora for photos and selfies with visitors and a Halloween Flash Mob as a finale in the village’s green space to close off the night
- Ghost walks in Fergus, Corn Maze at Fieldstone Barn, Walk & Gawk Challenge & Tour featuring home-made scarecrow creations, cemetery tours with the Wellington County Museum, and more. A full schedule of events and activities that will take place during Monster Month can be found here.