New to the Toronto scene in the last few years, the Legends of Horror event at Casa Loma has taken the city by storm during the Hallowe’en seasons. As a person who is generally not a fan of horror, or fear inducing endeavours, I hadn’t previously considered entertaining the idea of attending such an extravagant haunted house. HOWEVER, that all changed when I was invited to a press evening with the cast; an event launch sponsored by Captain Morgan. I looked into the trailers, the reviews, and some videos online and thought, “But how could I not?!”. The whole event just seemed so over-the-top… but in a terrifyingly intriguing way. That being said, the night itself is a bit of an investment, not just emotionally, but financially too. In this blog post, I’m going to share with you my review of the evening, and some insight regarding what to expect for your $48 (per person) ticket.
Where: Casa Loma (1 Austin Terrace, Toronto, ON M5R 1X8)
When: September 29th – October 31st
Cost: $40-$50 (depending on the night and whether you purchase the tickets online or at the door, plus applicable service fees)
Setting the scene…
Let’s start with the setting and location of the experience. Casa Loma is a Gothic Revival style mansion located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Constructed from 1911-1914 as a residence for financier Sir Henry Pellatt, it now exists as a historic house museum and landmark. Notably, it is also the only full-size castle in North America. With secret passageways, elaborate interiors and gardens, and a beautiful view atop the city, it is a popular destination for tourists (and, the perfect setting for an authentically haunted experience).
Now, what on earth does this event entail? Essentially, the experience is an immersive theatrical performance; a self-guided 2km walking tour that takes you through the grounds of Casa Loma and under the castle tunnels (including dark spaces which have never before been open to the public!). Throughout the 1-hour experience, you can expect to encounter all of the classic horror figures you can think of, in incredibly realistic interpretations of their associated environments. These environments include appropriate use of audio and lighting, as well as foggy and/or wet conditions, and special effects.
As for a 2018 special addition to the experience, the Legends of Horror event has partnered with the Vampire Circus Cabaret– think Cirque du Soleil meets Tim Burton. The addition of such talented body contortionists, through displays of acrobatics and dance, adds an extra WOW factor to the overall experience. More than simply a ‘haunted house’, the Legends of Horror event at Casa Loma gives you the true feeling of being immersed in a world beyond the one we live in. The experience is about more than striking fear into the hearts of those who dare enter, it seeks to also entertain, giving its guests a show they are not likely to soon forget (particularly when it comes to their nightmares).
More than a ‘Haunted House’
With more than 70 live actors behind the masks, within immaculately designed costumes, be prepared for choreographed dances, well-rehearsed scenes, and basically on overall fear that makes you think you might wee yourself a little…
“But Lily, an hour seems like a long time… what if I am actually so scared I wee myself? What happens if I can hold it in, but I need relief? Food? Drinks? AHHH!” Don’t fret. At the halfway point, you will find a lounge (safe from the goblins and ghouls) where you can wine and dine until your heart’s content. Here, you will find snacks, washrooms, several bars, and even a DJ with a mini dance floor. As a heads up, cocktails are around $8-10 each.
So overall, a pricier endeavour… but, worth it? Totally. If you are even remotely into the Hallowe’en season, or enjoy getting spooked, this event is not one to miss. I left the experience with sore lungs, my expectations blown, and some pretty hilarious stories. Honestly, this *may* have been just enough to make me a haunted house convert…
So, grab your Sig-O, or a friend (or several companions), and make a night of it. Scream, laugh, cry, and make memories you will talk about for years to come.
Oh yeah, and for those of you who are thinking “Yeah, Lily… you were terrified, but you don’t usually like horror…” — I actually brought a friend of mine to the event, who is a seasoned haunted house-goer, and he described the evening as, “Absolutely horrifying”. But hey, don’t just take it from me — Go on and see for yourself… if you dare, that is.
Click here to book your tickets to Legends of Horror at Casa Loma.
Happy haunting season,
P.S. For video documentation of my experience at the event, check out my Story Highlights on Instagram (@lilyslensonlife), under “EVENTS”.
All content provided on this blog is for informational purpose only. Although I was hosted for the Legends of Horror at Casa Loma experience, all opinions are my own.