There’s never been a better time to be afraid of the DARK

Fort Edmonton’s DARK map

Review by Alyssa Taylor

Get prepared to renew your fear of the dark at Fort Edmonton Parks 2nd annual Halloween haunt DARK.

This is a 14+ event, with parental discretion for anyone younger than that. The basic ticket ($40) gets you into three haunts, each taking about 15-20 minutes to make your way through. I’m on a student budget so I gave myself a limit of $50 to go to this event, including the ticket.

I made sure to dress warmer than last year, because I knew I would be standing outside to get into the haunt. But with drinks allowed in line and a lovely man coming by to those standing in line selling syringe Jell-o shots and chocolate covered bacon, the time went by fast!

The Taste of Eternity was a thrilling continuation of one of last year’s cult haunts. I made my way through the old building trying to avoid being brainwashed, but that wasn’t where the horror ends. No, then I had to survive the depths of the basement and learn what happens to those that don’t join ranks. A maze of terror and small, dark spaces had me flinching at every sound. Be sure that whatever you do, do not obey! My rating: 6/10

Core Industries takes you back to the 80s as you make your way through a lab that has been overtaken by a virus. Everything is dangerous, and the surreal fluorescence of the virus creates a neon horror story come to life. Every step I took through the lab was pure 80s horror, the mad and infected lurking in the depths of the shadows at every turn. Just remember: Don’t breathe in! 5/10

R.I. Payne’s Fourth Ring was a coulrophobe’s* worst nightmare, so in other words it was my worst nightmare. I made my way along the train, paranoia looming over me as I anticipated the clowns I so feared. My destination at the end of the train led me to none other than the big top itself, deranged circus folk circling my every move as I tried to escape.

I was almost free when I got the scare of a lifetime. My scream echoed through the park and I ended up losing my voice from the sheer terror for the next few hours. Don’t let those smiles fool you and remember…never turn your back on a clown! 8/10

The Dark Circle is your safe haven in this park of horrors. Fire pits to crowd around in the chilly fall weather, with a neon rave happening in the building beside, made for a great place to calm my racing heart. The drink selection was fun this year, with cocktails like Poison Apple, which was a personal favourite: apple juice and Fireball whiskey finished off with a sparkly twist!

And if that isn’t up your alley there is of course a whole selection of Alley Kat beers that have something for everyone, from sweet Aprikat to the Full Moon IPA.

Of course even this haven is not entirely spook free as ghosts wander free and haunt and scare the crowds trying to warm up via fire or whiskey. With the cocktail I bought at $8 and a hot chocolate later for $2 I managed to stay right on budget.

While there may not be a lot of parking down at Fort Edmonton Park, it is very simple to take the bus or a taxi to get down there or even better there is a free (yes I said free) transit service from Fort Edmonton Park/South Campus Transit Centre to DARK and back again.

It was an extra $15 for the newly introduced 18+ haunt Fort of Fear and $35 for The Dead Centre of Town. Keeping to my budget I stayed with the basic ticket, but that certainly didn’t stop me from having a great time. Even with my budget I was still able to get down to the park, able to buy a few drinks, and enjoyed more than a few scares that had me scrambling or screaming.

Even though I scare pretty easily I’m thinking I want to fork out the extra cash next year for the more immersive fear experiences and see just how much scaring I can handle! And with DARK only growing each year I can only imagine what kind of haunts I can expect

This year DARK is only here until Nov. 1st, so don’t wait too long, and prepare to be scared.

web site:
‘The Dead Centre of Town’ is now sold out

*Coulrophobia = fear of clowns