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How Halloween was celebrated in and around Hamilton and Mohawk College

Hamilton was lively this past weekend, bustling with many different Halloween events and activities for children and adults.

Some of these activities include haunted attractions ghost walks, a Halloween themed carnival, Fear Farm and a pumpkin trail hosted by the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG). There were a variety of Halloween parties taking place as well. Mohawk College threw a Boo Bash hosted by the Mohawk Students Association (MSA), and the RBG held a Boos and Brews celebration that was exclusive to adults-only.

A number of ghost walks happened throughout the city. The Hermitage Ruins Ghost Walk follows a tour of a haunted forest at night that begins at a gatehouse that is not opened very often, and then leads walkers to venture into an abyss of darkness. It began at the end of September and is still ongoing until Nov. 4. This ghost walk is located at the Hermitage Cascade in Ancaster and tickets cost between $13.50 to $15.

A Halloween-themed carnival called Fright Night took place on Oct. 20-21 and 26-28 along with Fear Farm: The Legends of Halloween. Fright Night carnival tickets were $27.96 per person to get a glimpse of the haunted halls of the Cotton Factory, a creative arts centre in North Hamilton. Fear Farm ran from Sept. 30 to Oct. 29, and visitors were welcome to experience a haunted hayride and other haunting outdoor activities. Tickets for Fear Farm were on the pricier side, however, ranging from $54.99 and up.

There were Halloween parties for college students and adults in general with the Boo Bash at Mohawk College and Boos and Brews at the RBG on Oct. 26. Mohawk students attending the Boo Bash got to experience a spooky yet fun Halloween-themed party. There were snacks, most being candy of course, drinks, a costume contest, music and the most popular among the students was a Tarot card reader from the Village Hedge Witch. Many students waited for a lengthy amount of time to get a 15-minute reading about what’s been on their mind. The Boos and Brews party took place in Hendrie Park at the RBG between the hours of 6-11 p.m. It was a 19+ event with I.D required upon entry. Visitors could follow a candlelit trail of jack-o-lanterns through the Hendrie Valley before grabbing something to eat from the food trucks located beyond that point. Visitors were encouraged to come in costume and there was plenty of music, karaoke and live music performances.

Hamilton wasn’t the only city in the Halloween spirit. Grimsby still had an eerie glow on the night after Halloween with its second annual free or charge pumpkin parade, Grimsby Glows.

Many visitors were seen with a warm drink in hand, strolling through the large trail of pumpkins spread throughout Coronation Park in downtown Grimsby with brightly coloured leaves blowing through the cool, windy air.

All the pumpkins were different shapes and sizes, and carved with extremely unique and different designs.

A variety of different and creative designs were carved into the pumpkins, and each pumpkin varied in its shape and size.

“I didn’t participate in carving any of the pumpkins,” attendee David Parker said. “But I do love looking at all the pumpkins. There are a lot of talented pumpkin carvers. My favourite I’ve seen so far is probably the pumpkin with a batman carving.”

Besides the trail, there were a few smaller attractions within the event, like other Halloween-themed decorations, a photo spot and a fortune teller where visitors had the chance to get a glimpse of their future.

Fortune teller Erica Noordeermeer (better known as Madame Erica), is passionate about fortune cards and has been doing what she does for five years. She takes joy in visiting different Halloween events each year and mainly does readings for children.

Fortune teller Erica Noordeermeer, or Madame Erica, does fortune telling for children at Halloween-themed events like the Grimsbly Glows parade.

“I do events like this for fun,” Noordeermeer said. “I believe in the power of the card for sure, but I do this for children primarily by giving a very simplified and shortened entertainment like version. This is my second year at [Grimsby Glows] and also the second year of the event, but previously I’ve done [fortune telling] at different haunted villages prior to this and it’s my fifth year doing this.”

Grimsby Glows is expected to return again next year for its third annual event on Nov. 1, 2024.

 

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