This is a special Halloween event, it’s Haunted Calgary 2019 which runs through October on weekends and the starting weekend of November. Aside from just having regular nights they also have some special themed days as well.
I was invited to take a look at the three houses they have available, and what other festivities are present. The first thing to note is that this takes place at the New Horizon Mall, a location that’s scary through its empty halls and brightened lighting. It’s a spooky place as it’s so empty, and they use the large car parkade as the location for this event.
It works very well for it, and provides a large area to have these houses at that’s nice and warm for visits. That’s something I’ve really appreciated at horror themed house visits in the city this year, the warm heat. It just makes for a better atmosphere. To swerve off track, you can view the video to see part of these houses or keep reading to get additional information.
With the combination of mall and then the houses if you visit both you’ll get quite a good time take up with this one. Even just the Haunted Calgary event will provide plenty for you to do. Going onto the actual houses, there are three.
There’s Sanitorium, Cesspool and Deep Sleep Hotel. Each of them presents a unique theme, have actors included within and take a fair bit of time to walk through. I went with a guest and we found that Sanitorium was our favorite, with Deep Sleep Hotel being a close second.
We weren’t a fan of Cesspool, but I believe that largely came down to the pacing being a bit off for our visit. It seemed like the actors were largely out of position due to the group in front of us. The other ones had good timing and delivered some jump scares. We both got a jump at one point or another, so that’s appreciated.
They definitely nail the atmosphere here in regards to the scenery and the style of the actors. They use various sounds well also, and it’s a nice audio projecting area too being underground. You can hear the screams of others and any loud noises that the actors make are projected well.
It feels creepy to a good degree and if you’re used to these type of houses it’ll be a fine touring within the three that are present. I also think this is particularly good for the younger audience, the youngest ones there really seemed to just be loving it. If the houses aren’t enough for them, there’s a family type area with events to take part in that’s also spooky. They have various activities and walking through it they seem to offer quite a bit there.
Outside of visiting the spooky houses that are present, there are some photo opportunity setups. This spot features some animatronics, or creepy statues and displays. I enjoyed placing myself on one of the hooks, or standing beside a giant creature. The bloody taxi was also neat, could have been placed slightly away from the line though as it was difficult to setup shots with that one so I elected not to there. We had a good time while visiting, seems to be good value for the standard band option if that’s what you’re looking at.
Spent a good amount of time there, took some photos and left with a satisfied horror attitude. It seems to be rather popular, lots of people of varying ages were around the area or also traveling through the houses. One enhancement that would be nice would be in regards to the line-up to get tickets, took awhile to get through it. You can read our thoughts on HEX/Screamfest from this past year below. You can check out our Calgary hub for more coverage from within the city.
Read our HEX/Screamfest 2019 Review
View our Calgary Hub