Edmonton's most famous haunted house celebrates a decade of fright and fun
By Jesse Cole | October 4, 2023
In a world as attention deficient as ours, it’s hard for anything to capture the public’s attention for more than a week, let alone an entire decade.
But that’s what Edmonton’s premiere haunted house, Deadmonton, is celebrating this year: a decade of scaring the pants off of Edmontonians.
So, what’s behind the staying power of the Halloween attraction? Passion, according to actor manager Rupert Appleyard.
“It’s built quite the reputation over these 10 years,” Appleyard says. “I’ve worked at haunted houses all over the world and it’s the passion that’s poured into Deadmonton shows from Ryan Kozar and the performers. The level of commitment, the level of vision and the level of passion are what I think make Deadmonton so popular.”
This season’s offerings will be a bit different from years’ past. To start, the horror show has new digs — a warehouse that previously housed the Edmonton Sun’s printing presses. That new location has also inspired one of Deadmonton’s newest haunts: The Print Show.
“Because we’re in the Edmonton Sun building we have a fictitious true crime story about a janitor whose victims still haunt behind the walls of the Edmonton Sun,” says Appleyard.
And in honour of the anniversary, the team behind the shrieks, screams and scares — which Appleyard calls “fright attendants” — is reviving some old favourites from the haunted house’s past renditions.
“We have the Williams’ Farm, which is the first haunt we started out with 10 years ago,” Appleyard says. “We’ve also brought back some returning characters from throughout the years that will be haunting the farm.”
Also on the docket is The Convent — because what haunted house is complete without a set of nasty nuns ready to put the fear of God (or the devil) into anyone who happens to pass through their nunnery?
“It’s lovely because it’s partly inside and outside and is a brand-new haunt this year,” Appleyard says. “It’s the tale of a dark sisterhood and the twisted corruption going through the convent.”
Making the most of the new space, Appleyard says the attraction isn’t all about scaring its patrons. He notes there is plenty of space for people to take a load off, enjoy some food and beverages and relax at the slasher-inspired lounge aptly named Camp Deadmonton.
“This is a night where you can come and socialize and have fun,” he says, adding there is no requirement to actually take part in the haunts themselves. “We’ve got a lovely bar and fire pits. You can get delicious food here and hangout inside or outside.”