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Evil clowns and lost souls: Halloween in Vancouver will be awesome

Things to do in Vancouver this Halloween: A murder mystery, a parade, and macabre circus.

Some rather creepy events await you this Halloween...

Halloween in Vancouver will be awesome

If you feel like getting the crap scared out of you this Halloween, Vancouver is the place to be. East and West converge in our fair city as we celebrate the supernatural and the macabre. Hey, it's 2013: sitting at home watching "The Great Pumpkin" isn't gonna cut it anymore.

Hit up the fabric stores and vintage shops to assemble your costume, and get ready to hit the streets. Here are three Vancouver Halloween events that you must not miss.

Insane clown posse

First we have The Oubliettes of Dreams. In the House Festival is swinging for the fences: Myriam Seinberg promises, “Imagine Cirque de Soleil… now imagine Cirque de Soleil scaring the sh*t out of you!”

The event promises a walk on the straight-up insane side: “Dare to enter the twisted and dangerous inner world of a circus madman... Long forgotten but never dead, his imagination walks the fine line of insanity, teetering ever so often on the edge of the plausible, veering sharply towards the demented, pausing at the allure of the inexplicable, the elegance of the unknowable and the subtle confusion of the not quite right.”

If In the House’s  Twitter feed is to be believed, you’re in for quite a show:

Don't just look behind you... look above you.

The Oubliettes of Dreams runs October 19, 25, and 26; at 6:30, 8:30, and 10:30pm. You won’t find out where it is until you book a ticket. What, did you think dealing with a circus madman was gonna be straightforward? Tickets are $35; $30 for students.

(In case you’re wondering, an oubliette is a form of dungeon which is accessed by a hatch in the ceiling. It’s not somewhere you want to be. Except maybe on Halloween.)

From China with fear

If you prefer horror movies like “The Grudge” and “The Ring”, then you won’t want to miss Judge Dee’s Chinatown Haunted House. Seven Tyrants Theatre is bringing its much-loved/feared Halloween show back to Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, and you’re taking centre stage. Not just a hounded house but a murder mystery, you’re tasked with catching the killer before… well, you can guess, can’t you?

Yeah, you'll never sleep again.

Di Renjie (Judge Dee, or 狄仁傑 if you prefer) is China’s Sherlock Holmes; we’re perhaps most familiar with him through “Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom Flame”  and “Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon” .

We first meet the fictional version of this real-life dude in an 18th-Century detective novel consisting of three stories: "The Double Murder at Dawn", "The Strange Corpse", and "The Poisoned Bride". You're now beginning to suspect what's about to go down at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden.

Join Judge Dee October 24-31 between 7 and 10pm. Groups enter (at their own risk) every 10 minutes. Tickets cost $12; $10 for students.

Not for kids

These two events are intimate affairs. In the House is limiting audiences to 14 and fewer. Seven Tyrants limits their crowds to 10 and fewer. Hey, even in a haunted house, you can only... take care of so many people at a time.

The Oubliettes of Dreams is for participants aged 14 and up. Jude Dee’s Chinatown Haunted House doesn’t have a published age limit, but Seven Tyrants says that their show is “NOT suitable for your children”. The caps-lock means they’re serious. Their slogan for “Judge Dee” is, “THIS HALLOWEEN… take your children to Stanley Park…. …Bring your friends… to CHINATOWN.” Again with the all-caps. They mean it.

So leave the kids at home, or hand them off to that nice clown that lives in the storm drain.

Parade of Lost Souls

Of course, we can’t talk about Halloween in Vancouver without mentioning the Parade of Lost Souls. Public Dreams has teamed up with Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret to bring back Vancouver’s most iconic Halloween event. This year’s theme: “Transition, Passing, Celebration and Ceremony, and a Return to the Source.”

Keep an eye on @publicdreams to find out where the parade will begin and end: the location will be kept secret until October 26, which is the day of the event. The parade itself is free, but the dance event at the end will have a cover charge.

Parade of Lost Souls is a rain-or-shine affair, so make sure your costume can handle any inclement weather. Public Dreams is a force for art and culture in Vancouver. Let them know if you want to get involved.

There you have it: three scarily sophisticated events, right here in Vancouver for your Halloween pleasure.

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