Archive for the 'Halloween' Category

I was doing one of my usual searches and happened upon some Halloween footage that featured Parkdale. A rather interesting fellow guided us on a tour of some of the haunted locations there. Please see it below…

Album Review | The Mars Volta enters the paranormal realm
Four out of five stars
Ellie Steever
Issue date: 2/4/08 Section: Arts

Nearly everyone over the age of 12 will testify that Ouija boards are fake and a waste of time. But progressive rock band The Mars Volta (TMV) obviously doesn’t feel that way.

Disbelieve what you will, but TMV’s fourth full-length effort, “The Bedlam in Goliath,” is a bowl full of secrets poured forth from the occult.

While touring with the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2006, the band purchased a now-famous Ouija board nicknamed “the Soothsayer.” During the tour and the initial stages of recording for “Bedlam,” the board began to mystify the band with the demands, stories and names it supposedly gave them.

However, the Soothsayer began to curse TMV and its efforts to record with a chain of bizarre mishaps. Cedric Bixler-Zavala, vocals, had foot surgery that required him to relearn how to walk, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez’s, guitar, home studio burned.

Three drummers quit during the recording process (leading to the addition of Thomas Pridgen), and the original sound engineer also left after a nervous breakdown.

Eventually Rodriguez-Lopez buried the board and forbade band members to speak of it, but the pandemonium and peculiar eeriness it stirred up cannot be missed in “Bedlam.”

The band is known for its musical chaos, and “Bedlam” pushes this element to the breaking point, mainly through sheer speed. In previous TMV albums musical buildups often lead to ten-minute sections featuring feedback, guitar chirps and frog belches. In this latest album, there is no such downtime, and buildups only lead to more of that fast, hard, loud rock that makes listeners bang their heads so righteously.

“Cavelettas,” ringing in just short of ten minutes, toys with fans’ expectations for long reprieves found on earlier LPs. The musicians and production team show off their utter genius by playing with the volume on this track. Different instrument sections and sounds alternately rise and fall until the audience believes the familiar feedback solo is coming, before being whipped back into the main body of the song, ecstatic that there is nothing to fast forward through.

Distorted vocals and looped effects that TMV is so fond of show up in nearly every song, as well as wailing saxophone and string sections that remind the listener of the geographical spans that influence the music.

“Soothsayer” begins with Middle Eastern sounds and guitar melodies, eventually erupting into gypsy-infused tambourines, chimes and violins amidst the pulsing guitars and drums. To complete the foreign effect, the song ends with children’s voices singing a Catholic prayer, which is no doubt some ironic reference to the supernatural, pagan ideas that sculpted the album.

The paranormal themes found in the Soothsayer Ouija board are most lyrically apparent in “Goliath.” Bixler-Zavala’s yipping falsetto and deeper, accusatory vocals catch the listener’s attention with lines like, “I’m starting to feel a miscarriage coming on/ It’s numbing a stump/ Clearing in my throat/ And I just can’t lose grip of it.”

The single, “Wax Simulacra,” is the shortest track on the album and is all the stronger with power chords played over palpitating drums, alternatively giving way to an over-exaggerated downbeat or some fluttering sax overtone.

The recent performance of this song on “Late Night with David Letterman” did not give it justice. The vocals were given precedence over the rest of the instruments, whereas in its recorded works TMV always makes each sound just as powerful as the next.

Moreover, TMV consistently ensures that each album is as powerful and inspired as the next. Most fans can hardly say which album is their favorite, and now “Bedlam in Goliath” enters into this debate. When TMV first formed, there was no other band with the same sort of sound, and this remains true today.

But just because they have a unique sound doesn’t mean they shouldn’t keep exploring new styles. If there is anything bad to be said about “Bedlam” it is that a conceptual exploration of an idea through complex time signatures and depraved guitar mashing can form a masterpiece - but isn’t that what The Mars Volta has been doing all along?

In Daily, Halloween, My Para
24Nov 07

I have always been captivated with Halloween, more so than Christmas, and much more than any other holiday. It was not the candy that drew my attention, rather, it was the tales of ghosts and goblins that really captivated me. You know at Halloween you can even be whoever you want… what other holiday can give you that! When I was a kid I remember reading a book based on a very poor Canadian family in Toronto, during the depression. My favorite part was when Bee experienced Halloween! So many were down and out, but many of the children still managed to enjoy it fully. Treats and all! The book is called Booky and it offered me a taste of Toronto history as well as a good story.

I am not looking forward to Christmas! I didn’t RSVP for my company’s party, I have not started shopping and I have not made any plans. I don’t know if I can fake it again this year. Sure, I love to spend time with my friends and family, but I am not into commercialism and all this seasonal hype. FU Martha Stewart! If I wanted to be perfect, I’d dip myself in plastic. In all reality Martha is far from perfect herself, however, she is very crafty… she can carve a mean pumpkin and can make the most delectable treats. She does get into Halloween too, though at times it’s corny, but I do wonder what her cookies and other treats taste like lol

Martha's Halloween Book
Martha Mask

What’s On: Halloween Events

Oct 25, 2007 04:30 AM

While All Hallow’s Eve isn’t for almost another week, there are plenty of thrills and chills to be had leading up to the big night, for both kids and adults. Here’s a sampling of events.

Night of Dread from Clay and Paper Theatre enjoys its eighth year of parading private and collective fears through Dufferin Grove Park. Musicians, puppeteers, dancers and stilt walkers join in the fun which coincides with many of the world’s festivals of death and remembrance. Parade starts Sat. 5:45 p.m. from Dufferin Grove Park, south of Bloor St. W.; it returns to the park where festivities continue from 7 p.m. ($10 sugg., black & white dress code), Info:

Halloween Haunt at Canada’s Wonderland has mazes, more than 300 monsters, rides and more to get you into a spooky mood. Tomorrow - Sun. 7 p.m.-midnight and again Oct. 31 ($26.95 at 9580 Jane St., Vaughan. Info: 416-832-7000.

Screemers indoor scream park has 6 haunted walk-through attractions, more than 100 live creatures, the Midway of Madness and performances by Santini – The Dark Master of Escape. Runs through Oct. 31. Recommended for ages 10 and up (tickets at 416-979-3327). Better Living Centre, Exhibition Place.

The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre offers spooky tours that highlight some of the ghost stories from over the years, as well as showing the history and restoration of the complex. Recommended for Ages 6+. Mon. 6:30 p.m. & 8:30 p.m. ($12/$8/$6 at door). 189 Yonge St. Info: 416-314-2871.

Haunted High Park offers a spooky look at historic Colborne Lodge and tales of ghostly Grenadiers and other eerie High Park legends. Tonight & tomorrow 7 p.m. for ages 18+ ($15); Sat. 6:30 p.m. for families with kids ages 8+ ($10/$5). Colborne Lodge Dr., north of the Queensway. Info: 416-392-6916.

Ghosts of the Garrison is Fort York’s take on the spooky season, with ghost stories by lamp light and more. Tomorrow & Sat. 7:30 p.m. ($10/$5). 100 Garrison Rd., Info: 416-392-6907.

Montgomery’s Inn offers a night of bone-chilling stories with “The Haunted Heart and Other Terrifying Tales,” Sat. 7:30 p.m. ($20). 4709 Dundas St. W., Info: 416-394-8113.

Open Book: Toronto Halloween Horror Readings offers up Ontario’s scarier books and covers everything from teen murder mysteries to werewolf tales. Authors include John Robert Colombo and Edo Van Belkom, Shane Peacock and others. Tomorrow 8 p.m. in the attic of Spadina Museum, 285 Spadina Rd. (free, limited capacity).

Phantoms of the Organ featuring the spooky organ music works by Bach, Chopin, and more. Tomorrow, 10 p.m. Wear your costumes. Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen St. E., Info: 416-363-0331 ext. 26.

The Return of a Little Fright Music features songs from the world of musical theatre, performed by the TrypTych Trio and other musicians. Sun. 7:30 p.m. ($20). Trinity Presbyterian Church West Hall Theatre, 2737 Bayview Ave. Info: or 416-763-5066 ext. 1.

Museums of Mississauga hold their annual family event “Tricks or Treats: Historic Halloween Fun” with a costume contest, reptile shows, music, spooky tours, tarot card readings, kids’ crafts and more. Sun. 1 p.m.-4 p.m. ($12 family admission). Benares House, 1507 Clarkson Rd. N.

Haunted Halloween Village at Markham Museum for kids 10 and under offers ghost stories, guided walks, Halloween activities and treats. Each family can decorate a pumpkin to take home. Fri.-Sat. 6 p.m.-9 p.m. (Regular admission applies). 9350 Hwy 48 (Markham Rd.).

Rock n’ Roll Halloween Party and Inclusion Awareness concert featuring The Founders and The Faded Genes; dress up for costume contest. Fri. 6:30 p.m. ($10). 50 Fairfax Cres.

Solar Stage Children’s Theatre presents It’s Hallowe’en, Boo!, Tom Vandenberg’s puppet show with Teddy Bear trying to solve his costume dilemma. Sat. & Sun. 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. For ages 4-8 ($13 at 416-368-8031). Madison Centre concourse, 4950 Yonge St.

Haunted Sounds at the Mall Halloween show with a costumed band performing spooky songs. Shows take place Sat. 2:30 p.m. at South Common Centre, Burnhamthorpe Rd. W. & Erin Mills Pkwy, Miss.; Sun. 2 p.m. at Cedarbrae Mall, Markham Rd. & Lawrence Ave. E.; Sun. 6 p.m. at Bridlewood Mall, Warden Ave. & Finch Ave. E.

Toronto Ghost & Cemetery Tours Nightly two-hour ghost tour through downtown; Sat. & Sun. tours through Mt. Pleasant Cemetery or the Necropolis in Cabbagetown ($25). Full info at 416-367-0380 or

More For the Adults

The Artwherk presents The Ryan G. Hinds Hallowe’en Spook-tacular featuring a cabaret fundraiser with performances by Donnarama, Nicole Rose Bond and others. Mon. 9 p.m. ($5). Goodhandy’s, 120 Church St.

The Hartlettes burlesque troupe present their 4th annual Monster Mash Bash, with “witchy women, conjoined twins and devilish dolls” plus dancing and a best costume contest. Wed. 8:30 p.m. ($10 and up). Revival, 783 College St.

The Music Gallery’s Halloween Show of Doom featuring doom metal with James Plotkin, Tim Wyskida, Nadja. Sat. 8 p.m. ($12 adv at$17 at door). The Music Gallery, 197 John St.

Halloween Swing Ball with the Shannon Butcher Swing Band Sat. 9 p.m.; Charleston lessons 7 p.m., Lindy Hop 8 p.m. Prizes for best costumes. ($15-$18). Dovercourt House, 805 Dovercourt Rd. Info:

Singles Halloween Haunted Toronto Ghost Tour starts with a social mixer then takes a lantern-lit look at the spookier side of the city. Wed. 6:30 p.m. from the Duke of York Pub, 39 Prince Arthur Ave. ($30). Registration/info at

The Star


Are We Scared Yet?

Posted by admin
In Daily, Halloween, Haunted, ParaTO
28Oct 07


Are we scared yet?

Grab your Ouija boards and take a Halloween trip into the beyond through some of T.O.’s spookiest and most majestic haunts

1.Toronto Don Jail

(Gerrard and Broadview) The most notorious prison in Canada was closed in 1993, leaving a slew of horror stories boarded up inside its barred confines, including the legend of a blond-haired ghost. True believers say the spirit of the woman, who hanged herself, still inhabits the jail’s rotunda.

2. Old City Hall

(Queen and Bay) Two Star reporters eager to test the theory that Old City Hall is haunted by the ghosts of the last men condemned to hang in Canada reported “cool fogs” and “weird sounds” during a sleepover. A strange presence has also been reported by visitors in the northwest attic.

3. Church of St. Mary Magdalene

(Manning and Ulster) The Grey Lady of St. Mary Magdalene has appeared to several of the church’s choirmasters over the years. Her arrival is usually announced, they say, by a whiff of cheap perfume.

4. Hillside Church

(Old Finch and Reesor) Reports of strange noises and “screams” (peacocks from the nearby Toronto Zoo? the ghost of the young girl murdered at nearby Old Finch bridge?) continue to swirl around this 1877 church and cemetery in a remote wooded corner of the Rouge Valley that time forgot. Leaves rustle without the force of wind here.

5. Gibraltar Point Lighthouse

(Ward’s Island) The original lighthouse keeper, Radan Muller, was murdered under mysterious circumstances on a cold night in January 1815. One story says he was thrown from the top of the lighthouse and that his ghost is still searching for his body parts believed buried in the vicinity.

6. Soldier’s Memorial

(University of Toronto) Are those strange flashes of light sometimes seen through the tower’s windows an otherworldly sign of the presence of a repairman who plunged 43 metres to his death while polishing the carillon’s bells in the 1930s? Or a message from the dead soldiers memorialized below?

7. Greenbrae Circuit

(Markham and Lawrence) According to the Ghosts and Hauntings Research Society, the presence of native spirits, awakened when home construction in the mid-50s disturbed a 14th-century Iroquois burial ground, are often felt — accompanied by a mysterious smell of fish.

8. St. Lawrence Market

(Front and Jarvis) The city’s original City Hall also housed its first police station and jails, where the tortured souls of those beaten and whipped in public outside the Market are said to linger.

9. St. Michael’s Hospital

(30 Bond) Staff and former patients say Sister Vincenza, “Vinnie” to her friends, a nun who used to work at the hospital, is still doing her rounds in Ward 7b — turning lights on and off, with a black, circling chasm where her face should be. Is that a Code Blue we hear?

10. Jarvis Street Baptist Church

None of the literature we came across suggests Jarvis Street Baptist is haunted. But lore says the winged goblins adorning this church’s arches, which have to rate as the spookiest in the city, are to chase away evil spirits. Just what omens is the church hiding?

NOW | OCTOBER 25 - 31, 2007 | VOL. 27 NO. 8

Now Toronto

MARTHA WORBOY, CanWest News Service

We’ve all taken a scary walk: a shortcut through a downtown alley late at night, across a frozen pond in early spring, home to get a failed school test signed by your parents. All of these experiences share a certain fright factor, but have you ever taken a walk on the ghoulish side?

Quebec City. To really get into the spirit of spook, embark on a lantern-lit ghost tour at night. What could be more spine-

tingling than wandering around a maze of darkened cobblestoned pathways in the old city, hearing tales about executions, ghost sightings and tragedies that took place hundreds of years ago. Wear running shoes and prepare to jump at your own shadow (or maybe someone else’s). Tours are rain or shine - some say its better in the rain.

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Font:****If you’re not up for traipsing around in the dark, you don’t have to walk far in this city for a thrill. Watch Witchcraft on Trial, a dramatic re-enactment of a witch trial inquisition set in 1660s Quebec City. (Witch trials are indoors and last approximately 70 minutes).

Reservations are recommended for tours and trials - adult tour pass $17.50, discounts for students and seniors. Reservations: 418-692-9770,

Toronto. Not many realize the city’s paranormal potential. Have you heard of the T-Rex spirit wandering the Royal Ontario Museum? Or the ghosts of public transit that rise from the underground? Okay, these may be pure fabrications, but find out for yourself on the Haunted Streets of Downtown Toronto walking tour.

Hear the legends behind such famous city landmarks as Queen’s Park, Old City Hall and Osgoode Hall and learn the “paranormal” history of the city.

Tours nightly at 7 p.m. until Wednesday, Oct. 31. It’s best to book in advance - it’s $10 for a regular pass, $8 for students. See

Ottawa. Take part in a Haunted Walk tour and you’ll never think the same of our nation’s capital. You’ll discover it’s not actually a town full of politicians and bureaucrats - no! - its a friendlier town full of ghosts, ghouls and demons. Learn the darker history of Ottawa and of the ghosts that haunt well known sites.

Tours last 90 minutes and are offered during the day and in the evening by lantern light. Some walks are too scary for young children. Tickets are on sale for special Halloween tours, until Oct. 31. See

Victoria. Embark on a walk through the haunted alleys and hair-raising locales of the city with historian and storyteller John Adams. Or, spend an evening discovering one of B.C.’s most famous ghosts, Doris Gravlin - a nurse murdered on the Victoria Golf Course in 1936. The so-called “Golf Course Ghost” has been spotted along the 7th green and on the nearby beach where her body was found. A dinner/lecture about Gravlin, An Evening With Doris, can be arranged with Discover the Past or a tour of her favourite local spots.

Ghostly Walks are offered Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. with extra tours in October for the Halloween season. See

Nova Scotia. Ghost & Graveyard tours has spooky walks and candle-lit cemetery tours year-round in Halifax, Hantsport and Lunenberg. See

Edmonton. Take a walk through the back alleys and haunted streets of Old Strathcona. The tour lasts for one “frightful hour,” according to Starts at 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday in Old Strathcona. Cost: $5 a person.

© The Gazette (Montreal) 2007



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