In late October a private residential home near North Vancouver’s Edgemont Village turns into the Belmont Haunted House Halloween attraction.
This haunted house doesn’t take place every year, at least not extensively. It does happen almost every year though, and it did run in 2019 (on the last four days of October). It wasn’t as large and elaborate as some years in the past, but still very good.
Despite COVID-19, the owners of the house decorated in 2020, but only a bit, and only during the last day or so of October. We dropped by to take a look on October 27th and there were no decorations to be seen. We dropped by on October 31st and there were decorations, including some still in the process of being set up.
North Shore Haunted Mansion
Built as a labour of love by the husband and wife team of Jim and Danielle Myers, Belmont Haunted House has in the past been exceptional.
Most haunted houses in the Lower Mainland are operated by companies (e.g., Potters), municipal organizations (e.g., Fright Nights and Burnaby’s Haunted Village) or non-profit organizations (e.g., Mission’s Haunted Halloween Attraction). There are also hundreds of fantastically-decorated private homes, and even a few residences that you can wander around the garden or even go inside.
So what has made Belmont Haunted House so special over the years? Lots of reasons, including the following:
- It’s a popular attraction, but the lineups aren’t too scary.
- Admission is by donation which means it’s highly affordable.
- It has been a fundraiser! Donations received go to Ronald McDonald House BC to provide a “home away from home” for families of seriously ill children. Over the past decade the attraction has raised over $30,000 for this very worthwhile cause.
- Although professional in appearance, it’s not a commercially-run haunted house – it’s simply a labour of “love” by a family that’s crazy about Halloween and gives generously to its community.
- The attraction takes place at a large modern home, but one that’s in a style with stone walls and peaked rooftops that makes it a perfect haunted Halloween venue. The house looks real because it is real!
- For a private residence, Belmont Haunted House is of a professional standard. There are typical household decorations like inflatable ghosts, comical characters and skeletons, but also horror-movie-set-like model characters.
Once billed as “the largest independent haunted house in Vancouver,” the place used to be huge and include areas inside the home’s garage and around both the front and back yards. It also had scenes you could see inside through the windows.
In recent years the Myers have scaled back a bit. They no longer decorate their backyard and allow the public to wander all around the outside of their house. They just decorated the front of their house last year, and will likely do the same again in 2020. They still do a terrific job though.
Hours and Location
In previous years Belmont Haunted House was open to the public from 2:00 until 9:00 pm on weekdays and until 9:30 pm on weekends from around October 24th to 31st. In 2019 it was open from 10:00 am until 9:00 pm on October 28th to 31st (so just the last few days of the month). In 2020 decorations were up on October 31st, but not much before.
The house is located at 1006 Belmont Avenue in North Vancouver. It’s just off Highlands Boulevard and a couple of blocks from Edgemont Village.
It’s Baaaa-ack in 2020 (maybe, or maybe not)!
In 2020 Belmont Haunted House celebrates its 13th year, plus or minus. Those haven’t been consecutive years, however. The Myers family took a break in 2016, but was back at it the following year. In 2018 they again took a break, although not a complete one – there were still at least some decorations.
The place was open to the public again in 2019, but on a smaller scale and for fewer days than in previous years. The decorations may or may not be in place again in 2020. It they are, they’ll be on a smaller scale compared to pre-2016 years. As of October 27th, 2020, the place had no decorations, so we assume nothing is happening this year. Last year though they did decorate at the last minute. It’s unclear whether they’ll do the same in 2020. Maybe, maybe not.
About Belmont Haunted House
In years when it has been fully decorated, the Belmont Haunted House has included everything from fun blow-up Halloween decorations to realistic-looking monsters eating brains. The special effects and Hollywood-style displays have been amazing.
In total there have been over $100,000 worth of spine-tingling animatronic gadgets, special effects and other spooky decorations!
There weren’t live actors jumping out from behind corners to scare us when we were there in 2015, except for on Halloween night. When we went in 2017 prior to the 31st, however, there was one mannequin-looking creature in the garage area that did suddenly come alive and catch us by surprise, and there seemed to be more live actors wondering around out front and in the garden than in previous years.
The Belmont Haunted House has a great collection of both realistic-looking and wax-museum-style monsters. It has also had inflatable characters including a giant black cat, a Frankenstein Bart Simpson and other Frankenstein-ish blow-up creatures.
In past years the attraction included extensive displays in both the front of the house and at the back in the garden. In 2019 it is our understanding that only the front area was decorated and open to the public. We expect that to be the same in 2021.
Note: The attraction some years has included strobe lights which people with hypersensitivity to light should be aware of.
Below is a list of tips and advice, as well as information about other Lower Mainland Halloween opportunities.
Belmont Tips & Advice
TIP #1: If you’re not sure if you like serious haunted houses, this is a great one to try out. There are some pretty scary scenes, but it’s also fairly family-friendly (although not recommended for very young children). You also don’t have to spend frightening amounts of money and stand for hours in a line, which is nice if you discover you have an overly nervous disposition and find haunted houses aren’t for you.
TIP #2: Edgemont Village is a tiny but attractive commercial area with coffee shops and a small collection of interesting stores. If you need to warm up afterwards with a cup of hot chocolate, a North Shore favourite is Delaney’s at 3099 Edgemont Boulevard.
TIP #3: Looking for more nearby Halloween fun? The Haunt of Edgemont is another spectacularly decorated house in the Edgemont Village neighbourhood. Located at 3414 Emerald Drive, it’s less than a 10-minute walk from the Belmont Haunted House. This second Halloween attraction is also free, although in this case donations received benefit the BC Professional Firefighters Burn Fund. (Note: The Haunt of Edgemont isn’t running in 2020 due to COVID-19. There will still be decorations outside, but no haunted house that you can go inside as there is in years when there isn’t a pandemic.)
TIP #4: Just a short drive away from the Belmont Haunted House are the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Capilano River Regional Park, the latter of which is home to the Cleveland Dam and Capilano Hatchery. Especially if traveling from a distance and during daylight, while in the area, consider exploring some of these other exceptional and world-class attractions. The fall colours are beautiful, there are extensive trails and spawning salmon are in the river!
Other Halloween Attractions
There are dozens of haunted attractions in the Lower Mainland. For a comprehensive list, click Vancouver Haunted Houses. For details about other haunted houses that are in residential neighbourhoods and raising money for worthwhile charities, including other houses in North Vancouver, see below.
- The Haunt of Edgemont – a residential home at 3414 Emerald Drive near North Vancouver’s Edgemont Village that’s intricately decorated from mid to late October. It’s free, but donations for the BC Professional Firefighters Burn Fund are most welcome! (Not happening in 2020.)
- Dovercourt Crypt – a haunted house at 3637 Maginnis Avenue in North Vancouver’s Lynn Valley that’s open on three or so days in the lead up to Halloween. Admission here is also by donation. (Not happening in 2020.)
- Brinkworth Dungeon – an exceptional haunted attraction at 22260 48th Avenue in Langley where pretty much everything is made by hand by a professional artist. (This attraction is running in 2020.)
- Coquitlam Halloween House – at 443 Draycott Street in Coquitlam. Admission is by donation benefiting Variety the Children’s Charity. (Not happening in 2020.)
- Anmore Manor – at 1151 Robin Way in Anmore (in the Tri-Cities area not far from Belcarra Regional Park). Admission is by donation of cash or food benefiting the Share Society. (Not happening in 2020, although they will have a few outdoor decorations.)
Kudos to these and other home owners for opening their properties to the public for entertainment and the benefit of worthwhile causes!
For a list of other Halloween attractions, click any of the following:
- Vancouver Halloween Events
- Vancouver Children’s Halloween Activities
- Adult Halloween Activities
- Vancouver Haunted Houses