Lynn Valley’s Dovercourt Crypt at Halloween
Lynn Valley is usually a peaceful and very uncreepy neighbourhood in North Vancouver. That all changes each year, on Halloween night and the weekend before October 31st. That’s because an otherwise quiet and at other times normal-looking home at 3637 Maginnis Avenue turns into an amazing haunted attraction.
Dovercourt Crypt is an exceptional haunted house for a number of reasons. First, admission is free. You don’t have to pre-purchase tickets and you don’t have to pay money to get in. For the first time ever though, they are accepting donations benefitting the BC Professional Firefighters’ Burn Fund, which is another reason why we like this place. If you can’t afford anything, that’s fine. But if you can, you’ll be helping a great cause.
The haunted house in Lynn Valley is also exceptional because of the quality of the attraction. It’s at a person’s private home, and they do it as a hobby, but the quality of the work is near professional. We can only think of a couple of comparable places, including the Haunt of Edgemont (also in North Vancouver) and Anmore Manor (just north of Port Moody). Most other places are either commercial and cost money, or pretty good but not at the same level.
And finally, three other things make the Dovercourt Crypt stand out. One, you go right inside the people’s home (or at least an addition to the house built specifically for Halloween). Two, despite taking weeks and months to set up, the place is open to the public for just four or so days. That’s a lot of work for such a short period of time! And three, the place gives out candy and hosts a free round of fireworks on Halloween night.
Where is Dovercourt Crypt?
The address for Dovercourt Crypt is 3637 Maginnis Avenue in North Vancouver. It’s at the corner of Maginnis and Dovercourt (which explains the name).
Dovercourt is a small road just off Mountain Highway in the Lynn Valley Neighbourhood of North Vancouver.
Coming from the Upper Levels Highway (i.e., #1 Trans-Canada), take the Mountain Highway or Lynn Valley exits. If going north along Mountain Highway, you’ll find Dovercourt Road on your right just a couple of streets past the intersection with Lynn Valley Road (and just one block past Frederick Road).
If driving north along Lynn Valley Road, turn left when you get to the intersection with Mountain Highway (by the Petro Canada Gas Station), and then turn right one block after Frederick.
When is Dovercourt Open?
Dovercourt Crypt is open to the public on the last weekend or so in October plus Halloween night. In 2018 it runs from 6:30 until 9:30 pm on the Saturday and Sunday of October 27th and 28th.
New for 2018, the attraction is open for an extra weekday, on Monday, October 29th, from 6:00 until 9:00 pm. On this extra evening, “Hauntling Night,” the place offers a special “scare-free” time when no live actors will be jumping out. The experience will still be scary, just not its usual high level, so suitable for slightly younger children.
And finally, Dovercourt Crypt is also open for viewing in 2018 on Wednesday, October 31st, (so Halloween night). People can tour the attraction and trick or treat at the house between 6:30 and 9:00 pm, and fireworks blast off at 9:15.
What to Expect
Expect to see a first-rate haunted house when you visit Lynn Valley’s Dovercourt Crypt.
The Halloween attraction has been running for 5 years and gets around 700 or so people each season. It’ll likely get a few more in 2018 though as word is getting out and they’ve added an extra day.
At Dovercourt Crypt expect to see scary scenes, both inside and outside the house. Except for the “Hauntling Night,” when the place is less spooky, expect as many as 8 or so actors hiding around corners and waiting to freak you out.
The haunted attraction is built on the side deck area of the creators’ home. It feels like you’re going right into the house. Outside there is a creepy entrance gate, and inside there are ghastly creatures, a claustrophobia tunnel and things hanging from the ceiling. Last year there was even a skeleton on the toilet.
Because Dovercourt Crypt gets less than 1000 visitors in a typical year over the course of its three or so days, the lineups at the place aren’t bad. Except for Halloween night, you don’t normally have to wait long to get in.
Because it’s free, donations benefit a charitable cause, the quality is a near-professional level and the crowds are low, we rate Dovercourt Crypt pretty high on our list of favourite haunted houses! Hope you like it too!
Tips and Advice
Below are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most out of your Dovercourt Crypt experience.
TIP #1: Maginnis Avenue is only about one block long, as is this tiny section of Dovercourt Road. Parking, consequently, is pretty limited. Plan to park in a nearby street and walk the rest of the way.
TIP #2: Donate generously. The attraction is free, but it’s worth paying for and the BC Professional Firefighters’ Burn Fund is a great cause.
TIP #3: There is a strobe light at the Dovercourt Crypt, or at least there has been in recent years. If you are hyper-sensitive to light, this is good to know. Ask about it before you go in.
TIP #4: Take young children and other timid folk to the “Hauntling Night” on Monday, October 29th. That’s when the scare factor gets turned down a bit. Halloween night is also a good time for little kids because of the trick or treating and evening fireworks. The house itself will still be too scary for most younger folk on the 31st though (and for some big folk too).
TIP #5: If you love Halloween attractions, then while you’re on the North Shore check out the Haunt of Edgemont. It’s also in North Vancouver, less than a 15-minute drive away, in Edgemont Village. It’s also at a residential home, of a professional quality, and with admission by donation benefitting the BC Professional Firefighters’ Burn Fund.
TIP #6: The fireworks on Halloween night at 9:15 are fun and free, but it’s not a huge event – it’s more for the neighbours. The pyrotechnics blast off from the street, and it’s a small road with lots of trees nearby, so don’t expect the Fourth of July. It’s nice though for people in the area.
TIP #7: If you really want fireworks, check out the displays in Maple Ridge at the Celebrate the Night event on the last Sunday of October, or at Richmond’s Minoru Park with the Halloween Fireworks on October 31st.
For more information about the haunted house in North Vancouver’s Lynn Valley, see the Dovercourt Crypt Facebook page.
For details about other similar attractions, including ones with ticketed admission, click Lower Mainland Haunted Houses.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver Halloween Events
- Halloween Activities for Children
- Halloween Events for Adults
- Vancouver’s October and November Calendars
- North Vancouver