Taking place at Playland in October, Fright Nights at the PNE is a Vancouver Halloween tradition featuring multiple haunted houses and 20 amusement rides.
HALLOWEEN AT THE PNE IN 2020
Thanks to COVID-19, Fright Nights did NOT take place in 2020, at least not in its usual format. This past year there weren’t any haunted houses on display that people could walk through. There were still, however, rides, Halloween decorations and other fun and family-friendly things to see and do.
In 2020 the PNE hosted Slayland: Night of a Thousand Screams! At the event there was a horror-themed outdoor walk-thru experience, plus close to 20 rides.
In addition to Slayland, the PNE also hosted a Drive-Thru trick or treating event on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday of October 30th and 31st. For details about both of these events see the PNE.ca website.
FRIGHT NIGHTS’ INFO IN THIS ARTICLE
Click any of the following topics to jump to specific information, or continue reading to learn all about PNE Fright Nights.
Halloween Fright Nights
Running most evenings from early October until Halloween night, Fright Nights is Vancouver’s largest and most popular venue for celebrating Halloween.
In 2019 Fright Nights ran on October 4th-6th, 11th-13th, 16th-20th, and 23rd-31st. In 2020 Slayland ran in its place on select dates between October 9th and the 31st. Unlike in previous years, children between the ages of 8 and 12 could attend (subject to parental discretion). 2021 details about Halloween activities at the PNE are to be confirmed.
Fright Nights is not recommended for children under 12 or folk over age 65. That’s a warning, not a rule, but a good one. It’s a great place for older youth and adults, but definitely not for young children or people with genuine fears (including claustrophobia). Different from Fight Night, Slayland is recommended for folk ages 8 and older.
The vast majority of Fright Night-seekers when we last went appeared to be between age 18 and 30, which isn’t surprising. What might be surprising, however, is the fact that slightly more women than men typically attend.
For an in-depth description of the PNE’s various haunted houses, click Fright Nights Haunted Houses Reviews. For a list of tips and the history about the PNE at Halloween, click Fright Nights Tips & History. For general information about Fright Nights, however, continue reading below.
Admission, Hours and Location
In years when it doesn’t get cancelled, Fright Nights takes place at the PNE’s Playland location at 2901 East Hastings Street in Vancouver. Most years it runs from the first Friday in October until Halloween on October 31st, on most (but not all) days, from 7 pm to between 11 pm and 1 am, depending on the date.
Fright Nights Dates & Times
In 2019 Fright Nights was open October 4th to 6th, 11th to 13th, 16th to 20th and 23rd to 31st.
In years when it does take place, hours of operation are typically from 7 to 11 pm on the first three days of the event. Hours then increase an hour or two, so from 7 pm until midnight on most other days, but also until 1 am on a few days (like on the weekend closest to Halloween).
Fright Nights Admission Prices
Tickets for Fright Nights last year ranged from about $27 to $47 for general admission at the gate depending on the date, or slightly cheaper if purchased online or at 7-11 stores.
General admission usually includes access to 20 carnival rides, 8 different haunted houses and the Monsters of Schlock sideshow.
Admission with Rapid Pass costs between about $69 and $109 at the gate and gives you expedited queue access for each of the haunted houses and once each for the Wooden Roller Coaster, Music Express, Atmosfear, The Beast and Hellevator rides.
Unless it’s raining, Fright Nights gets busy, which can make the extra price worth paying if you can afford it, especially on weekends and later in the month. On a really busy night, even with a Rapid Pass, it can be challenging to see and do everything.
Fright Nights Attractions
There is a lot to see and do at Fright Nights at the PNE, including the attractions listed below. Highlights are of course the various haunted houses, but also the rides. Expect large lineups for them all.
PNE Halloween Haunted Houses
Fright Nights is where you’ll find the highest concentration of haunted houses anywhere. There are eight in total, including Darkness, Fear (which features all kinds of phobias), the Car-n-Evil 3-D experience with clowns, the Keepers Doll Factory, the Haunted Mansion, Hollywood Horrors and Materia Medica.
The newest PNE attraction is “The Bloodshed,” a frightening summer cabin with nightmarish rooms that rivals even the scariest of Fright Night’s other seven haunted houses.
Expect to wait for at least half an hour for each of the PNE’s haunted venues on weekend evenings, and likely longer. The most popular haunted houses include the Asylum and Fear.
Not sure if you have any phobias or what kind of horrors affect you most? Check out all eight venues and you’ll find out!
For detailed descriptions about each of the PNE’s 8 haunted attractions, click Fright Nights Haunted Houses Reviews.
Fright Nights Amusement Rides
Admission to Fright Nights at the PNE includes access to the Break Dance, The Beast*, Enterprise, Gladiator, Hellevator*, Hell’s Gate, Music Express*, Pirate Ship, Rock-n-Cars, Wave Swinger, and the Westcoast Wheel.
Additional rides for 2018 and 2019 that weren’t included in previous years were Bug Whirled, Dizzy Drop, Merry Go Round, Scrambler and the Tea Cups. That brought the total up to about 20 rides from just 15 before.
Rides marked with an * offered priority access to Rapid Pass ticket holders last year. The Revelation was also available for folk willing to pay an extra fee.
Radiant Heat Fire Performance
The dance show featuring fire, phantoms and zombie performers is worth seeing and was offered in past years. It did NOT, however, happen in 2018 or 2019.
In years when it does take place, the Radiant Heat Fire Performance is a good show. It’s not scary and you don’t normally have to get there early to avoid the crowds as most folks are focused on the rides and haunted houses.
Monsters of Schlock
Monsters of Schlock is a live comedy show featuring painful stunts, slapstick and old-time carnival entertainment. Performances last year were at 8:30, 9:45 and 11:00 pm from October 11th until the 31st.
If you arrive just a few minutes before show time you’ll have a good chance of still getting a seat. (Note: Often the Monsters of Schlock do not perform on the first weekend of October and this was the case last year).
Fright Nights Tips
Here are some suggestions on how to make the most out of your Fright Nights experience:
TIP #1: If you want to minimize your time in the lineups either purchase the Rapid Pass (for as much as $62 extra) or go on a rainy day. Also, as can be expected, weekends are busier than weekdays.
TIP #2: Read tips #3 and #4 below carefully. You don’t want to stand in line for 20 minutes to get in and then be refused admission or find out you won’t be able to return to your car to get your umbrella part way through if it starts to rain.
TIP #3: Don’t go to Fright Nights in costume or with face paint. Also prohibited are the usual list of contraband items like firecrackers, weapons, drugs and alcohol, plus extra things like pets, cameras with detachable lenses and selfie sticks. For the complete list of what you can’t take with you to Fright Nights see PNE Guest Services. Also, expect to have your body and personal items searched upon entry, which is for everyone’s safety.
TIP #4: Re-entry is not permitted – there are no in-and-out privileges. So don’t plan to meet your friend outside part way through the night, go to McDonald’s nearby for a snack after a couple of hours or to go back to your car later to get something.
TIP #5: There is often free on-street parking south of the PNE grounds. Just make sure not to park somewhere that says “residential parking only.”
For more tips and information about Fright Nights and its admission prices, lineups and history, click PNE Halloween Tips & History.
To learn more about the PNE’s various haunted houses, click Fright Nights Haunted Houses Reviews.
For more information on this amazing Halloween venue, check out the PNE Fright Nights website.
For more ideas on Halloween things to see in October, check out the following:
- Vancouver Children’s Halloween Activities
- Lower Mainland Haunted Houses
- Vancouver’s October Calendar
- Lower Mainland Halloween Events