Downtown Brockville historic site transforms for Terror Walk

A historic site in downtown Brockville has been transformed leading up to Halloween, ready to scare those who dare to enter.

While Brockville’s Railway Tunnel might be closed for the season, there’s one last event happening if you are brave enough.

“Basically, we take the first railroad tunnel in Canada and we turn it into a half kilometre haunted walk,” said Amy Hawkins, Creative Director behind the Tunnel of Terror. 

It has returned for the first time since 2019, with many different spooky scenes to encounter along the walk.

“You’ll come through the haunted woods, you’ll run into a coven of witches, you might run into a plague doctor, a victim or two, there’s some ghosts wandering around, some spooky clowns, you never know,” Hawkins said. 

While the tunnel is usually lit up bright for the season, red is the only shade shown throughout, with flashes of white appearing now and then.

“401 Electric actually set all this up for us. They run all the lights in here normally and all I did was ask Dave for some spooky effects and spooky music and he put this together for us,” Hawkins added. 

A look inside the Tunnel of Terror, inside Brockville’s Railway Tunnel. (Nate Vandermeer/CTV News Ottawa)

Production Manager Guy Wales says planning for this event begins in the summer, and takes weeks. 

“There’s a creative team that sort of puts together ideas and as we get props, we figure out where they might go, and we organize it into sections so we have a rough idea of what we need,” Wales said. 

The tunnel closes for the year after Thanksgiving weekend, with Wales and the team coming in the day after to start setting up the event. 

“They are excited before they get in here, part of that relates to the three year delay for all theatrical productions,” Wales said. “We’ve all been through that, and we are anxious to come back as creatives to get something out to the public.”

“We’re sort of a horizontal theatre where everybody gets to walk through the set. It’s exciting,” he added. 

Up to 20 scare actors are also situated throughout the tunnel, ready and waiting in the dark for their chance to scare. 

“We’ve got students from the high school in Prescott, the high schools here in Brockville,” Hawkins said. “They bring their costumes, their enthusiasm; they are really having a great time and getting some fantastic scares.”

The students volunteer their time, with those hours going towards their 40 hours needed to graduate. 

“The more the merrier, so if anyone does need more hours, get in touch,” Hawkins added, with those interested asked to connect through the Tunnel of Terror Cast and Crew Facebook page.

The Tunnel of Terror is open to anyone of any age, and families are welcome. 

“The little kids, some of them are really scared and some of them are a little more brave than their parents so it’s kind of funny,” added Wales. 

Brockville’s Railway Tunnel is home to the Tunnel of Terror until Oct. 30. (Nate Vandermeer/CTV News Ottawa)

But for those who do get scared enough to want out, the crew will help. 

“We’re open to escorting them out safely, in a creative way,” he said. “We have witches who will cast a spell to make everything safer and the parents appreciate that.”

“We’ve had kids pretty much all age come through and love the show,” Hawkins said. “Reactions range from stunned silence and they just kind of stop and figure out if some of us are real, to full on screaming in terror.”

“We’re also not here to traumatize anybody, so if someone is coming with small children, we do tone it down, but if someone wants a scare level, we’ve got that for them too.”

Rules in the tunnel include no touching of props or actors, and no running. Dogs, including service animals, are also not allowed to be in the tunnel during the event.

The site is accessible for people using a wheelchair. 

“It’s a wonderful experience,” Hawkins said. “It’s actually great energy, everybody comes in and they kind of get hyped up and it’s fantastic to see everybody coming together, seeing students, theatre enthusiasts, just people from all different backgrounds coming together and having a great time it’s really fantastic.”

“Once we get the energy of the kids in here and their performances, that makes it for the audience when they are coming through, that’s what they remember is the actors,” added Wales. 

The Tunnel of Terror runs Saturday and Sunday night, and then Thursday to Sunday (October 27-30) from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Tickets are $10 and act as a fundraiser for the tunnel itself. They can be purchased online, or at the door.

A shuttle bus is also provided at the north end exit and will drive guests back to Blockhouse Island at no charge. 

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