Quebec's Haunted Village
The Village Québécois d’Antan
Each year, Le Village Québécois d'Antan sets up in time for the Halloween season transforming the entire village worthy of a haunt. Tons of visitors flock to the village yearly (there was an impressive line of haunt-enthusiasts waiting for their turn at being frightened when we visited). Some, like us, travelled far to experience Quebec’s Haunted Village firsthand. Quebec’s Haunted Village isn’t my first experience at a haunted attraction. It is the first time, however, when I realized I’ve too often overlooked the work involved when it comes to ensuring the success of haunted attractions.
In the end, our visit to Quebec’s Haunted Village taught me the three essential elements which make a haunted attraction haunt-worthy - authenticity, surrealism, and artistry.
Quebec’s Haunted Village - Le Village Québécois d'Antan - is a historic village containing authentic houses from the 19th century. Given the village’s antiquated setting, the site is already a prime location to set up haunts. There are more than 25 haunted locations to visit in Quebec’s haunted village - there’s the prison, the hospital, the school, the church, and much more - and then there’s the 3 km of eerily-lit streets and paths surrounding the village. The authentic historic setting only serves to heighten the ominous atmosphere of the village.
Apart from the areas designed to scare an older crowd, Quebec’s Haunted Village also contains a family area to entertain the younger lot. Though the area is kid-friendly, Quebec’s Haunted Village refreshingly gives kids more credit when it comes to exposing them to the darker themes of Halloween. The area is a touch more carnivalesque - more in keeping with the surreal and morbid side of Halloween. The kids’ area wasn’t just about candies, cute pumpkins, and friendly monsters. Instead, the atmosphere was darker, spookier, stranger, and there is even a jump scare somewhere along the way (nothing too traumatic)! Conveying elements of the unknown dialed down for the younger crowd instead of eliminating them altogether conveys a less mainstream and dare I say less commercial image of Halloween. Ultimately, Quebec's Haunted Village lends credence to the Halloween theme of opening one’s self to what is unfamiliar and strange.
Instead of shutting or shielding your eyes in anticipation of a scare (admit it, I’m sure I’m not the only one who does it), you may find yourself instead basking in the artistry involved at the Haunted Village. It’s hard to miss how the actors, artists, 19th century architecture, make-up, props, set designs, lighting, and more, blend seamlessly together to create a gloriously haunting experience. You will find many areas in the village truly instagram-worthy - that is, if you can stay put long enough to take a photo amidst the scares.
For more info, view photos we took during our overnight stay at Hôtel & Suites Le Dauphin in Drummondville.
The Village Québécois d’Antan was created in 1977 by historian Claude Verrier at the request of the Drummond County Chamber of Commerce. The objectives of the corporation were to recreate a Québécois village and its surroundings, over a century-long period (19th to 20th century) and showcase everything that made up this heritage.
The Village now offers activities through four seasons, with the Village in Summer (in the summer), the Haunted Village (Halloween), the Desjardins Village in Lights (Holiday season) and the Sweet Village (sugar shack).
Administrative offices open all year long, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
1425, rue Montplaisir, Drummondville, Quebec, J2C 0M2
Hours and rates vary.
Fees to access The Haunted Village only: child (3-12 yrs) $18.27, teen (13-17 yrs) $23.05, adult (18 yrs+) $23.05, family (2 adults + 2 child) $60.88
The Village Québécois d’Antan
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Photo (Main): The Village Québécois d’Antan