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Photo provided by Pirate Life

Set Sail for Spooky Season with Escape the Ghost Ship

By Shireen Agharazi-Dormani on September 24, 2021



October is less than a week away, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s already Spooky Season — the Halloween decorations and costumes already displayed in stores are more than enough proof. With the limits and uncertainties COVID-19 brings to us, how we celebrate the spookiest time of year may not be the same. We won’t let that stop us, though.

From Sept. 24 to Oct. 11, Secret City Adventures and Pirate Life present Escape the Ghost Ship, an adventurous and engaging escape game that takes place on a pirate ship. Thursdays through Sundays, at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., you can head on down to Pirate Life dock at 588 Hog’s Back Road for immersive puzzles and theatre on Island Rogue, a 50-foot passenger ship.

“This event is a partnership with Secret City, Toronto’s leading escape game builder with escape games at Castleloma and Black Creek Pioneer Village,” says Matt Slaman, producer of Pirate Life via email. “This is the first foray into Ottawa for them.”

The Ghost Ship sets sail on the open waters. Photo provided by Pirate Life.

The run-time of this event is 75 minutes, where the “first 15 minutes [are] onshore with a dockside patio where guests can grab a beer, cider or wine before they take to the seas,” says Slaman. He recommends arriving at the dock at least 15 minutes before the departure time. The escape game itself is an hour-long. Ticket prices are $59, with the Sunday Special being only $49 (use code 10OFF).

A maximum of 18 people can come aboard, where they’ll be assigned into three teams of four to six. You can sign up individually or as part of a team. This experience has been designed for a limited amount of people to be on the boat due to COVID-19 protocols. “Despite the challenges we carry on forward!” says Matt.

A puzzle to solve: what could be inside? Photo provided by Pirate Life.

The game also features digital puzzles and clues through “alternate” reality (AR). To use that feature, you’ll need your phone with a current browser installed and hop on the boat’s Wi-Fi. To make sure you enjoy the complete experience, make sure your phone is fully charged!

While Escape the Ghost Ship is not a horror game, some younger kids may not enjoy the horror themes and characters. Pirate Life recommends this game for adults and children 12 years and up.


You can buy your tickets here. If you’re looking to book a private event, email to set things up.