Get ready to get your spook-on this Oct. 27, through to the 31, as Cowichan Lake Recreation, the Honeymoon Bay Community Society, and Country Grocer have all been preparing for a ghastly Halloween weekend.
Vicki Ordano, programming assistant for CLR, and Connie Vaughan have been working hard to set up this year’s haunted house at the Youbou Hall, set to open its doors on Oct. 31 at 6 p.m. The Haunted House will be followed by a costume contest and fireworks. The haunted house, costume contest, and fireworks are courtesy of Cowichan Lake Recreation, and the fireworks are facilitated by the Youbou Volunteer Fire Department.
Ordano says Vaughan is known as the Halloween Queen, and after seeing what Vaughan has conjured up for this year’s event, you might be inclined to agree.
Vaughan says she has done the haunted house, using various themes, for the past 10 years. Since the beginning she has engaged the help of her kids, husband, friends and neighbours to create a spooktacular tour through ghoulish kitchens, haunted graveyards, and any other Halloween thrills she can think of.
“I want to spook all ages,” said Vaughan. “Teens, adults, and kids.”
She knows that younger kids might not make it all the way through the haunted house, so she says she spooks them early and makes sure they have a way out if need be.
This year’s theme is a condemned house.
“In the past we’ve done Egyptian theme, or a pirate theme,” said Vaughan. But she says this year she’s gone back to the haunted house because that seems to be the most popular.
Her youngest son, Elijah, has been helping set up this year, and he will be one of the actors scaring thrill seekers on their way through.
“I usually don’t get given a spot,” said Elijah. “I go everywhere, that’s what I do.”
He did admit that he likes scaring people as they go by.
Vaughan says she will have at least eight volunteers helping her in her condemned house of horror, and that it takes her approximately 10 days to set up. She has at least 20 totes full of Halloween paraphernalia at home, and each year she spends at least $200 adding to her collection.
“It’s a lot of manual labour,” said Vaughan. “All of the decorations are stored at my house, my crawl space is fully occupied.”
John Cummings, events coordinator for Cowichan Lake Recreation, says the premise of the event is “a thank you to the tax payers.”
Ordano adds that without the many volunteers, including Vaughan, the event would not be possible.
This event is free to attend, and Cummings says it is particularly popular with kids between the age of seven and 15.
“It’s a good night,” adds Cummings. “We get 200 to 300 people each year.”
Cowichan Lake Recreation is also hosting a Halloween Dance on Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Curling Lounge in Lake Cowichan.
Tickets are $8, and can be purchased at the arena before hand, or at the door. This is a 19 plus event.
Ordano will be once again providing the canned music, and she says she has something to please everyone, from “The Monster Mash” to contemporary favourites.
“I have something to make everyone happy,” said Ordano.
The Honeymoon Bay Community Society is having its own shindig, also taking place on Oct. 31.
This is also a costume contest with cold hard cash going to the winners in each of the three categories.
There will be hot dogs, hot chocolate, coffee, and of course a huge bonfire and fireworks display.
The event takes place behind the firehall after the Honeymoon Bay firehall siren sounds at approximately 7 p.m.
Country Grocer is also hosting an event.
Moonlight Madness is set to take place on Friday, Oct. 26, between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Along with offering in-store specials, shoppers will be able to take their chances with the Spooky Spinner Prize Wheel when they spend $50 or more.
If you wear your costume, you will receive a gift certificate valued at between $1 and $20.
“There will also be freebies all around the store,” said owner Jo-Anne Pimlott. “It’s a really good time.”