Two weeks of terror with annual haunted house

  • Oct. 8, 2014 2:51 p.m.

‘Red Deer’s Most Fatal Attraction’ returns this year with the Zed Haunted House, presented by the hard work and long hours of the Red Deer and District Boys and Girls Clubs.

For 24 years, the Haunted House has been the major source of fundraising for Boys and Girls Club programs in the area, including youth shelters. The high quality horror show has been carefully designed and built upon over the course of many years and is now even a featured Alberta Tourism destination.

“It’s not a typical haunted house type thing that you’d imagine for Halloween. A lot of the characters and volunteers are youth, and this is very interactive. It’s more of a production than anything else,” said John Johnston, event manager at the Red Deer Boys and Girls Club.

“It isn’t a matter of people just jumping out of corners and scaring you – they are trained actors that take courses and training and everything to be in certain roles in the haunted house. A lot of our props, even down to our masks and everything are very orchestrated, very high-end. It’s not costumes that you’d typically see in a costume store – they are very well done.”

For the last two years the event was given the title of the Number One Haunted Charity Attraction in North America by the International Haunted Attractions Association.

Johnston says that the general event is not recommended for children under 10 years of age due to the quality of horrors but there are weekend matinees that were created specifically for youngsters. At the matinees, the attraction is geared down and “very scary or gross” sections are not visible to children.

For teens and adults, the event kicks off on Oct. 17th and will run each night from 6 to 10 p.m. until Halloween night. The Haunted House is located between Spirit Halloween and Sport Chek in Parkland Mall.

To bring a new twist on an old favourite, the Haunted House will feature a guideless portion this year where visitors will have to find their own way through the terrors.

“The challenge every year is to do something new and different. This year, we’re thinking around the theme of Game of Thrones and we will have authentic White Walkers that will be here as our new big characters,” said Johnston.

Johnston was excited to be able to bring the authentic Hollywood White Walker costumes all the way to Red Deer.

A volunteer is behind every character, each scary twist and small decoration. Youths from the Boys and Girls Club have gotten involved and are in training to be scare-masters.

“The funds raised go to support the club. The kids are out there having fun and at the same time, helping to raise money for their own club. We had a meeting a little while ago and the kids are all fired up and have the ball rolling.

“I think it’s great that it’s not only a fundraiser and the kids benefit and receive the funds from it, but they are part of it. They’re out there working and volunteering and raising funds like everyone else. It’s a lot of fun, but it’s probably the most labour-intensive, exhausting fundraising event that we ever do.”

Johnston expressed that his favourite portion of the event is the amount of community support and volunteers who come to put the event together. He said that people are often astounded when they realize how many hours go into the planning, construction, production and takedown of the event.

“All the volunteers are excited now during set up and everything but the highlight is actually watching the audience that comes out to the event and their reactions to it. It’s so great to see.”

Tickets at the door are $15 per person. A full list of admission prices and more event details are available at the web site.

Just Posted

RCMP lay 34 charges in stolen vehicle operation

Red Deer RCMP arrest 13 people in four-day covert stolen vehicle operation last week

Last Christmas for Ten Thousand Villages in Red Deer

The fair trade organization will be closing its doors in the New Year

Olympic sportscaster Brian Williams says IOC too lenient on Russians

Williams was in Red Deer for a speech for Farm Credit Canada

A 37-year-old Red Deer man arrested for impaired driving

Man sustained serious injuries in two-vehicle collision

Red Deer RCMP investigate Oriole Park home invasion

RCMP believe it was a targeted home invasion, targeting wrong residence

Troubled Monk releases new spirit

Troubled Spirit vodka was introduced in early December

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

FCC votes along party lines to end ‘net neutrality’

Move rolls back restrictions that keep big providers from blocking services they don’t like

Truck driver volunteers to take dog lost in B.C. back home to Alberta

Frankie, a pit bull service dog, was found wandering in the Lower Mainland

Disney buying part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4B deal

Disney is buying a large part of the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox for about $52.4 billion

Bountiful polygamist believed he couldn’t be prosecuted: lawyer

Winston Blackmore’s lawyer says Blackmore did not believe he could be prosecuted

Woman charged after altercation injured baby in Toronto

Charges have been laid after a four-month-old baby girl was critically injured in Toronto

Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil announces retirement

Veteran Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil spent 15 seasons with the NHL team

Trudeau’s office confirms staffer being probed over allegations

PMO confirms staffer being probed over allegations of reported “inappropriate behaviour.”

Most Read