Brendan Cavanagh loves Halloween. So much so that for the last three years he has invited Whistler into his home to enjoy it with him.
Cavanagh's residence, at 3145 Hawthorne Place in Brio, is transformed into a haunted villa. Last year, more than 3,000 people passed through.
"I got out and get all manner of costumes, classic horror stuff. And what I ended up with is a theme I call Frightmare on Hawthorne, it's basically a wide range — every one of our favourite horror themes," he says.
For 2014, Cavanagh started gathering supplies and props earlier in the year. He began to build elements of the house that could be put away until the leaves started to fall from the trees.
"The lesser used areas of the house are transformed first, then as we get closer to the day the living room gets decorated, then the dining room and the stairwells. It's fun to transform but it's also a lot to handle. It's not like I can walk away from it," he explains.
"We're making breakfast literally with spider webs and creepy wallpaper and creepy characters nearby. It's really random."
Cavanagh says Halloween is his "absolute favourite thing in the whole world." He inherited his love of it from his parents.
"When I was younger, everyone seemed to be free to do whatever they wanted. There were fewer restrictions and was what appropriate was thrown out the window, you could get away with whatever you could imagine," he says.
"My parents were into it and living in Whistler, I started to change as a person and was looking for a new direction in my life. When I thought of the haunted house, this seemed to satisfy many of the things I wanted to do simultaneously."
The house proved to be an outlet for his creativity and a chance do something "out-of-the-box hilarious." And he lives being able to give part of the proceeds to local charity. In 2013, $900 was raised.
This year, the haunted house opens on Monday, Oct. 27 and runs until the day after Halloween, Saturday, Nov. 1. There is a family-friendly opening from 3:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., with adults-only Full Scare starting at 7 p.m.
"I wouldn't bring my eight-year-old to the last one," Cavangh says.
Adults are $10 and a family rate has yet to be determined.
Along with his Halloween-loving family, Cavanagh was also inspired by Vancouver's Dunbar Haunted House, which is sadly no longer in existence.
What is different about this year's haunted house?
"Frightmare on Hawthorne reaches exciting and incredible new heights for me," Cavanagh says. "
A large group of people helps Cavanagh make the haunted house a reality. Team frightmare include Marty Rubble, Andrea Mueller, "Lane and everyone at The Rebuild it center and at WCSS."
Cavanagh adds: "There's Louis T, Pat, Tony, Pepperoni, Toulch, Home Hardware, Benjamin Moore, Davin, Vince, Johan, Brad Leith, Randoid, Chef, Ali, Robson, Jo and Kim and Dan at Whistler Show Services, Chelsea, Lyndsey, Mahaila, Tarrin and Veronika."
He is also grateful to his roommates, his neighbours and his landlord, he says.
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