Scare yourself happy at A Haunting on Easy Street 

Whistler and Pemberton both have Halloween houses

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - WINNER OF THE SKELETON A spooky scene from last year's Whistler Haunted House.
  • Photo submitted
  • WINNER OF THE SKELETON A spooky scene from last year's Whistler Haunted House.

It's a frightfully good night out that has become a Whistler tradition.

Whistler Haunted House has moved, though, and this year has become A Haunting on Easy Street."This year's haunting will be pretty awesome and different... it's a new event sponsored by Whistler Haunted House," says organizer Brendan Cavanagh.

For one thing, it will stay strictly outside.

"It's on and around the property. Before it was inside the house," he says.

"We've been moving materials there in preparation for a couple of weeks now. It's going to be a new thing for us."But will it still scare the crap out of the people who go there? "We're hoping so," he laughs.

"It's like a maze, we're trying to maximize the space so there will be twists and turns. It's under cover as well."

This year, the house is located at 6344 Easy Street in Whistler's Tapley's Farm. It is the fourth year that Cavanagh has put it on.

"It has definitely become anticipated and expected. A lot of people get a kick out of it," he says.

"Every year more kids want to be spookers themselves, be a part of it and scare people. Some people are obsessed with it."

The challenges of putting it on this year were big. In December 2014, Cavanagh was badly injured in a snowboarding accident. Left paralyzed, he has spent much of the year in recovery.

For the moment, Cavanagh is off work and remains in a wheelchair.

"Mentally it's very hard, for sure. It has been a big change. Physically, I'm getting there. It's a long, slow process. I've got a lot of return in my legs, a lot of movement," Cavanagh says.

He says working on the house this year has been helpful.

"There was uncertainty at first (as to whether he would create the house this year), a fantasy that it would actually happen again. But we went for it, and it's definitely keeping me busy. With friends and volunteers, it has been coming together really well."

He had to change venues when he moved in the middle of all of this.

"The house we had it in before was sold while I was in the hospital and we had to quickly move all of our stuff. I got my personal belongings out when I was in rehab," Cavanagh says.

Each year, the haunted house has been a fundraiser. This year it is Cavanagh himself who will benefit, the accident having caused financial hardship.

"So far, I have burned through $6,000 on physio, so it has been very costly," he says.

A Haunting on Easy Street takes place from Wednesday, Oct. 28 to Friday, Oct. 30 — with Family Fun from 5 to 6:30 p.m., and Full Scare with actors from 7 to 10 p.m.

On Halloween night, Saturday, Oct. 31, it will be open with Family Fun from 5 to 8 p.m.; and Full Scare with actors from 8 to 10 p.m.

"Full Scare is for more mature audiences," Canvanagh says, adding that they are still accepting volunteers for the night. "We're always looking for people to scare out guests. We still need lumber donations, as well."

Cavanagh says the house has been pulled together by a main crew of four — himself, Paul Fornier (the owner of the house), Marty Saeger and John Leslie — along with other volunteers.

Entry to A Haunting on Easy Street is by suggested cash donation of $10, with a $5 donation before 8 p.m. on Halloween night.

Meanwhile, Pemberton has its own haunted house that its organizer says drew more than 800 kids and their parents to The Glen area of the village in 2014.

Lisa Bishop's home on the corner of Laurel and Lupin Streets is a one-night scare fest, from 5 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 31.

"I do something different every year. For the last two years, I did a haunted garage — last year it was with an 'insanitarium' theme. The year before that it was Frankenstein's laboratory," Bishop says.

"This year, I am doing a maze in my backyard, with a variety of things for people to go through."

She says she is one of these people who likes Halloween more than Christmas.

"When I moved to Pemberton and found out that I live in the neighbourhood where all the kids come, I started getting into it. It's a fun way to spend October," she laughs.

There is no charge.

"It's for the trick-or-treaters. I started encouraging the parents to come through as well and now they do. But it's a great neighbourhood for decorations. There are plenty of cool places to visit," Bishop says.

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