A safe Halloween means spooks and haunted houses

Sooke will hold the annual Haunted House event at the community hall

Sooke was once a pretty frightening place at Halloween. It wasn’t the ghosts and goblins who scared people, but the youth who went out of control and rioted causing all kinds of fear and property damage.

That was more than a decade ago and now when they call it a Safe Halloween, they mean it. Since 2005, the Sooke RCMP report no significant incidents on Halloween night.

Safe Halloween includes a large haunted house, complete with all the creepy things and noises one would find in such a ghoulish place. This year the Haunted House will be moved to the Sooke Community Hall. It was previously at the fire hall.

“First, we’re moving it to an indoor venue in case of weather,” said Safe Halloween Committee member Rick Armour. “And second the Sooke Firefighters Association is responsible for building and decorating the Haunted House and it take five days to build.”

Armour said the fire hall was essentially out of commission for the duration.

“It’s an overwhelming job for the amount of bodies available,” he said. “The community association was gracious enough to give the space at no charge.”

The basement of the hall will be used for the Haunted House and the upper main floor will have the inflatables, crafts, face paintings, etc.

SEAPARC, said Armour, is playing a big role in providing movies and most likely a Wi station for teens. SEAPARC is also decorating one of the rooms.

Armour encourages other local businesses to get together and decorate other 8×10 rooms in the house. He can be reached at 250-642-6041, or at: rjarmour@shaw.ca.

“We’ve been told our Haunted House is one of the best on the South Island, Armour said. Costs quickly add up for such things as insurance, lumber for building and rental on the large inflatables. The event costs about $3,000 to put on. The labour is all volunteer and is done by members of the Sooke Firefighters Association.

The Haunted House is really popular with the local kids and youth. Last year over 1,200 people went through the house and this year Armour expects as many, if not more. Admission is by donation. Rotary will be providing pizza and refreshment by donation as well.

The Haunted House creaks opens its doors on Halloween, Oct. 31 at 5 p.m., just in time for the little kids to finish their trick or treating rounds, and goes to 9 p.m. when the older kids get in on the fun.

Armour suggest parking your vehicle and walking to the community hall on Sheilds Road.