Claremont Secondary in Saanich is gearing up to host the biggest Halloween party in town.
The 11th Annual Screamfest takes place at the school on Oct. 23 and 24 from 6 to 9 p.m. Younger ghosties are encouraged to attend until 7 p.m. when the theme shifts from spooky to scary. From 7:30 onward, attendees should prepare to be afraid.
This year, Screamfest features new midway games – Halloween-themed carnival attractions – a costume contest, a barbecue dinner and prizes.
There will also be a new attraction: two haunted walks that take attendees all over the school, explained Claremont vice-principal Aaron Buckham. Student volunteers don scary costumes and transform the school hallways into another dimension. During the scary part of the evening, there are even parents who won’t do the haunted walk, said Buckham with a laugh.
Screamfest has been hosted at Claremont Secondary for the past three years, but it’s taken place at several other schools in School District 63 (SD63) in the past. The event was created by Mike Brooks whose daughter now attends Claremont Secondary, noted Buckham.
Brooks is still in charge of planning the event 11 years later and builds the games and decorations from scratch. Students and staff help out with everything from building the attractions to set up. Buckham is proud of how much work the volunteers have been putting in.
“It’s a wicked event,” he said. “It’s all about good, clean Halloween fun.”
The event is open to the whole community. Tickets are available at local schools for $10 per person or $30 for an elementary school family of four. Entrance to the event, one haunted walk and a midway game are included with the purchase of a ticket. All proceeds go towards supporting schools in SD63.