Haunted Calgary set to scare Calgarians this weekend
Outdoor attraction open on Friday and Saturday and again Oct. 31
Something spooky is afoot in northwest Calgary this weekend.
Haunted Calgary returns with another walk-through yard attraction at 222 Rocky Ridge Bay N.W., offering 10,000 square feet of scares.
Performances go Friday and Saturday, then again on Oct. 31.
This year's theme is Haunted Hollywood — the same as last year, but with a twist.
"Last year, we kind of went classic movie monsters. This year, it's kind of like we're creating our own horror movie. So when you step in, we want you to think you're on a soundstage being part of the action," creative director Christine Campbell told the Calgary Eyeopener on Friday.
The annual event started with humble beginnings some 25 years ago.
"My dad got stuck babysitting myself and the neighbourhood kids and he had a honey-do list, which included rake the leaves so, 'hey, kids, throw these leaves into kitchen catcher bags and make some ghosts, we'll throw them in the tree.'"
"It somehow just spiraled. My mom became the Wicked Witch, and adopted that persona maybe a little too much."
Since then, the production has grown to include a team of more than 75 volunteers who spend more than 2,000 collective hours setting things up.
"It will take about double that by the time we're done acting and cleanup," said Campbell.
"It's really a labour of love from the community. We work with lots of partner organizations to deliver skills training to people who wouldn't normally have the opportunity to learn set design or basic construction or basic management skills. There's a lot of people involved."
Up to 60 actors provide the frights on the three nights.
Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for teens, students and seniors, $5 for children six to 12, and free for children five and under. Family tickets and passes are also available, and a donation to the Calgary Food Bank will garner a discount.
Dress warm, parking limited
A "low-scare" version will be on from 2 to 4 p.m. each day for younger visitors and those who frighten easily, and the "full scare" version goes from 6 to 10 p.m., said Campbell.
She encourages visitors to dress warm as the event is entirely outdoors, and because of its popularity, there's often a line of people waiting to get in.
"Everybody goes through at different paces, some people run right through and hardly see a thing and some people stop to appreciate all the detail we've put in," she said. "Expect a cast of about 60 actors who are there to terrify you, some animatronics that have been delivered from the U.S. and handcrafted sets."
Campbell asks visitors to be respectful of their neighbours, especially around parking.
"It's very limited street parking," she said. "To keep the cul-de-sac fairly safe for trick-or-treaters, it's really nice if people can take transit, carpool and park maybe a couple blocks away and walk in."
Money raised from ticket sales will go to the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS).
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