Edmonton

Stony Plain haunted house facing bylaw scare

A popular haunted house in Stony Plain may be forced to shut down after someone complained their macabre display was unsafe.

Couple hopes to save their apocalypse inspired display from Halloween haters

Dennis Massicotte and Cindy Ducharme are hoping their Halloween guard tower will be approved by safety inspectors. (Ariel Fournier/ CBC Edmonton )

To say Dennis Massicotte and Cindy Ducharme relish Halloween would be an understatement.

The couple's home in Stony Plain is a gruesome sight this time of year. The front lawn is covered with blood, guts, tombstones and a virtual army of zombies. And at the centre of it all,  a 16 foot tall prison tower.

"What we have is zombies everywhere, motorized, animatronics, lighting, fences towers, we have everything," says Massicotte, who notes the display was inspired by the prison scene in the AMC series, the Walking Dead.

"My favourite part of the display would be the guard tower. Just because it's big and to the extreme." said Massicotte.

"We haven't gone this extreme yet and with the guard tower and the fence this year, it's making our life easier and it's drawing in lots of people."

In exchange for a charity donation anyone can get up close and personal with the zombies. And curious onlookers have been pouring onto the property every night. But lately they been worried they'll have to tear the everything down.

They got a call from bylaw. Someone, concerned the tower was a safety hazard, had lodged a complaint with local infrastructure department. It was going to cost them $1,000 to keep the haunted house open.

Spooked, they considered tearing everything down. The past year has been hard on the couple's finances and they couldn't afford all those permits and inspections.

In a last ditch effort to keep Halloween display intact, they posted a plea on Facebook. Local realtor Ken Morrison responded, and within the day, all the cash required to keep things running had changed hands.

But, Ducharme says they still might have to shut down. They're still waiting for all their paperwork to be approved by town officials, and a  engineer will have to inspect the tower for any structural problems.

The haunted house raised more than 400 pounds in donations for the food bank last year, and Ducharme says it would be a shame to see it shut down.

"A lot of good things come out of it," said Ducharme. 'Our fingers are crossed."

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