It’s Halloween morning and Brad Dinwoodie is busy carving pumpkins. He’s expecting 1,000 kids to visit his place on Pitt Meadows’ Spooky Lane.
The estimation is no stretch at all. Residents of 192A Street each report having 800 or 900 trick-or-treaters last year, and the local legend has only been growing in popularity, thanks to the buzz on social media.
“It’s just taken off,” he said.
Like Dinwoodie, an artist who was carving 45 pumpkins, everyone on the street goes all-out decorating for the night.
The city decided to close the street to vehicle traffic for the night, and the Lions Club offers families hot dogs and hot chocolate. Save-On Foods donated a box of candy for every household, to help ensure they don’t run out.
For the homeowners, Halloween night is about three solid hours of handing out candy, explained Dinwoodie.
Bruce the Chainsaw Guy chases teenagers with a real running saw – albeit one that has been de-fanged.
Everything about the place is a safe, if creepy, family environment.
Tom and Pat Hardy are the people Dinwoodie calls the inspiration behind Spooky Lane. Multiple winners of the city’s Christmas decorating contest, their yard and house display 20 years of collecting Halloween decorations, from old classics to creepy animated witches and devils.
“She’s the driving force, of course,” said Tom.
You can’t swing a black cat on their lawn without hitting a decoration. It brings to mind a cashier’s tally – how much have they spent?
“We’re not going to go there, because then I’ll be in trouble,” answered Pat.
She buys a lot of batteries, because “Everything talks or sings or does something.”
Pat points to neighbouring houses, explaining each one picks a theme for decorating.
“They’re ghosts, they’re pumpkins, they’re spiders… we’re whatever was on sale at the time.”
They love the community spirit it shows.
“It’s a great neighbourhood. We’ve been here 30 years,” said Tom.
It’s a street where neighbours get together to barbecue, where they hold a Christmas ball hockey tournament, and everyone gets involved.
“We all just have a great time,” said Dinwoodie, “and we’re very family- and community-oriented.”