Scary is the only theme for a house decked out for Halloween in east Maple Ridge.
Eileen Patterson and her husband Neil Sheffer have been putting together a haunted house for about 18 years.
This year, they started working on the display at the beginning of October.
It runs the entire inside of a three-car garage and along the side of their driveway.
“Before, me and my husband got together, we were both doing it individually and he used to do a castle, the whole front of his house was a castle,” said Patterson.
When she was a child, she wasn’t allowed to celebrate Halloween because of her family’s religious beliefs. She started celebrating as an adult.
“I loved to dress up and when I started having kids, I would dress up and go out with the kids and sometimes they would think I was one of the kids and I’d get candy,” she said.
Patterson makes some of her own props and she does the makeup for her actors. She has so many animatronics that she has lost count.
A headless man greets those at the entrance to the couple’s garage and between five and eight live actors line the display, scaring those who dare to go through.
But, don’t fret if you have little ones. There are spotters on set who will notify the actors inside.
“So if people come up with a stroller and little babies, little kids [the spotters] shout in and all they do is walk through if they are able to walk through. Nobody will jump out and scare them, nobody will move. We don’t do anything to scare the little ones,” said Patterson.
“Because that will wreck Halloween,” she laughed.
The set takes five minutes to walk through.
“Some people go through faster because they are scared,” Patterson added.
The haunted house is located at 23945 115 Ave. and is free to go through.
It will be open for viewing at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 31.
• Lynda Sharma also has a Halloween house display located near Osprey Village in Pitt Meadows. Osprey Cemetery features various blowup characters and a graveyard filled with zombie dolls.
Sharma is fundraising for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada because she lives with Crohn’s disease, an incurable inflammatory bowel disease.
Her goal this year is to raise $2,000 for the foundation.
The Halloween display is located at 11087 Barnston View Rd., at Hoffmann Way.
Donations can be made online at crohnsandcolitiscanada.akaraisin.com.
• Meanwhile, the third annual Celebrate the Night Festival and Fireworks will be taking place Oct. 28 in Memorial Peace Park, downtown Maple Ridge.
The family-friendly event will feature a wonderland of lights, lanterns, artowrk, storytelling, pumpkins, crafts, games and food trucks, with a fireworks finale.
This years theme is Light and Shadow and will also include a celebration of Diwali with music and dancing.
From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. there will be a big and bold pumpkin display, face painting, lantern making for all ages, a photo backdrop, spooktacular active games for all ages, paranormal investigations by Vancouver Supernatural and Kwantlen stories and tall, dark tales.
There will also be an interactive aurora light installation in the bandstand with 400 lights activated by motion and music, a light labyrinth, Teapot in the Tuba roving performers with Katheryn Petersen on accordion and Mike Allen on clarinet, and Love Begets Love light installation in the trees along 224 Street by Gabrielle Odowichuk.
From 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. there will be cultural dancing and interactive workshops featuring South Asian folk, classical and Bollywood fusion dance performances.
A costume parade will take place at 6:15 p.m. with judging and prizes awarded in front of the ACT Arts Centre.
At 7:30 p.m. there will be the official greetings from the City of Maple Ridge with dignitaries and guests and a count down to the fireworks.
The event will end at 8 p.m.
If you are early there will be pre-festival films at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. of the Mary Shelley and Frankenstein classics.
• For more information, see mapleridge.ca.