Entertainment

Spooky fun at Nelson haunted house

Ginny McClelland stands in the entrance of her haunted maze. - Sam Van Schie photo
Ginny McClelland stands in the entrance of her haunted maze.
— image credit: Sam Van Schie photo

A popular haunted house that used to spring up on Beasley Street every Halloween has moved several blocks downhill and this year promises to be bigger and better than ever.

Ginny McClelland has been building haunted tours on her property for six years. What started as a few homemade tombstones in her yard grew into complex mazes and an ever expanding collection of life-size zombies, skeletons and other deranged characters wired up with motion sensors to move and make sounds when people walk past.

Her last haunted house on Beasley, two years back, attracted 850 viewers in a single night.

“It caused a traffic jam on the street,” she laughed. “People were on their cell phones calling their friends telling them to come see it. There were cars lined up down the street, trying to find a place to park.”

Last year she moved down to Observatory Street and set up a relatively small haunt, by her standards. But this Halloween she’s going all out, with her biggest haunt yet.

She started planning the maze through her garage a month ago and has since dedicated most evenings and weekends to building false walls and new props, and planning costumes for everyone who’s volunteered to jump out of dark corners to scare people walking through.

“It’s going to be really scary in there,” she said. “It might be too much for younger children. It’s more targeted at older kids and teens. Even adults are welcome to come through.”

McClelland said Halloween has always been her favourite holiday. She has fond memories of walking through haunted houses as a child growing up in the States where, she said, the holiday is a much bigger deal.

“When I moved to Nelson, I missed seeing all the decorated yards and decided to start the tradition for myself,” she said.

In her new house, McClelland has a whole storage room dedicated to haunting supplies.

“My family jokes that we had to move into a bigger house because we needed more space for my Halloween stuff,” she said.

“It’s just great to see everyone’s reaction to it. I think my neighbours probably think I’m nuts.”

McClelland’s haunted house is located at 512 Observatory Street, half a block from Trafalgar middle school, and is only open on Halloween night. She’ll be accepting monetary donations for the Salvation Army food bank as an entry free.

Families with younger children who may be too frightened inside the haunted house are welcome to wander through the grave yard outside and come by for trick or treating.

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