Sweeney Todd will be in his element and a spider will be hopping mad on Halloween at the Lucier residence on Ninth Avenue.
For the past five years Wayne Lucier and his wife, Linda Gorda, with some help from friends, have put on a truly spooky Halloween showcase running through their garage and into the backyard.
The price of admission is a donation of non-perishable food for families in need.
Last year he says more than 500 people visited their haunted yard and donated a whole truckload of food which they distributed between various community service agencies and food banks.
This year Lucier says they plan to donate the food donated to the Cariboo Chilcotin Metis Association food bank.
“I know through my job as a homeless outreach worker for Canadian Mental Health that there will be more people than ever needing food this winter,” says Lucier who has worked in social services for 10 years, the last seven as a homeless outreach worker.
During that time he has seen wages and social assistance remain relatively stagnant while the cost of living has continued to soar.
“Most people I am dealing with now, whatever money they get is just paying their rent and sometimes they don’t even have enough money to pay their rent.”
Lucier says the cost of rent for basic accommodation has risen by $110 and sometimes $200 and the cost of gasoline has risen by an average of 60 cents a litre.
“The price of groceries has gone sky high,” Lucier says.
Every year he says six or seven people from the Metis Association volunteer their time to dress in costume as characters in the haunted yard displays.
He says the association usually buys the candy given out to the children.
Lucier says he has been collecting Halloween characters and materials for their Halloween displays for 15 years and have also added a few new pieces for this year’s display.
An old barber chair was donated to them so there will be a character there playing the infamous British fictional Sweeney Todd, along with a jumping spider.
“After dark it will be scary,” Lucier says, but adds that if it is snowing or raining they won’t have the outside displays because they are too valuable to be ruined by weather.