This year the Canadian Mental Health Association will be holding its annual Halloween haunted house at its office.
For years, the haunted house has generally been hosted at Homeless Outreach worker Wayne Lucier’s home.
He’s been running the outreach program, dedicated to getting people off the streets, since 2010 and has seen the numbers of people involved go from eight to well over 300 in 2018.
“For quite a few years we used to do the haunted house at my house on Ninth Avenue. It was called ‘Nightmare On Ninth’ for quite a few years and we’d have a lot of people who would go through there,” Lucier said. “Pretty close to 400 people go through there some nights.”
Read More: Halloween frights and fireworks
This year Lucier has chosen to host the house at his own office and use it as a fundraiser for the CMHA, with admission by donation including anything from a small cash donation, to a few cans of food.
There’s no set theme for the haunted house.
Lucier said their only goal is “to scare people and to have a blast.”
Lucier is looking forward to hosting the event in his office, as he thinks both the dozen volunteers who are helping to put on the house and the haunted house goers will avoid being cold and wet, in addition to making his fog machines far more effective.
The house will open its doors Oct.31 at 3 p.m. and shut its doors at 8 p.m. in time for the Halloween fireworks at Stampede Park.
“Earlier in the afternoon, come in with the little wee kids. We don’t scare them as much. Soon as it starts getting dark, though, we’re going to hopefully scare ya,” Lucier said. “I enjoy it, this is going to be eight or nine years we’ve been doing this steady and I just have a blast doing it.”
As many people are going through hard times currently, Lucier believes that any funding they can pick up from the event will be valuable and will go directly into helping the community.
They help subsidize the rent of low-income households and have hired more counsellors this year to help the organization run smoother.
“Come on down, support Candian mental health, support your community and be prepared to get scared,” Lucier said.