Back and stronger than ever, the Williams Lake Boys and Girl’s Club will be hosting its annual haunted house this weekend.
Madison Douglas is one of the many new outreach workers and staff who has taken up jobs with the Williams Lake Boys and Girls Club recently. Douglas started this September, shortly after completing her human services diploma.
“The Boys and Girls Club sounded like an awesome opportunity. I know it lost a lot of staff over the past year, so it seemed like a good fresh start,” Douglas said.
“We’ve got a whole new staff here, so there are lots of new opportunities and I really wanted to work with kids, so it’s a good chance for me to get that experience.”
While the overall theme of the haunted house this year is modelled after the works of Tim Burton, Douglas said each room will be decorated in a homage to different movies. These include Alice in Wonderland, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coralline to name but a few.
Douglas said they chose Tim Burton because the youth who attend the club suggested it, adding that the fact he specializes in creepy, scary but creative stories worked well for a haunted house. While it has been a challenge at times to recreate his style, Douglas said the staff and youth have met this challenge and had fun with it.
The staff and youth have redecorated the entire club’s space and Douglas said this has made the haunted house a real hands-on-experience for everyone. Most of the youth who attend the club have created the props and sets themselves while many of them will be joining the staff in costume the nights the house run, with 15 participating actors.
“It’s been one heck of a project and none of us were here, before, for last year, so we’re doing the best we can and it’s coming together for sure,” Douglas declared. “It’s been a huge work in progress but we’re all doing it together so that’s awesome.”
Admission to the haunted house this year is by food donation, Douglas saying even a simple can of beans or soup will do. This food will go right back into the club’s resources to support and feed the youth throughout the year
The house goes live tonight and Saturday, Oct. 27 from 7-9 p.m. in an effort to attract as many people as possible. As the weekend before Halloween Douglas said it seemed the perfect time to put the house on, so they can provide regular services in the days leading up to Halloween.
“I hope that we’re going to be busy, with a big lineup and lots of people coming out to help us as well to see all the hard work we’ve put into this. All the kids are proud of it, we’re proud of it and I’m excited, “ Douglas said.
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In addition to being a fun fundraiser, Douglas said this haunted house also helps give many of the youth who come to the club a purpose. Throughout the process, Douglas and her colleagues encouraged them to spearhead the creative direction for each room; something she feels has led to feelings of ownership.
For her and the other new staff, this offers a unique chance to build relationships with the youth. Getting into costume and scaring people together should go a long way to help make connections, according to Douglas, while providing something for everyone to look back on proudly.
“People should come to our haunted house because we’ve got a whole new staff, we’ve got a ton of new youth and this is going to be our first big project altogether,” Douglas said. “We’ve put a lot of work into it, so we really want to show the community that we’re back, we’re here and this is about the kids. We’re a prime place in town where our youth go to, so we want to show the community their hard work as well and what we’re all capable of here.”