NANAIMO — You would think there would be easier ways to raise money for the community other than trying to make strangers soil themselves in your front yard.
But that's exactly the approach the Huard family is taking, as they bring back their infamous mid-island haunted house for another year of mind-bending terror — all for a good cause of course.
Huard's Haunted House kicks off 13 nights of horror in rural Ladysmith on Oct. 18, with the family inviting the public to walk through their fright-filled creation.
Organizer Shandra Huard said too many haunts rely on blood, gore and shock factor to get a scream.
"That's not horror to me. Horror is about the psyche. It's what causes you to scream at night, what gives you the heebie-jeebies when you're walking alone. It's all psychological and we wanted to play on that. We literally have every normal fear you could think of in our haunt. We let you basically scare yourself, we just give you the foundation to jump off of."
Huard said they began making the haunt out of a love for Halloween and it grew from there. After a stint setting up at McNab's Corn Maze and a year off to tend to family matters, the fright fest is back at their home at 1702 Timberlands Rd.
Over five years of accepting donations in exchange for entry to the haunt, Huard said they've raised over $30,000 for community organizations.
"We are a simple haunt that thrives on detail. We will make sure somewhere in the haunt there is something that will make you scream. I do recommend people use the washroom before coming to see us because we do keep track of who soils in our yard," Huard said, noting their record for "code yellows" was 17.
She said they do not demand a donation for entry, acknowledging not all families can afford their kind of entertainment.
"I tell people if they can donate great, but only give what you can afford."
Huard's Haunted House runs through Halloween, with the exception of Oct. 21, and each night raises money for a different organization. Huard urged people to slow down once they cross the train tracks on Timberlands Rd. and watch for people crossing in the dark. She said parking is available along the fence at the pub across the street and people are encouraged to bring flashlights.
The haunt only allows visitors over the age of seven and is open from 6 to 10 p.m.
Oct. 18 – Vancouver Island University Mariners Hockey Club
Oct. 19 – 100 RCSCC Admiral Mainguy
Oct. 20 – Ladysmith Secondary School Band
Oct. 21 – Closed
Oct. 22 – Vancouver Island Mental Health Society
Oct. 23 – Brechin Lanes Youth Bowlers
Oct. 24 – 100 RCSCC Admiral Mainguy
Oct. 25 – Vancouver Island University Mariners Hockey Club
Oct. 26 – Nanaimo & Ladysmith Food Bank
Oct. 27 – Ladysmith Secondary School Band
Oct. 28 – Maddy's Fund
Oct. 29 – Ladysmith Secondary School Band
Oct. 30 – Nanaimo & Ladysmith Food Bank
Oct. 31 – Brechin Lanes Youth Bowlers
On Twitter: @domabassi
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