BY KALISHA MENDONSA
A local family is hosting a haunted house experience for a cause – the needs of the Lacombe Food Bank.
Halloween enthusiast Chad Carlson has completely transformed his yard and garage into a spooky walk-through event, with admission being an item to donate to the local food bank.
Carlson and his wife, Jarita, recently moved to Lacombe and are ready to reveal their Halloween spirit.
“Growing up, our parents were very big on us seeing what people are lacking and stepping up to help other people. The food bank tends to reach a really wide variety of people and it’s always community-based.
“By contributing to the food bank, you’re actually giving back to your neighbourhood, your neighbours – your community,” Chad said.
He said he knows food banks have been struggling through the recession and that with Lacombe being his new home, he’s ready to help out.
“The food bank was always a big supporter of our haunted house in Stoney Plain but now we’re turning to our Lacombe Food Bank.”
Through the week of Oct. 24th, leading up to Halloween, the Carlson family is inviting members of the community to come check out the haunted house, with a food bank donation as an entrance fee.
The display is a spectacular arrangement of home-made props, special lighting effects and more. Chad runs a theatre company in his spare time and has used his expertise in prop-making and special effects to make the house a spectacle to behold.
“It seems that every year I build the haunted house up it gets better and better. I started out just by decorating the yard, and then I began to do a bit of work in the garage with a little display, but eventually that led to a haunted house. Now, I’ve gotten to canvases that I’ve painted and walls I’ve constructed and can dismantle later,” he explained.
“If you ask my wife how long this has taken to set up, she’ll just say it’s been forever,” he laughed.
Chad estimates he’s put in nearly 170 hours – between building the props, measuring out the space, planning and bringing it all together. He said he was always a big fan of people who took the time to decorate for Halloween, especially those who went big with the designs.
“I used to make a lot of props for shows I was directing. I liked to do bloody effects and things like that. I started putting together my theatrics and building props, and putting that together with decorations and here we are,” he laughed.
He said this is the first year they’ve set up fully in Lacombe, but the family hopes to continue their annual tradition.
The home is located at 54 Erica Dr. in Lacombe and the haunted house walk-throughs will begin in the week leading up to Halloween in the evenings.