ANNUAL TRADITION - John Johnston of Youth HQ stands with a creepy family, which will be awaiting people lined up for the Zed Haunted House, running through to Oct. 31st.                                Carlie Connolly/Lacombe Express

ANNUAL TRADITION - John Johnston of Youth HQ stands with a creepy family, which will be awaiting people lined up for the Zed Haunted House, running through to Oct. 31st. Carlie Connolly/Lacombe Express

Guaranteed scares at this year’s haunted house

The Zed Haunted House runs through to Oct. 31st in Red Deer

Red Deer’s Most Fatal Attraction will be opening its doors Oct. 18th to stir up a scare during this year’s Halloween season.

Put on by Youth HQ, this year marks the 27th annual edition with 100% of the proceeds going to support the Boys and Girls Club of Red Deer.

“The theme this year is Lost Souls,” said John Johnston, fund development manager with Youth HQ.

The theme is a salute to those movie characters who like to terrorize children at Halloween, he added.

It took an army of volunteers to make the haunted house happen. They’ve been busy since Oct. 2nd spending countless hours setting up the attraction and engaged in character role training sessions. More than 40 business friends helped make the event possible, along with numerous returning sponsors.

Johnston said the community feedback over the years has been fantastic.

“It’s become an event everybody looks forward to every year. We’re averaging over 7,000 people a year who come through the event,” he said.

Last year, more than $100,000 was raised for the Boys and Girls Club.

“This is the primary fundraising event for the Boys and Girls Club of Red Deer and 100 per cent of the funds raised go to support all our community-based programs, not only in Red Deer but our nine satellite clubs in small communities around Red Deer.”

He said all of their programs are at no cost and go towards the children attending, and they rely upon this fundraiser to keep making the programs possible for those children.

The haunted house runs through to Oct. 31st from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. each evening at Parkland Mall (the northeast mall entrance beside Goodlife Fitness).

The event also offers afternoon matinees, which are geared toward children under 10 years of age on weekends from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“The evening show is not recommended for children under 10 years of age,” said Johnston, adding the matinees won’t have a lot of the big scares or gory areas activated.

Midnight Madness will take place on Oct. 27th for those individuals who want some more intense scares than the regular evening show. Once the evening show closes at 10 p.m., the doors will re-open at midnight for two hours.

“That’s strictly for 18 and over only, and it’s quite intense that night,” said Johnston.

Friday Fright Night will take place Oct. 27th from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., which will allow the public to watch youth dancers from Dancers Edge Studio in Blackfalds performing their annual March of the Zombies outside the main entrance.

Saturday Spooktacular will take place Oct. 28th from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. where members of the public can come dressed in costumes for a chance to win some great prizes.

Parkland Mall Fright Night will take place on the final day, Oct. 31st for children to enjoy a child friendly matinee from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at a reduced admission.

For more information on the event visit http://youthhq.ca/events/item/2016/zed-haunted-house/.

carlie.connolly@reddeerexpress.com