There is no shortage of fun to be had on Halloween as people get in on the festive spirit with ghoulish decorations and carved pumpkins. But one family in the Saskatoon area goes beyond your average yard display.
Bailey Waldner and her family have been celebrating Halloween with all their might since she was a child.
“Hocus Pocus,” she said, pointing to the cult-classic 1993 comedy horror film as the main reason the family loves Halloween. “That’s our favourite movie. As children, I believe we went through five VHS copies.”
For the past five years, Bailey has helped her mom organize Terror in the Trees, a makeshift amusement park that takes over the family acreage at Pike Lake south of the city each October.
Guests are taken through an interactive display similar to a haunted house that involves a creepy castle, a psych ward, a voodoo area and a fun house.
“We had yard haunts in the city, but nothing to this calibre,” Waldner admitted.
There are five temporary structures on the property and more than 20 animatronic figures to give the yard that Halloween feel.
The garage is now referred to as the prop-shop due to it’s year-round housing of decorations and building supplies.
Waldner said each family member donates plenty of time, some even travelling long distances to come home and play a character on Halloween night.
“It really brings us together,” she said. “I’m out here every day off that I have from August on building and making stuff.”
All of the preparation culminates in a few frightening nights for visitors.
“It’s fun, it’s the only night of the year it’s legal to scare someone that bad,” Waldner said.
She said the whole family gets a kick out of seeing the reactions from visitors.
“A lady last year was telling my stepdad that was dressed up as a clown that year that he didn’t need to scare her anymore because she already peed her pants.”
Wednesday is the final night to check out Terror in the Trees, which is open from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m..
Monetary donations are accepted, with a portion of the proceeds going to Cosmopolitan Industries.
“It’s something that we’ve always done,” Waldner said. “It’s a family tradition.”
“We just keep trying to make it better than last year but I don’t know how we’re going to do that next year.”