If you’re looking for some haunted frights for Halloween, you might want to turn your gaze towards Hanmer.
There, you’ll find several haunted attractions put together by people who have taken their love of Halloween and turned it into a spooky experience for people of all ages.
Lanny Rideout, a.k.a. Mr. Halloween, has transformed his entire property at 4664 Jacqueline St. into a giant pirate ship and haunted house. He and his wife, Lynne, spent months on it, working well into the midnight hours at times to get it ready for Halloween.
“I’ve been a fan of Halloween forever, and I want my house to be the best one on the street,” said Lanny Rideout, who said he just takes pleasure in other people having fun with it, “and the more screams I hear, the better it is.”
When he moved into his home 11 years ago, he said he had only eight trick or treaters at his door.
“I told myself that has to change, so I started doing this, and every year it got bigger and bigger,” he said.
Three years ago, the idea for the pirate ship came about. Two years ago, he incorporated a maze, and this year the couple put together a haunted house.
They are collecting food items as the price of admission and will donate it to the Valley East Food Bank.
Last year, they had more than 600 people come out to see the pirate ship and the maze, and managed to fill a 14-foot aluminum boat with food donations, Rideout said.
“Hopefully we can make another dent in the food bank’s stock,” he said.
Not able to donate a food item? No problem. They won’t turn away anyone looking to have some Halloween fun.
It’s about a 10-minute walk through the haunted house, he said. They only allow a maximum of four people through at a time.
With COVID-19 restrictions, they encourage visitors to wear a mask and respect physical distancing while waiting for their turn to go through the haunted house.
While the pirate ship is appropriate for children of all ages, the haunted house is not for the faint of heart, and is more geared toward older kids and adults, Rideout said.
It opens Friday from 7-10 p.m. and runs Saturday and Sunday night. Weather permitting, Rideout said will keep it running for some time after Halloween.
1st Valley Yard Haunt
Fellow Hanmer residents Scott Seguin and Carrie Baldwin live at 4429 Saint Mary Blvd. Together with the 1st Valley Scouts, they want to provide some Halloween scares, too.
The couple has set up the 1st Valley Yard Haunt on their property and invite the public to visit.
They have been working on it since March, Seguin said, although Baldwin started putting it together four years ago.
“She is a local artist and loves Halloween,” Seguin said. “She starts planning and purchasing for this event in March. We started putting it together mid-August. We make a great team.”
He said when the two began dating, he told her with the amount of work she puts into it, it should not just open for Halloween, but for at least a week prior and collect donations for charity.
That’s what they are doing this year, and money raised will help support the 1st Valley Scouts.
Seguin recently became the group commissioner for the 1st Valley Scouts.
“Since we are a brand new group this year, and a lot of our fundraising events are cancelled because of COVID, I decided it would be a good idea to use our Halloween Haunt as a way to raise funds for the scouts group,” Seguin said. “The Scouts are definitely helping. They are our little walkers. They come dressed to scare and help set off animatronics.”
They opened their Halloween haunt on Monday and have been getting plenty of visitors. They are closed tonight (Oct. 29), but will reopen Friday night and Saturday night from 7-10 p.m.
To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, Seguin said they have a separate entrance and exit.
“We are using a light timer at the entrance that goes green when it's safe for a group to go in and red when it's not,” Sequin said. “We ask that people separate by a minimum of six feet and stay within their cohort/group. We asked that they wear masks.”
If there is a long lineup towards the end of the night, Seguin said they will stay open until the line clears, but they ask people not to line up after 10 p.m.. There is a cash box for donations for the 1st Valley Scouts, however, the event is free.
“We are also accepting donations for people who don't want to come out, but still want to help out the group and those can be sent by email transfers directly to [email protected].”