The Boys and Girls Club of Airdrie’s (BGCA) AIRSCARES haunted house returns for its seventh year Oct. 17, offering plenty of thrills and chills for horror enthusiasts.
“We see hundreds and hundreds of people show up for this event, so it’s clear to us that Airdrie is really into spooky stuff and that they love Halloween as much as we do,” said campaign co-ordinator Sam Morros.
Returning to the old fire hall on Main Street, AIRSCARES will run Thursdays to Saturdays for two weeks – Oct. 17 to 20 and Oct. 24 to 27, before concluding Oct. 30.
Without giving away too much, Morros said the haunted house – titled “Would You Like To Play A Game?” – explores classic horror movies, and particularly the villains.
“This is kind of our love letter to horror cinema,” Morros said. “We’re going to try to take people through some familiar destinations and seeing some familiar faces.”
The haunted house is not for the timid, Morros said, recommending a minimum age of 10 years old.
“We don’t say this is a kid-friendly attraction,” she said. “We really are going full-scare here.”
The club will offer family-friendly matinees between noon and 3 p.m. Oct. 19 to 20 and 26 to 27. During the matinees, Morros said, the lights stay on with “low to no scare.”
“We’re thinking more of a cats and bats and spooky ghosts Halloween versus murder and mayhem Halloween,” she said. “There’s going to be crafts, treats, trick-or-treating activities, games and no scary jumping out.”
Scares will be dialled to the maximum Oct. 30 for an adults-only night. Attendees must be at least 18 years old, Morros said, and should expect a full-contact experience.
“In the normal AIRSCARES, there is no touching allowed from actors or volunteers, but in this case, you can expect to maybe be grabbed on the leg,” she said.
BGCA will offer a childcare option that night, and has also partnered with Main Street Beer and BBQ for a discounted meal.
The majority of the volunteers and actors are youth and BGCA members, Morros said, but there is still an opportunity to volunteer for the haunted house. Anyone older than 14 can help out with the event, either as an actor or behind the scenes as a parking attendant, greeter or “rescue squad” to retrieve anyone that gets too scared and uses the safe word, “unicorn.”
“It’s a great way for kids that need volunteer hours for school, or if people just like being creepy, that’s cool, too,” Morros said.
Regular admission is $12 a ticket, with a group-booking rate of $10 for ten or more people on Thursdays and Sundays. Morros said she can be emailed for group bookings.
Matinees are offered at a discounted price of $5 a ticket, and children under three years old get in for free, she added.
AIRSCARES is BGCA’s biggest fundraiser of the year, Morros said, with proceeds used to fund the club’s programs throughout the year.
“The dollars we raise at events like this go directly back to reducing barriers that Airdrie individuals may have to accessing our programming,” she said. “If that is, for example, a financial barrier, those funds would remove the cost of allowing kids to access those types of programs.”