Written by Vanessa To (@Vanessato_)
As spooky ideas goes, this one was hatched seven years ago on Hallow’s Eve by two families residing at the Dunbar Residence; Brad, Gideon, Anna-maria and Sakura.
The idea came to them in 2004 when only a handful of trick-or-treaters visited the household during the entire night. With the happy and nostalgic memories of their own childhood Halloween adventures, they came up with an idea that would provide a friendly spook and connect the community together.
They decided they were going to utilize the space of their property and started to transform their driveway into a graveyard scene. The props were hand made from scrap construction materials within a few hours and they appointed Gideon to be the official spooker. Their efforts were rewarded with over one hundred trick-or-treaters that visited that evening.
With the success of the night, they started planning for the following year and dedicated weeks to extend decorating from the driveway to their houses as well. They continued to use scrap materials but found other Halloween knick knacks that added to the spooky atmosphere such as masks and costumes.
Their success multiplied by five times and raised almost $5000 for the B.C Fire Fighter’s Burn Fund.
When asked how they chose their charity, a rep responded, “We want to choose and keep giving to charities that are local and back to the children.”
Within the next following years, their decorations got to be more elaborate and extensive. They introduced the “ghost-walks” which treated visitors with scary sets and volunteers as spookers. As ideas were endless, themes were incorporated such as “The Terror of History” and “Old & New Traditional Facets of Halloween” and sets were decorated with that in mind.
Each year their funds raised were increasing in numbers from $5,000 to an astounding $67,000 to date. They’ve included giving to charities such as Vancouver Police Union Charity Foundation, The B.C. Childhood Cancer Parent’s Association, The Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau and B.C./Yukon Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The success they have speak for themselves as they have had to move locations to accommodate their hundreds of volunteers, line-ups of customers that twist around the block and space for their additional sets and new props.
They want to continue to be an important part of the community during Halloween and provide fun haunts for all ages. A rep was adamant that they plan to be long term and build relationships with their visitors.
Image: Dunbar Haunted House