For most people, Halloween is just a night to dress up, have fun, and scare your friends. For Greg McLellan, it’s an obsession.
For the last four years, McLellan and his wife have been putting on the Haunted Swamp House; a haunted house they build and host on their property; first in Delta, and this year in Langley.
The first Swamp House came about after the McLellan’s children grew up and became less interested in the traditional Halloween festivities.
“We started decorating the house like everybody else does,” says McLellan. “You get the creative juices flowing, and next thing you know your stuff’s getting bigger and bigger, then you start getting obsessed with Halloween, then you start getting obsessed with scaring people, and it just grows from there.”
The Swamp House now comprises of between seven or eight rooms, themed after the cannibal infested, hillbilly-murderer settled swamps so common in horror movies. And the McLellan’s put it all together themselves, every year.
“I have some friends that help me put up the heavier stuff, but it’s pretty much just [my wife and I] that do at all. It’s just exhausting,” he says.
Located at their previous property in Delta, the Haunted Swamp House had between 1200 and 1500 visitors last year. McLellan hopes that now that they’re a bit out of the way, people still still come out for a bit of Halloween fun.
“We’re more of a destination drive. Last year we used to live in a subdivision so we had more trick-or-treaters. Halloween is a pretty good night, but now you have to drive,” he says. “We started marketing out in Langley this year, so we’re not sure. We’re kind of new kids on the block.”
The Haunted Swamp House is somewhat of an obsession for McLellan, who throws himself more and more into the event with each passing year, making each House more elaborate and frightening than the last.
“After a while you lose control of yourself,” he says, laughing. “Now it’s just so big, and the momentum starts building, you can’t stop. I’ve got so many things in store, it’s just insane.”
When: October 28 to October 31: 6:30 to 10 p.m.
Where: 4120 228 Street, Langley
Price: By donation