Sean Mortimer has always had an interest in Halloween. Since 1999, he and his wife Shannon have been enthusiastic about doing Halloween right.
“[We] started out with about 60 pumpkins, hand carved pumpkins. We had lots of late nights. And it just started getting bigger and bigger, and I started getting into animatronics and all of that,” said Mortimer in an interview with The Free Press.
Their interest in Halloween has grown, and now, with the help of friends, Mortimer curates an entire house of scary decorations, and he invites the public to come and see it.
The house, located at 300 Michel Creek Road in Sparwood, has grown this year, taking over the neighbouring yard as well. Mortimer gets portable sheds, about 40-feet by 10-feet to host different scary scenes.
Mortimer has a distinct inspiration for continuing the tradition – a friend of his, Burt Jaegli, took his own life in 2014 after a car accident that affected his brain. All of the proceeds raised at the haunted house will be donated to the Brain Injury Association and the Sparwood Food Bank.
“That’s what his mother asked for at the time of his funeral – that the money went to support brain injuries, so we figured to start doing it in memory of Burt,” said Mortimer. Last year, they raised over $1,600 from the Haunted House, and Mortimer hopes to raise a similar amount this year.
Mortimer doesn’t want to scare children so badly that they have nightmares, so from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., the house will be “kid friendly”, but after that is when the ghouls and goblins become more vicious.
The House will be open on Oct. 30 and Oct. 31 from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m.