‘Tis the season of screams and spooks.
For several years, Jeannie Savard has been filling up her Promontory home with cobwebs and ghouls, and festive visitors from all over.
The haunted attraction holds many creepy creatures, some dummied, some alive and ready to jump at you.
Savard had the entire neighbourhood and beyond walking through her living room and kitchen, then out into the backyard where they passed the zombie mermaids in the hot tub and the creatures in the cemetery.
“But it was getting too big, I had line-ups where you couldn’t see the street,” Savard said.
It became increasingly difficult to keep up with the demand from her home, and the large crowds drew safety concerns.
So this year, Savard and friend Tammy Sloan were on the prowl for a new location.
After looking for months, they found the warehouse they’d been searching for, on Yale Road next to the Salvation Army.
It took three weeks to set up 30 years worth of spooky decorations, but Nightmare on Yale is ready for all brave souls who enter.
“This year is bigger than I’ve ever done,” Savard explained. Which means she needed more volunteers than just family and friends.
Savard and Sloan reached out to the local school drama classes in search of live character volunteers. Getting splattered with fake blood and scaring people is certainly a unique way to earn your mandatory volunteer hours.
“I’m not a horror-ble person. I go to church on Sundays,” Savard laughed. “I just love the thrill of scaring people. They’re scared, but they’re happy about it.”
When they rented the warehouse, the owner was ready to move his old, orange Volkswagen van out of the way. But Savard said “Are you kidding? It’s got a flat tire, it’s rusty… it’s perfect!”
The level of detail in the attraction is incredible, but most won’t even realize.
“People often don’t absorb the details when they go through, because they’re so scared.” Which is why Savard splits up the attraction into various scenes, each which tell their own story.
There’ll be a circus of horrors, werewolves, demons and plenty of zombies, in places where you often won’t expect. Oh, and if you’ve seen The Walking Dead season five premiere, you might be better prepared than most.
Nightmare on Yale (45742 Yale Road) is open every night after 6 p.m. until Halloween.
From Sunday to Thursday, it is open until 9 p.m. On Friday and Saturdays, they are open until 11 p.m.
Between 6 and 7:30 p.m., the attraction will be kid-friendly, meaning it won’t be as dark and there won’t be live characters jumping out at you. But after that, it’s no holds barred.
Due to the increased expenses that the new location requires, Savard has to charge admission. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids, and $20 for a family of four. Take $1 off if you bring a non-perishable food item for the food bank.
Partial proceeds will go to the Salvation Army and Chilliwack Community Services.
Sloan will have her food truck lit-up out front amongst the anxious crowd, decorated as the Roadkill Grill. It’s the one time per year when Sloan will let rats, albeit made of rubber, on the counters of Tammy’s Grill.
Visit Nightmare on Yale on Facebook or call 604-799-0167 to learn more.
Note: Nightmare on Yale includes a set of stairs and there is a strobe light in one room.