A look at what may be Abbotsford’s most dedicated Halloween house

Mark Latter says just about everything is handmade and it takes five people seven hours to set up

It just might be the most dedicated Halloween house in Abbotsford – rain or shine, Mark Latter says he and four or five others typically spend seven hours on setup all on Halloween day.

Latter said the setup started about 15 years ago, albeit much less extensive.

“The first year we started, we just bought a sheet of styrofoam and carved a couple tombstones and painted epitaphs on them,” Latter said. “That was the start of it, and then the following year, a couple skeletons and a mound of dirt.”

RELATED: Activities held in Abbotsford to celebrate Halloween

From there, it continued to grow, and images from last year’s setup depict an impressive setup – from creepy pumpkin-faced scarecrows and an “I scream” cart in a hearse to mysterious elixirs and the “Old Burial Hill.”

And most of it is handmade, save for a few plastic skeletons.

“Basically everything you see there I made over the years, too, either out of wood or papier-mâché, or something or other. So everything is hand-crafted and made with love.”

RELATED: Toad’s breath, bat warts: Starbucks releases Halloween frappe

Everything disassembles and goes into storage, only to be hauled out for the hours-long setup on Halloween day, getting just a few hours of fresh air a year. But Latter says he’s never deterred by the labour involved.

“It’s quite a neighbourhood affair, too, because we’re doing it during the day, my wife Kelly and I. There’s always neighbours and people that have been coming for years and years always drop by just to talk. Just the setup time is quite a social thing, too. It’s just pleasant all the way around,” he said.

“It’s quite a festive Halloween neighbourhood, anyway, so that’s what started it.”

RELATED: Five tips to keep trick-or-treaters safe this Halloween

Latter lives on Terry Fox Avenue, and says his one-road-in-one-road-out neighbourhood is generally quiet, which, along with surrounding row houses and apartment buildings, has helped make the area “kind of a Halloween central.”

“Even on the worst nights, you get 250, 300 kids through,” he said, noting that typically about 1,500 people visit the house.

Latter said his main policy on the setup is to be family-oriented in all of the decorations.

“The main thing is that there’s no gore. There’s no blood or dismemberment. It’s overall pretty family-friendly.”

RELATED: Halloween costume mix-up draws huge police response on Vancouver Island

Latter says there won’t be anything too new in this year’s setup, but he does move everything around each year to make each year look different from years past.

He says he’s working on doing something similar for Christmas in the future, but that hasn’t quite made it onto his workstation.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Two people, dog escape house fire in Chilliwack

The early-morning blaze started around 6 a.m. on Third Avenue

Chilliwack Chiefs host Langley as Sardis Sports Complex opens

The BCHL teams will play a preseason game on the new ice sheet Aug. 29.

PHOTOS: Paintings return to Kilby for fifth annual festival

The Plein Air Festival will be taking place at the historic site all weekend

Envision Financial hosting barbecue fundraiser at Chilliwack’s Sardis Park to help fire victims

Residents of the Park Ridge apartment building are struggling in the wake of the devastating fire.

Cougar spotted in Seabird Island

Residents are asked to report all sightings to conservation

VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Pekoe at the Chilliwack SPCA

Pekoe is a four-month-old male tabby at the Chilliwack SPCA who’s very playful and affectionate

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

Most Read