Jusz Travel had the privilege to interview Haunted Calgary’s Creative Director Christine Campbell. Haunted Calgary is an annual spooky attraction located at 222 Rocky Ridge Bay, NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. This year, the attraction will be open from Oct. 30 to Nov.1. For more information, you can visit their website, like them on Facebook or tweet them @hauntedcalgary. (All photos in this post are submitted.)
1. Tell me about how Haunted Calgary got started and who were involved? Where did the idea come from?
My dad got stuck babysitting myself and the neighbourhood kids one day. He also found himself with a pile of leaves that he needed cleaned up. How do you get kids to do your chores for you? You make it fun! He told us to make ghosts by filling white kitchen catcher bags with the leaves and drawing faces on them. The next year, we added tombstones made from cereal boxes, and the rest is history. It spiralled completely out of control by the time all the kids at school knew my mum as the “wicked witch.” Once we started attending haunted house conventions in the US, we were totally hooked!
2. How many years have you been putting on Haunted Calgary?
Depending on when you start counting, we started about 25 years ago. I would say that it started to get big about 17 years ago, and grows every year.
3. Why keep bringing it back year after year?
We have so much fun scaring the “normals.” It’s an adrenaline rush not quite like any other. I always say that if someone needs therapy after seeing the haunt, we have done our job!
4. What is the secret for Haunted Calgary to last this long?
We have a really dedicated team of volunteers who make the magic happen. It’s too big for the family to handle alone now, so we are so grateful to them.
5. How do you feel about the success of Haunted Calgary?
Listening to the comments made by people leaving the haunt always gives me the tingles. It’s so gratifying to see all of our hard work and twisted ideas come to fruition. When we hear that people look forward to it year after year, we know we’re doing something right.
6. What is the best thing about Haunted Calgary?
I love how Haunted Calgary brings the community together. From the groups and organizations that participate as volunteers learning new skills and gaining work experience, including groups from Calgary Alpha House Society and the University of Calgary, to the visitors, to the sponsors and charity partners- everyone gets excited about the attraction. We raise money for animal rescue and food for the food bank, and we know that both benefit from that excitement.
7. Why is “The Coven” chosen as this year’s Haunted Calgary’s attraction?
Our Wicked Witch has been our signature character, handing out the candy at the attraction since day 1. We decided it was time to finally honour her and her coven.
8. Tell us more about the Coven?
Haunted Calgary welcomes you to the sleepy town of Salem Massachusetts, 1692. Bathsheba Moore was always the outcast- living in the woods, keeping to herself. The townsfolk thought she was insane, and they underestimated her power.
Shunned and ostracized, Bathsheba’s interest in witchcraft and the occult grew. She found that she had incredible talents and she embraced the dark arts. Her power grew stronger and she knew she had to take back the town.
One night, she entered the town and found the cabin of little Lyca Goode and her family. Killing Lyca’s mother was just too easy, but Bathsheba had other plans for Lyca. She would use Lyca to infiltrate the town, drive the townsfolk mad with fear, and turn them against each other. Possessing the girl was more challenging that Bathsheba had counted on — the girl had powers of her own. Now the town is plagued by an evil infestation that turns neighbor against neighbor, sister against sister, and Salem will never be the same.
The Coven Haunted Attraction is open October 30, 31, and November 1 from 6-10pm, rain, shine, or snow. There is also a low scare option with no actors on October 30, 31 and November 1 from 2pm-4pm.
Entrance to this popular Calgary tradition is by donation. We recommend $10 per person for Oops-a-Dazy Rescue and Sanctuary Society and 2 non-perishable food items for the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank. This year, the goal is to raise $10,000 for Oops-a-Dazy Rescue and Sanctuary Society.
9. Is there anything new this year that regulars at the Haunted Calgary can expect?
Every year we change the haunt. This year, we have an entirely new route and six new parts of the attraction.
10. Are children allowed to participate in Haunted Calgary?
The event is rated PG. We allow children of all ages to go through the haunt- some are braver than their parents! However, it’s parental discretion advised. We have a low scare option from 2-4pm so kids can check it out in the daylight without all the scary ghouls!
11. Why was animal rescue and food bank chosen as recipients of donations?
Our family has been very active in the animal rescue community for years and we know that the grass roots organizations are always in desperate need of funding and they serve such an important purpose in our community. Plus horror lovers just seem to love animals!
The Food Bank is also so important for many people in our community. It’s a good opportunity to give back.
We do this for the love of the haunt and we are passionate about the causes we support.
13. Why should people check out Haunted Calgary?
This year is going to be the best year yet! The sets are really spectacular this year and we know you’ll love it!
14. What can people expect on next year’s Haunted Calgary? Or is it too early to say anything?
Our lips are zipped! We know you’re going to love it!
Have you been to Haunted Calgary before? Let us know how it went at the comments section below! 🙂