That was the consensus of a few hundred people – including children and adults – who passed through a spook-filled Halloween maze set up at the Shaunavon home of Heather and Brent Hoffarth last week.
The Hoffarths, who have been welcoming visitors to their outdoor Halloween inspired Haunted House for several years now, once again created a fantastic display of gory fun.
All visitors received a freezie for attending the event, and 251 treats were handed out on Friday night. Another 150 adults and teens – who didn’t take treats – also toured the site and many of the youngsters took more than one trip through the maze.
“It was a lot of fun,” commented Brent. “I’m sure you could hear screams a few blocks away.”
“I think it was a success, getting over 400 people to come out,” he added.
The site was broken into two distinct sections, with a more child-friendly display in the front yard for younger visitors.
Meanwhile, those brave enough to venture into the backyard were met by a series of villanous characters and some spine-chilling sound and visual effects.
Moving from room to room through the maze, participants encountered a cemetery, a chainsaw wielding butcher, a crazed executioner, demon possessed infants, and more.
Fog machines, skeletons, and other props added to the atmosphere, while sound and motion sensors helped launch a series of tricks and surprises as people passed through the maze.
There was even a sander buried in the floor of one of the rooms, making it feel like the ground was shaking when visitors passed by.
The elaborate display covered just about every inch of the Hoffarth’s corner-lot yard.
The walls of the maze were created with help of about 120 pallets, salvaged from RV Auto.
“The great thing about the pallets is that they are easy to use,” said Brent. “You can make just about anything you want. On a turn of a dime you can create rooms, dead ends or secret passages.”
One of the biggest changes to this year’s show was the introduction of animatronics to the mix, including a young girl on a swing in the cemetery and a possessed infant. Animatronics refer to robotic devices to emulate a human or an animal, or bring lifelike characteristics to an otherwise inanimate object.
All of the work at the site was completed by a small team that included Joey Wickham, Heather Hoffarth and Brent Hoffarth.
Brent estimates that he spent between 250 and 300 hours working on the display.
Joey, Heather and Brent also played some scary on-site character roles inside the maze. Joining the trio were Brian Johnston and Stacy Hack, who helped with some of the props and served as additional characters.
The first visitors started arriving at the Hoffarth house in the early evening. The backyard scene, however, wasn’t opened until 6:30 p.m. and tours continued until about 10 p.m.
“We kept it open an extra 30 minutes because we kept getting groups who wanted to go through,” said Brent.
Visitors filing through the maze were sent off in groups of about six people.
The complete tour took about three minutes to complete.
It took about 10 hours of hard work from Heather and Brent the next day to clear their yard and pack away the displays.
The Hoffarths are considering a plan to make the event even bigger next year and are looking into the possibility of bringing the maze to an empty town lot.