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Scare up some fun with these October haunts

Vegreville and Edmonton's River Valley will draw out evil spirits throughout the Halloween season, as 'scare' events delight and terrify event-goers.

Two brothers preparing to resume a frightening family tradition at a warehouse in Vegreville take the task of scaring people very seriously.

"Some people run through it in a few minutes. They say 'I'm done. Get me out of here,'" said Jagger Glowatsky, 25, who along with 22-year-old Dawson are the front men for the Haunted Hike exhibit. (www.thehauntedhike.ca)

Just wide-eyed youngsters when their parents operated the popular outdoor Haunted Hike on a Sherwood Park acreage from 2008 to 2012, the pair resurrected the attraction at the town 100 km east of Edmonton in 2019.

"We learned a lot when we were kids. It was definitely an inspiration for this one," said Jagger, adding the 2021 version of the spooky indoor event is set to open at the start of October.

And the folks are still involved. Jagger says his mother, Teresa, is "the organizer/ticket taker “and father, Cam, "takes care of everything inside including malfunctions and building new scenes."

There are 20 rooms --with different sizes, layouts and themes in a 5,000 sq. foot warehouse--located inside the same building where the brothers operate an RV parts store during spring and summer months.

The brothers are also among 15 actors set to frighten folks as they make the trek through the maze of rooms.

Jagger transforms himself into a character named Stitches, describing him as a man whose "eyes and mouth have been stitched shut since he was a baby to silence him." Meanwhile, Dawson plays "2 Stroke," a dead man with a chainsaw.

Jagger says the other actors are from Vegreville and area but they are taking applications from anyone else who might be interested.

An ad on the site reads, "You'll never experience quite a rush like scaring someone. It is one of the best things you'll ever do!”

While most guests take between 20 to 25 minutes for the journey, others are so frightened they are unable to complete the tour.

"Last year we had over 40 groups that had to leave early," said Jagger.

He said the reasons vary, but "most of the time it's just the incredible detail in each room alongside the music that some people cannot handle."

Based on reaction received, the duo says the church room is considered the scariest.

"The pews are filled with sheeted ghouls. There is even a real casket in the scene," said Jagger.

For those who may not be able to cope with the high-intensity fright, Jagger said they do offer 'kids hours' from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

While the Haunted Hike will adhere to COVID-19 protocols, the Provincial Restriction Program requiring proof of vaccination will be enforced only during the final three weekends of the event. There is also a list of warnings for attraction-goers on the website including, “Do not enter if you suffer from asthma, a heart condition, or any type of mental or medical problem.”

For those who want to get their scare on in Edmonton, the DARK event at Fort Edmonton Park will be running for the fourth straight year.

Scheduled to run from October 7 to 31, DARK guests will be treated to three immersive and terrifying haunts, plus have access to a Halloween festival atmosphere with food, beverages and entertainment. 

Darren Dalgleish, Fort Edmonton Park president, says events during the Halloween season often sell out, so fear-lovers may want to grab tickets early. “DARK is back better and scarier than ever," he said of the killer clowns and other 'evil-mongers' lurking under the Big Top on the midway. There's also a freak show at the Core Industries lab, where parasites still linger, and a demonic farm family enjoying a blood-thirsty harvest. 

For an additional fee, DARK patrons can be immersed in Dead Centre of Town, a live-action thriller described as an intimate and interactive theatrical storytelling of Edmonton’s long-buried secrets. More info and tickets are at thedark.ca