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'I want it to be an experience': Calgarian turns yard into Halloween display


A Calgary man is putting hours of work to turn the front yard of his Douglasdale home into a haunted attraction.

Shane Harrop says the annual Halloween display takes a lot of planning.

This year, he started transforming his yard on Sept. 25, and has spent hours and hours building on his driveway and lawn and his neighbour's front lawn.

There are already many skeletons scattered around as the display starts to take shape.

"You can never just do it the same, you always have to one-up your last presentation," Harrop said.

"This year my goal is to make it unique, and that's why there are going to be prizes and games and clues and hot chocolate and coffee and the fire pit. I want it to be an experience."

Harrop says he's always liked All Hallows' Eve and remembers dressing up as a child.

It was when he had a child of his own that the display started to grow every season.

Now his 13-year-old son has ideas of his own to make the attraction more spooky.

"Even though my son is not into the construction side, he loves the accessory side, helping plan where things are going to go and how it's going to look," Harrop said.

Shane Harrop builds a haunted Halloween display at his home in the 3100 block of Douglasdale Boulevard S.E.Last year marked Harrop's most successful, with close to 900 kids coming for a visit.  

Harrop doesn't just enjoy creating the creepy display, he also uses Halloween night to raise money and food for the Veterans Association Food Bank.

"We raised $900 and 1,100 pounds of food," Harrop said. "This year, my goal is 1,000 kids and $2,000 and 2,000 pounds of food for the veterans."

The Veterans Association Food Bank was established four years ago and not only assists veterans but also first responders in need. Donald McLeod is a volunteer, and says every little bit helps.

"We have hampers going out the door every single day, we're getting kind of bare," said McLeod. "This haunted house is just another example of ingenuity and innovative ideas to generate interest, it goes without saying that when somebody comes forward and says 'I've got an idea.'

"It's an amazing feeling, having that kind of support from the general population."

Shane Harrop builds a haunted Halloween display at his home in the 3100 block of Douglasdale Boulevard S.E.Harrop says his display will officially open to the public in ten days.

Work goes a little slower many evenings because he's constantly stopped by people walking by who want to know more about the display.

"I'm also taking advantage of the nice weather to get it done right now and obviously hoping that come Halloween, we're at least above zero right, hopefully no snow because once you hit sub zero, this becomes a lot of work to take apart."

Harrop's haunted landscape can be viewed starting Oct. 14th at 3134 Douglasdale Boulevard S.E.

Games with prizes have been organized for visitors who bring a food or cash donation for the Veterans Association Food Bank. Top Stories


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