Chris Pershick, left, and Scott Pasternak of Potter’s at the entrance to the 2018 House of Horrors. The annual haunted house opens Friday, Oct. 5. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

HALLOWEEN EVENTS

VIDEO: Potter’s in Surrey transforms into spooky old New York

House of Horrors runs Oct. 5-31 at Surrey garden centre

Welcome to Grimes Square.

At the heart of Grimes Square is Potter’s House of Horrors, the annual haunted labyrinths in Newton. But this year the part-time nursery has a bit of an updated look.

Potter’s facade has been re-imagined as old New York’s 42nd Street theatre district, said Scott Pasternak, who is behind the fear-inducing annual haunted houses, which open Friday (Oct. 5), along with a new escape room.

“I started designing it (the New York scene) and I just turned it into a 3D sketch and walk-through so people could actually build it, rather than me explaining everything,” Pasternak said.

The facade is actually double-sided with an alleyway for guests to line up in before heading into one of the two haunted houses. Pasternak said his reference was an alleyway in the Downtown Eastside.

The stores are also references to horror movie directors and “horrific people,” with one storefront called “Bundy’s Boutique.”

Chris Pershick of Potter’s said Pasternak loves horror, adding that there is “not a horror movie that Scott hasn’t seen.” Pershick said those names are references for “the horror geek.”

“Nobody’s going to get those references except this little group of people that love horror movies,” Pershick said. “Everything was like a tip of the hat to these sort of geeky horror movies… To the rest of us, it just looks like a really cool, fun facade.”

The entryway to the haunted house is designed to look like a movie house, with teasers of the “features” such as “Super Action Packed Thriller” and “Tension Shock Tingling Suspense” to describe the haunted houses, called Monstrosity 2.0 and Devil’s Descent.

“Everything he (Pasternak) has done was to be as authentic as possible,” said Pershick of the theatre awning meant to resemble old movie houses.

Inside, Pasternak has spent the past several months fine-tuning the pair of haunted houses, the escape room and the entire layout. He said the building of the labyrinths begins Aug. 1, but the prepping of the props begins in May.

However, Pasternak said he usually starts designing the entire setup in January, adding that the design process usually takes about a month. He said once he knows the space he’s working with, he then figures out how to make it all work.

“It’s right to the inch because there are so many things that you have to do. You have to make sure there’s a fire escape, you have to make sure everything is (minimum) 36 inches wide by 68 inches tall… Once you get down to that, you start to actually think about what’s going to be in the rooms.”

Of the two haunted houses, Monstrosity 2.0 is back for another year. Pasternak said it’s horror through the ages mixed with a bit of sci-fi and clowns, of course. Devil’s Descent, he said, has a mining theme with caverns and a spider house, and it even includes a swamp.

Pasternak said the swamp took some creativity.

“This room here was tricky because the whole room is raised, because the swamp is 18 inches. The whole area had to be raised up, all the flooring had to be raised up, then you need ramps,” said Pasternak.

New this year is an escape room, which is designed after an apartment from the 1940s.

RELATED: Escape room new to Surrey’s ‘House of Horrors’ for Halloween month

“I was thinking of what would be a good theme and would have enough practical props in it that would actually allow an escape room to work properly,” he said. “It is really hard, in this square footage, to come up with a theme that actually has a doable game play with enough stuff to actually trick people.”

While Pasternak said escape rooms can be frustrating, he said he really likes them because it gets people to think outside of the box.

“It’s amazing how some people just think outside of the box and they can just go through really quick and go, ‘That was obvious, isn’t it?’”

Potter’s House of Horrors runs from Oct. 5 to 31 at Potter’s Nursery and Farm (12530 72nd Ave.). The “ultra-scary” show runs from 7 to 10 p.m. with tamer family hours beforehand. There is also a Li’l Haunters for younger children.

For more information and ticket prices, visit pottershourseofhorrors.com or call 604-572-7706.



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Scott Pasternak adding some fake blood to an animatronic at the Potter’s House of Horrors. The annual haunted house is set to open Friday, Oct. 5. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Jayne Scott painting the concession building for Potter’s House of Horrors. The annual haunted house is set to open Friday, Oct. 5. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Just Posted

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Five Surrey schools reporting COVID-19 exposures, including another at Panorama Ridge

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

This Crescent Beach home, located at 12505 22 Ave., was subject of a police search warrant June 18. (Google image)
Civil Forfeiture Office alleges Crescent Beach home used to launder money

Court documents request the home, and $85,000 to be turned over to the government

Surrey firefighters battle a house fire near the 70A Avenue and 126A Street intersection early Sunday morning. According to a witness, it appears that the occupants were able to get out without injury. (Shane MacKichan photos)
PHOTOS: Fire causes extensive damage to Surrey home

Occupants able to escape without injury: witness

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Mounties looking for teen boy ‘unlawfully at large’ from Riverview psychiatric hospital

Nolan Godron left the hospital, located at 2721 Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam, without consent on Saturday

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Most Read