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

 

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

City of Surrey looks to reduce building permit wait times

Staff targeting a 10-week average processing time

Surrey considers 75% discount on senior rec passes, drop-in admission

Council to vote Monday on proposal to deeply discount rates for residents over 70

‘A promise is a promise’: Cloverdale lantern festival opens, two months late

After months of delays due to permit issues and uncooperative weather, Art of Lights finally opens

Surrey mayor says city won’t repay $56M spent on LRT, but might pony up $40M in land transfers

There will be no tax increase for Surrey residents resulting from this, McCallum confirms

Delta-Richmond Operation Red Nose needs volunteers for New Year’s Eve

Higher demand for the service this year means ORN might not have enough drivers on Dec. 31

MAP: Christmas light displays in Surrey, Langley and beyond

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

B.C. fire chief pleads with Ottawa for traumatic stress support

Campbell River fire chief Thomas Doherty presented concerns to federal government

37% of Metro Vancouver sees real estate industry as ‘extremely corrupt’

Report comes as the B.C. government continues to probe alleged links of money laundering in casinos to real estate

‘I practically begged’: Kootenay woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

VIDEO: Giants winning streak halts against Everett Friday at home in Langley

Following their first loss since November, G-Men hope to regroup and defeat Victoria on Saturday.

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Most Read