October typically means Halloween-month thrills at two popular attractions in Surrey, but just one will open this year.
The Scream and Pumpkin trains are set to roll at Bear Creek Park, but operators of Potter’s House of Horrors have postponed the event for 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is the first year since 2003 that Potter’s haunted houses won’t offer thrills at the converted garden centre on 72nd Avenue in Newton.
“After weeks of putting our oft-bloody heads together and squeezing out all the high IQ brain-juice we could muster, we decided that the safest and smartest course of action was to skip the annual haunted event for 2020,” says a post on facebook.com/pottershouseofhorrors.
“Sorry to all our loyal fans out there BUT we promise to come back in 2021 with the best, baddest, burliest, bulkiest, brawniest, beefcakiest horror spectacular we’ve ever put on… and we’re not just being blusterous buffoons full of bombast, bravado and braggadocio.”
• RELATED STORY, from 2019: Potter’s features ‘labyrinth-like’ haunted houses and Halloween escape room.
Elsewhere, the Pumpkin and Halloween Scream trains will return to Bear Creek Park this month.
The child-friendly Pumpkin Train will offer daytime fun starting Oct. 10, while the evening Scream Train gets rolling on Oct. 16, until the end of the month.
“Dare to come through the Haunted Forest with our creepy scary actors,” says a post on bctrains.com. “Don’t let Chainsaw Charlie get you!”
Train operators say they will follow COVID-19 protocols with sanitization of trains after every trip, along with mandatory masks and pre-ride hand sanitization. Call 604-501-1232 for details, or visit the website.
People reacted to the Potter’s Facebook post with mixed emotions.
“Was SO hoping we might see a drive in event like is happening in Japan!” posted Bry Rayburn. “But really appreciate your commitment to keeping the community safe, and we will be back multiple times in 2021.”
Cass Van Snick said for the first time in 13 years, she won’t be dedicating her evenings of October to the Haunt, “and it sure will feel empty.”
Potter’s operators replied: “Well Cass, here’s a suggestion… Start in 1970 and watch the top ten horror movies from every year until now… That’s 50 years.. times 10… Equals 500 movies!! Then rank them all! That would be an epic haunt season and a pretty good story to tell when you’re 95!!”
Bruno Teillard d’Eyry pitched the idea of a COVID-19 theme for the House of Horrors.
“We actually did a plague theme a few years back,” replied Jake Monchamp.