Down a quiet side street in Duncan, a haunted masterpiece is taking shape. Each October, Dalzell McLaughlin turns his front yard into a celebration of all things Halloween.
“Well it started many years ago with my boys, they were young and they had a couple Halloween decorations that they got from The Bay Centre and it’s just progressed from there,” says McLaughlin.
“I’ve moved several times and every time it seems to get bigger.”
Over the years McLaughlin has collected numerous decorations from yard sales and stores and has received countless donations from the community. He’s also lost count of how many decorations he has.
“I haven’t even counted, haven’t even thought of counting them,” laughs McLaughlin.
“I mean if you’re talking all the tiny bits and pieces there’s probably close to 1,000.”
Preparations start Oct. 1 each year and with some help from family members and friends, the setup will be completed in time for the spookiest night of the year. Even with the help, keeping all the decorations in order is still a challenge.
“I’ve had to repair damages every day. I’ve currently got about six items that are damaged that I have to figure out how to repair so it’s been interesting,” says McLaughlin.
“A lot of glue and some duct tape, man’s best friend.”
With COVID-19 measures in place, Dalzell plans to once again welcome guests and neighbours to his front yard.
“We’ve got the room for people to walk through, we’ve got the roundabout driveway and I’m still going to give out treats.”
“My daughter says a candy cannon but I think that would hurt the kids, or a catapult, but you know that’s only for pumpkins so I think I’ll do that funnel thing.”
All the repair and upkeep is all to make sure no kid misses out on Halloween this year.
“It’s for the kids you know, the kids should never suffer,” says McLaughlin.
His Halloween display is open to those wanting to stop by starting Oct. 23. He will be collecting food donations for the Cowichan Women’s Night Shelter through next Saturday.