I used to go all out for Halloween, but living out in the country, with no kids at home, has led me to pretty much forget about the holiday. Visiting Grotto Gardens for their haunted house has reminded me how much fun Halloween can be.

For a whole week, the usual bright and cheery venue is transformed into a maze of horror. As my parents and I waited our turn, spooky sounds filled the air.  The dark clouds brewing overhead added to the ambiance.  The sign at the entry said “no cameras,” and I highly recommend you follow that rule.  As a media rep, I of course, had mine out.  Leave this distraction in your pocket and enjoy a truely frightening experience.

I let my parents lead the way and found myself giggling nonstop at my mom’s reactions as we made our way through the spooky halls. Squeals and shrieks came from ahead of me and I couldn’t help but laugh.  My mom couldn’t figure out how the sound effects were so perfectly timed to her location.  I, of course, had to tease her, but got a taste of my own medicine when I turned around to a creepy figure standing only inches behind me.  I instinctively reached out and grabbed the poor volunteer.

The props and live actors were so plentiful that that we found ourselves touching everything to see if it was alive. It was evident that the Grotto Gardens crew put a lot of time and effort into designing this haunted house and gathering just the right props.  I want to tell you more, but don’t want to ruin the surprises that they have in store for you.  It is well worth the seven dollars!

Grotto Gardens has left the age limit up to parents, but recommend children being over 10. It is creepy.  There are features that might freak kids out.  On Saturday and Sunday, they have daylight tours to ease the scariness.  These run from 10 until 4.  There is also hot chocolate and cider to warm up after you brave the haunted farm.

Cypress Hills Destination Area invited me to experience this tour, but I assure you, all of the laughs, shrieks, jumps, and occasional language slips were real. My parents and I thoroughly enjoyed our time and I look forward to seeing how they beat this one, next year.  To find things to do and other events happening in southwest Saskatchewan and southeastern Alberta, visit this events calendar.

What scares you the most?

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