Haunted house offers a real treat for Halloween

Visits to spooky Saanich home raise funds for Help Fill a Dream Foundation

Somewhere over the years we seem to have lost the innocence associated with Halloween.

From communities recoiling in horror over deranged clowns popping out of the woods, to schools and community organizations tackling the appropriateness of certain costumes at Halloween parties, it seems impossible to escape the controversies surrounding the holiday.

The days of simply donning a witch’s hat or cartoon character mask on the way out to make the rounds trick-or-treating seems to have been relegated to the pages of history. And the risks associated with Halloween have grown exponentially from an errant egg hitting the window or roll of toilet paper strung across the shrubbery.

More and more parents are forgoing the traditional trick-or-treating with their youngsters. The concerns over high sugar intake are only amplified by the possibility that Halloween treats could be laced with drugs or other harmful substances. And while there will be no shortage of cute trick-or-treaters showing up on doorsteps Monday night, some of the costumes for the older crowd range from the sexist to the racially insensitive to the truly creepy. It seems somewhere along the way the line has been blurred between being clever and edgy to just being offensive.

But all is not lost for those for a more traditional way to celebrate Halloween. For the 10th year in a row the Burbank family will be operating their Heritage Haunted House from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 31. The home at 3808 Heritage Lane has been transformed into something out of a horror lover’s fantasy. The cobwebs, tombstones and things that go bump in the night are sure to raise a few goosebumps, but the frights are left to our imaginations.

And while the Burnside West area home will likely rekindle many memories of Halloweens past, the real treat comes in knowing the thrills and chills will scare up some needed funds for the Help Fill A Dream Foundation, which helps brings dreams to life for children with serious medical conditions.