EDMONTON — From creepy costumes and fright night actors to spooky antiques and vintage props, Brian and Ingrid Carli — known to many as Mr. And Mrs. Halloween — have been scaring visitors for a dozen years at their home in the Erin Ridge area at the northern end of St. Albert.
The pair says the endeavour is an addiction of sorts.
“You see the smile and how they light up, and of course the scaring,” says Ingrid. “When you get a scream, you’re hooked.” “You can’t help but enjoy that,” adds Brian.
“If you get an adult to scream, even better. And if you get them to pee themselves a bit, you know you’ve done your job.”
The Halloween house haunt is a labour of love for the Carlis. They’ve poured hours of sweat and tears, not to mention tens of thousands of dollars, into transforming their home into a spooktacular sight.
“We stopped counting at about $30,000, and that’s over the years of course,” says Brian. “But as far as every Halloween – now with the treats and we feed the volunteers and things like that – it runs us about a thousand dollars a year. Which isn’t all that bad.”
But the yearly one day undertaking has taken a toll on Mr. And Mrs. Halloween. After 12 years they are retiring the spectacle. The Carlis say it will free them up to do things they haven’t done in the past.
“One of them is, we’ve never seen anyone else’s home haunt because we’re busy here,” the couple explain.
But what has kept the Halloween pair motivated for so many years? Well, the answer is simple. “It’s the kids.”
“It’s a memory that hopefully they’ll take with them forever,” says Brian. “They’ll always be able to look back on their childhood and say, ‘we lived on a street with a really neat haunted house.'”
With about 20 character actors joining in on the fun, this Halloween will be one to remember.
“If we can bring, you know, a smile and make it fun, then we’ve done our job,” says Ingrid.
The haunted house is located at 64 Embassy Place in St. Albert. Visitors are invited to bring a donation for the St. Albert food bank.