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Winnipeg woman maps out decorated homes for Halloween

Click to play video 'Halloween fun in the COVID-19 era' Halloween fun in the COVID-19 era
Halloween is creeping around the corner and many families are searching for ways to have fun that might not involve trick-or-treating or parties. As neighbourhoods get creative, safety isn't adding up to sales for some Halloween stores. Global's Amber McGuckin has more – Oct 21, 2020

For the past six years, Carol Cassell’s Halloween display has grown to haunt her entire front yard.

The Transcona resident has added more decorations each year to her display and this year because of COVID-19 she wants more families to share in the spooky spirit.

“I started mid-September setting it up because we have fences all the way around the yard and they need to be nailed into the ground so I don’t want to be crawling in the snow doing that,” she said.

Read more: Winnipeg hotel turns conference room to haunted house amid pandemic

More than just encouraging people to view her yard, this year she decided to track down and create a map all of the houses in Winnipeg that have Halloween displays.

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“I’ve been mapping Transcona for six years now and it wasn’t a big leap to do the whole city. I figured because of COVID-19 this year people might like a little extra joy and driving around looking at Halloween houses might be fun for some people so that’s why I started it,” she said.

So far more than 100 houses are on the list.

“Some people have told me that they are using the map instead of trick-or-treating and it’s an extra fun thing for their family to do. We even had people come by last Friday night I think we had 40 people go through the yard just to look at the house. It’s just a little extra fun.”

Read more: 52% of Canadian parents won’t let kids trick-or-treat amid coronavirus: poll

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“Even if you’re someplace that doesn’t do trick-or-treaters, do it for yourself. If you like Halloween – put up some decorations for your own enjoyment and if you do want to get out use the map to look at houses, plan a party and watch your favourite scary movie – there’s still lots to be enjoyed.”

People in her neighbourhood are also in on the fun.

Bailey Bowering has blow-up decorations lined up outside his home.

“My family loves Halloween. We celebrate it every single year, we make sure the kids love it, families love it, to come and take pictures of everything and also get some candy along the way,” he said.

Read more: Costumes to make your blood run cold this Halloween

“We always have families stop by our house even before Halloween, just to take pictures and just to see the house. It would be good for these kids to see something that they usually see and they don’t have to think about everything that’s been happening.”

Jonathan Glass, co-owner of Party Stuff has noticed the trend of decorating homes and has seen an increased demand for decorations.

Click to play video 'Halloween rules' Halloween rules
Halloween rules – Oct 2, 2020

“A lot of people are choosing to decorate their houses inside and out and they will still celebrate the seasons. They need to know the world is still spinning and that things are normal to a certain extent because the calendar pages keep turning and celebrations happen. Birthdays haven’t been cancelled, anniversaries haven’t been cancelled and Halloween certainly isn’t cancelled. People are buying plenty of decorations,” he said.

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Glass said COVID-19 has hit them hard, with events discouraged due to the possible spread of the novel coronavirus.

“It’s challenging operating a party store in an environment where gatherings are really not recommended. We rely on people getting together with family and friends and celebrating all life’s milestones, all the holidays and all the seasons, and it’s been challenging this year all the way through,” he said.

Read more: Winnipeg haunted house to open — with COVID-19 protocols

“For Halloween, we heard all the predictions for a second wave coming and we decided we wanted to take all the merchandise we had in the building and put it at the best possible price so people who still want to celebrate can get the best deal possible and we can turn that inventory into dollars to keep the business operating.”

Glass has been selling items 80 per cent off — sometimes at or below cost just to keep the business running.

“There’s costumes I’m selling for as low as $5, $10. I would just like to get them in people’s hands and out of my building and keep operating and hope for a better 2021.”

To add have your scary Halloween house added to the map send an email to MappingWinnipeg@gmail.com

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