A haunted house in Montreal’s South Shore is spooking people while helping sick children make their dreams come true.
For 15 years, Neil Sakaitis has been setting up an award-winning Halloween display in his house in La Prairie.
It’s free entry, but people are encouraged to make a donation to the Make-A-Wish foundation, which helps critically-ill children make their dreams come true.
“Because we have so many people coming to the event, because it’s unique, we tied it to a fundraiser,” said Sakaitis, who estimates has collected nearly $50,000 for the foundation throughout the years.
Dozens of monsters are strategically displayed in a cemetery enveloped in smoke and lights and inside a haunted tunnel, where each turn and corner holds spooky surprises.
“We actually started very small, a couple of decorations, and then it just grew from there. It grew into something it takes over two months to set up,” Sakaitis says.
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“In the cemetery, there’s a lot of unique props. And then I also build stuff with frames so that the monsters will move towards you and jump at you.”
Sakaitis says he welcomes nearly 4,000 people every Halloween, but it’s no one-man-show.
His family is on board and helps with the setup. Some even become actors that scare people inside the tunnel.
“Between my wife, my son, my brother-in-law and my nephew, they’ve all helped and they love it, they absolutely love it,” he said.
People are encouraged to wear costumes to the event as prizes are given to the best one and a pair of Habs tickets “for any hockey game that you want to go to.”
The Sakaitis also prepare limited quantities of candy bags for children.
The La Prairie Haunted House opens on Saturday, Oct. 30, and Sunday Oct. 31, from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m.