Thirty-four-year-old Carla Munroe, the mastermind behind one of HRM's scariest Halloween attractions — The Haunted Hollow — is afraid of scary movies.
"If I watch a horror movie I have to sleep with the lights on," she laughed.
Fortunately for those who do enjoy the thrill of being frightened by ghosts, goblins and all that comes with All Hallows' Eve, Munroe put her fears aside to build what has become the place to scream in October.
"A group of friends and I visited a place like this about nine years ago," Munroe recalled. "We had a blast, but it was so far away. I went to my parents' place in Hammond's Plains and said 'well there's a backyard' and that's when it started."
The walk through the Haunted Hollow takes nearly 30 minutes, depending on how slowly you tiptoe or how fast you run. What with the graveyard, ghosts, angry spirits and swamp of souls, many people don't even make it half way through the dimly lit twisting and turning paths before they run screaming back to their cars.
Although she admits she would never be able to visit another place like it, Munroe is perfectly comfortable walking past the hanging bloody body parts, zombies and coffins in her own backyard; even making a short stop at Hannibal Lecter's table where volunteers are preparing the brains he will be eating later that night.
"We have screamers, laughers, jumpers," Munroe said. "We've even had people pee their pants. It's funny, adults get the most scared. Kids want to keep coming back."
The first year it opened the Haunted Hollow raised $300 for charity. It was donated to the Cobequid Health Centre.
Last year it raised $30,000 which was divided among a number of charities. This year things are changing up a little bit.
"We ran out of man power," said Munroe. "It takes a lot of building and heavy lifting to put this together so we approached Halifax Search and Rescue volunteer group. They've been great helping so we will be donating to them among others."
In total, the creepy exhibit has raised more than $100,000 for local charities.
There are more that 70 actors who work at the attraction each year. The volunteers arrive early to be outfitted with their bandages, blood and props. Munroe's son Tyler Munroe-Skerry — aka Tyler Scary Wolf Boy in October — is one of the 30 or so kids who volunteer to jump out of woods to scream at unsuspecting visitors.
"I like making people laugh and scream," said the eight-year-old. "Mostly scream."
To find out if you're brave enough, visit www.thehauntedhollow.ca. Admission is $10 per person.
The Haunted Hollow is not the only place you'll find local ghosts and goblins. Visit the Adamson Haunted House in Fall River for even more Halloween fun. All donations made to this scary spot go to the IWK Health Centre Foundation. More information can be found at: www.adamsonhauntedhouse.com/
If you have a creepy Halloween attraction or event coming up, email us the scary details to email@example.com.