Spooky spectacle scares its final victims

the visual effects can be terrifying to young children.

This year’s Hospers’ Haunted House of Horrors will be the scariest ever, says organizer Tina Hospers, adding she is bringing the annual attraction to a close after this Halloween.

Hospers has been transforming her Oak Bay home into part cemetery, part asylum and part hospital surgical-ward-gone-wrong for the last few years. The life-long Halloween enthusiast has spent tens of thousands of dollars over the years on various props and costumes, some of which are authentic. Much of her inspiration comes from Eli Roth’s Goretorium, a year-round haunted house in Las Vegas. Once Halloween ends, she will be selling most of her Halloween stuff, albeit, reluctantly.

“It’s our last year doing this because the kids are graduating,” Hospers said, explaining her twin daughters and their friends make up most of the 20 volunteers she has working for her each year. “It takes a full team for me to be able to do this.”

More than 500 people visited Hospers’ home at 430 Beach Dr. last year to see the corpses, body parts and blood, along with the volunteers dressed as zombies and monsters. The house opens to the public at 6 p.m. and goes on until 10 p.m. Things are toned down at the earlier hour as that is when the younger children attend. However, as it gets later, that filter is lifted.

“We do not want to terrify toddlers,” Hospers said, explaining she has performers inside the house. “I’m out front the entire night, so I let them know inside when to calm it down.”

However, she warns parents that the visual effects can still be terrifying to young children.

Admission is free, but a donation to the SPCA is encouraged. Last year, $1,000 was collected, along with items such as blankets, toys and food. This year’s goal is $2,000.

Hospers added she has enjoyed sharing her love of Halloween via hosting this event over the years and that it will be difficult for her to wrap it up.

“It’s been a great event and a lot of fun,” Hospers said. “It’s the end of an era. It’s going to kill me.”