AIRScares: a unique and frightening Halloween experience
The haunted house is a long-standing Halloween tradition, and as is the case with Halloween costumes and decorations, their quality is dependant upon the commitment of those involved.
The AIRScares haunted manor located inside the old RCMP building on Edmonton Trail ranks as one of the best haunted houses I’ve been to in my life.
I’m by no means a haunted house connoisseur, quite the opposite really. If presented with the choice, I’ll take the comedy genre over horror any time.
I have, however, been to my share of haunted houses, though it has been a while. Oddly enough, the last time I set foot in a haunted house was on an assignment as well, in my final year of journalism school, when I was the lucky reporter chosen to attend Screamers at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto.
What sets a good haunted house apart from a bland one is the commitment of those involved.
Anyone can just set up a house with some fake spider webs, rubber spiders and a few flickering lights; what the organizers at AIRScares have created is an entire story line that starts before you even enter the “Mayfield Manor.”
This was my experience at the Mayfield Manor:
A gruff and haggard orderly greeted us outside, telling guests about those who have checked into the manor but never checked out and perhaps, someone may or may not have died in the basement.
The front doors opened periodically and the sounds of screams and clanging metal reverberated from within.
Everyone who attended on the evening was an adult, aside from one teenaged girl. who was old enough to understand that this is an act, but that doesn’t really keep the nervous looks off some peoples’ faces.
I was in a group of six that included, Ron Chapman and Kelly Hegg who both seem pretty relaxed and two other reporters, neither of whom seem to be too at ease with this idea.
Hegg casually mentioned, “oh look it’s a full moon tonight, that’s fitting.”
After 10 minutes of waiting outside, we were invited into the lobby of the manor, where a man with a large mustache sat at a desk and gave us our instructions and hotel rules.
A bellhop suddenly appeared and welcomed us in, a few people jumped, but not me. I did, however, feel my heart rate jump up a little, because I could tell that it was going to be a bit of an unnerving journey. I don’t mind being scared, I do mind being startled though.
We were taken into an elevator and told that our room was on the 13th floor - of course it was on the 13th floor. We all watched the elevator numbers light up, as we approached 13, the lights began to flicker and the elevator began to shake and we were “plummeted” to the building’s basement.
Our bellhop stepped out and told us to make sure we stayed together and to follow him, though he didn’t seem familiar with the area of the manor and was just as apprehensive as we were about continuing down a dimly lit hallway where we could faintly see people poking their heads out of rooms.
The rest of this “adventure” was one creepy room and blind corner after another, with sinister butchers, undead pianists, and escaped inmates popping up when you least expected it.
I won’t go in to great detail as I don’t want to spoil the fun for those who may be thinking of attending Mayfield Manor this Halloween, but I will say that if you’re a fan of haunted houses, this is definitely one to check out.
For information on dates and times, visit www.airscares.com