Complaint forces organizers to weigh fate of haunted house
Organizers of a well-known haunted house in Saskatoon’s North Park neighbourhood are canvassing people in the area to determine if the terrifying tradition should continue next year.
In an Oct. 30 post on the “Scariest House in Saskatoon” Facebook page, organizers said they’re asking neighbours if “they are for or against the haunted house,” and that the “majority rule” will determine its future.
A thank you post marking the end of the Halloween season for the house, located off Warman Road, indicated more than 8,600 people stopped by to get their spooks this year.
“We don’t want to piss off our neighbours,” said one of the organizers, Lyndsey Fernets, who owns the house with her boyfriend, Adam Krutko. “We do this for the good of the community. We’re trying to bring Halloween back and we’re trying to have a safe place where kids and people can come and enjoy Halloween.”
While many neighbours embrace it, bringing snacks for volunteers and organizers throughout the season, not everyone gets into the spirit. On Oct. 28, someone filed a noise complaint with city police.
“I find it disheartening, actually, to have a couple of neighbours ruin it for us,” Fernets said, noting the event takes a lot of time, effort and money.
If the majority of their neighbours are against it, they’ll respect their opinion and work to figure out a path forward for the event, even if it means seeking out a new space, she said.
City police said eight noise complaints were filed in the area last month — seven of which happened between Oct. 13 and 29 — but could not disclose where the complaints came from, since it was determined that no laws were broken.
Neighbours expressed mixed feelings about the haunted house.
“I think it’s been long enough. I think it’s time to call it quits,” said Keith Starks, who’s lived on the street for nine years. “It has been too busy for a long time. Not just this year, but previous years.”
Starks said when the house is active, the street becomes a “high traffic” area, resulting in problems with parking and traffic flow. Noise, rowdy attendees and broken glass on his property have also been problems, he said. He recalled an incident about two years ago when a man walked into his home uninvited and unannounced.
“I felt violated,” he said. “I don’t think that would have happened without the (haunted) house.”
Sarah Gee, who has lived in the area for two years, called the haunted house a “good attraction” for the neighbourhood. “I think it’s something fun to do for Halloween,” she said. “I love seeing everybody out and having a good time. My driveway gets blocked sometimes, and this is my second year here, so I just learned to deal with it.”
She isn’t bothered by the noise or increased traffic, she said. “Halloween should be fun . ... There should be a place where people go and have fun.”
Adam Krutko, left, and Lyndsey Fernets are surrounded by props that are used for their popular haunted house event. A noise complaint was filed with police last month about the Halloween tradition.