A jolt for the Janeway

Haunted house back af­ter clo­sure over safety con­cerns

The Compass - - OPINION - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON

A year af­ter his last at­tempt to put to­gether the an­nual Haunted House in But­lerville was quashed over safety con­cerns, Hay­ward But­ler looks to be on solid ground for spook­ing area res­i­dents in aid of a good cause.

Start­ing Oct. 24 and con­tin­u­ing through to Hal­loween, But­ler and friends will open the new Haunted House at the lo­ca­tion of the for­mer Tom Wood­ford car deal­er­ship on Beach Drive in Spa­niard’s Bay. All pro­ceeds raised from the ad­mis­sion charges — $ 2 for kids and $ 3 for adults — will go to the Janeway Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal Foun­da­tion.

The move to a new lo­ca­tion was ne­ces­si­tated by events last year, when Bay Roberts Fire Chief Clarence Rus­sell pre­sented But­ler with a let­ter from the Fire Com­mis­sioner’s Of­fice in Stephenville stat­ing the 1,400 square-foot build­ing in his back­yard did not meet proper fire codes.

The pre­vi­ous three years, Rus­sell had used a small green­house on his pri­vate prop­erty, but last year he opted to build a tem­po­rary struc­ture out­fit­ted with black tar­pau­lin in­side. At­tempts were made to bring that struc­ture up to code in time for Hal­loween, but But­ler’s ef­forts proved too late.

Since then, But­ler has elected to move the haunted house to its new Spa­niard’s Bay lo­ca­tion. He says the rental cost charged by Ted Pen­ney was greatly re­duced to ac­com­mo­date th e h a u n t e d h o u s e , a n d the Spa­niard’s Bay Fire Depart­ment has been “no prob­lem to deal with.”

But­ler says he con­tacted the Town of Spa­niard’s Bay about whether he would need any per­mits to op­er­ate the haunted house in the build­ing and was told “ they’d be more than happy to have us in the town.”

While there may have been some con­cerns in the past about the use of the tar­pau­lin for the Hal­loween at­trac­tion, But­ler says it is not flammable. Avalon Coal Salt and Oil do­nated the tar­pau­lin. Ad­di­tion­ally, he says, elec­tri­cal com­po­nents of the house will rely on bat­tery power.

It will be a new chal­lenge for But­ler and his team of over 25 vol­un­teers to have the build­ing ready for vis­i­tors by Oct. 24. The new lo­ca­tion of­fers 5,000 square-feet of space to play with. He says the haunted house will in­clude at­trac­tions peo­ple may rec­og­nize from sim­i­lar set­ups in St. John’s.

“ You can never count up all the hours it takes putting this to­gether,” says But­ler, who be­gan ini­tial prepa­ra­tions for the haunted house last month.

“Hope­fully peo­ple will more or less get what they came here for. It is a horror house, so hope­fully they’ll feel a sense of horror and fright when they come here.”

In 2008 the house had 1,600 vis­i­tors, and even with­out the haunted house run­ning in 2009, But­ler and other vol­un­teers were able to raise $4,400 through bingo and choco­late sales.

“ This year we hope to reach over $5,000,” he says. “If we can get above and be­yond that, it would be even bet­ter.”

But­ler says they will once again be look­ing to raise money through a bingo event. It will take place Nov. 7 at the Shearstown Lions Club at 12:30 p.m.

An­nual Fall Sale

Cough­lan United Church Women, Har­bour Grace, Wed­nes­day, Oc­to­ber 13. Va­ri­ety stalls and cold plate take-out at 3:00 p.m., eat in at 5:00 p.m. Tick­ets $8.00 at the door.

Knights of Colum­bus, Car­bon­ear, Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 23, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lunch will be avail­able. For more in­for­ma­tion call San­dra at 596-4104 or 597-3916.

Blue­grass and Old­time Coun­try Mu­sic Jam Ses­sion

Bay Roberts Lions Club, Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 24, 2 p.m. Doors open 1 p.m.

Shriner’s Tele­vi­sion Auc­tion

The 11th An­nual Trin­ity Con­cep­tion Shriner’s Auc­tion, East­link Cable Chan­nel 9, Tues­day, Novem­ber 2, 7 p.m. and Wed­nes­day, Novem­ber 3, 8 p.m. Full list of items will be avail­able in the Novem­ber 2 is­sue of the Com­pass.

Bake/Craft Sale and Flea Mar­ket

Hosted by the Sea­side Se­niors Club, Hant’s Har­bour, The Club Room, Thurs­day, Novem­ber 4, 10 a.m.

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