October is a month filled with ghoulish stories preparing you for the one day deceased souls can be found among the living, Oct. 31—Halloween. Evil Acres, a haunted house located in North Saanich, brings scary stories to life through an interactive slaughterhouse, Slaughter House Extreme, and maze, the Darkness Maze.
I’m not too brave when it comes to blood and guts, but I rallied up a friend to join me on a haunted house adventure. Driving up the Patricia Bay highway, the pounding rain on the windshield set the ominous tone for the evening. We turned down a road leading us into big fields of land divided by wire and wooden fences. The outline of a mountain added dimensions to the darkness as we drove closer to a building shrouded in a haze of light.
We were greeted by a parking attendant who then directed us to not one, but two more parking staff guiding us to our spot. The smell of porta-potties and mini doughnuts filled my nostrils as I distracted myself from the ear-piercing screams coming from inside the large barn. We bought our tickets from a disheveled looking man with glasses hanging on the tip of his nose. A woman who appeared seemingly out of nowhere joined him. The dim light on her face animated her wrinkles and she never seemed to blink her eyes. She insisted we attend both attractions: the haunted house and the maze, otherwise what were we doing there? The eagerness of the pair caused us a slight anxiety, and before we knew it, we were preparing ourselves to be scared twice.
A large patio leading to an entrance awaited us after we handed off our tickets to the Slaughter House Extreme. Slightly confused, we walked along the porch, where we met the ghost of an elderly lady who ushered us back through the large entrance. In the first room a man sat in a chair covered in blood complaining about having an appendage torn off. Hurrying away from the scene we entered a hallway with sharp angular turns and dim lights leading us into the kitchen. The setup inside the house was repetitive, with hallways leading to a room with something evil and scary waiting to jump out or yell at you.
After passing through a nursery devoid of any child, we were forced to enter the corn maze because it was the only safe place—spare me. The fresh air calmed my nerves, but they instantly spiked again as I noticed the eerily quiet state of the corn maze. All I could hear was the corn stalk leaves brushing against our sides as we passed. Something hid in the darkness—so terrifying that running only encouraged it. After venturing through what seemed like a infinite amount of rooms and being chased by ghouls, goblins, and zombies, we reached the end of Slaughter House Extreme.
Taking a few breaths we lined up to enter the second attraction, the Darkness Maze. A stone archway lead us into the maze where we were paired up with another group of three, creating a human chain. Blackness consumed our sight as we stumbled forward blindly into what seemed like an intestinal tunnel. The hysteria from other maze patrons wore off on my group: people constantly questioning where they were, whether they been that way before, or, my personal favourite, everything looks the same. Tired of subjecting myself to crowd hysteria I pushed through the darkness and found a way out.
The haunted house and maze play tricks on your mind while heightening your senses at the same time. It gives you a rush similar to skydiving or getting a piercing. If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, Evil Acres is just the place for you to visit. All in all, the experience was terrifying, but a lot less bloody than I imagined. Pick a song and sing it out loud if the scene ever gets too intense.
Evil Acres is located at 10375 Wilson Rd., North Saanich, and is open on Fridays and Saturdays 6:30 – 11 p.m. It will be open at the same time on Sundays the last two weeks before Halloween. For more information and directions visit evilacres.com.