This Halloween, the house at the end of Daffodil Avenue will be transformed once again into one of the most epic trick-or-treat destinations in Saanich.
The owner of 693 Daffodil Ave, Peter Lyons, has been working nearly 6 hours a day since mid-September to build ‘Morbid Motel’ – a Bates Motel-inspired haunted hotel that will be entirely free of charge for visitors to peruse!
According to Lyons the miniature motel features seven rooms in total, some of which can be wandered through at a leisurely pace while others are cutaways meant to be peered at from outside.
Around seven actors dressed as motel workers will be present throughout the set to provide direction to visitors, as well as the occasional jump scare.
“I can’t stand when a little kid cries or they’re that scared. But my wife told me that this year we have to have some jump scares, so we’re gonna test the crowd,” Lyons tells Victoria Buzz.
“Parents can gauge whether or not their kids can handle it. I’ve seen kids from the smallest ages love it, and older ages get really scared so I think it depends on people’s fear-based feelings.”
Morbid Motel is here to stay
2019 will mark the 11th year that Lyons has built a spooky set at his home for trick-or-treaters to enjoy.
“Over the last 5 years I’ve done a bunch of theme changes like Carnival of Souls, Condemned Carnival,… last year we did a zombie bus with live actors,” he said.
However Lyons says this year’s Motel theme will be the final switch-up for the haunted house, as Morbid Motel is expected to be making a comeback for many more Halloweens to come.
The extensive and detailed task of setting up the haunted house is undertaken almost entirely by Lyons himself.
As the owner of foam-based art studio, ‘Wherever I May Foam’, Lyons has the ability to carve intricate archways and spooky crypts, and has thus far created around 20 realistic characters out of foam.
But as with any great endeavour, Morbid Motel is not entirely a one-man show.
As BC Transit employees, Lyons and his wife Brenda sometimes enlist the aid of fellow bus drivers who show up to lend a hand with the preparations.
“The neighbourhood’s really good, so sometimes people donate things or they come over to help on the night of. In the year we did the Carnival of Souls theme, they came and participated in the whole thing,” said Lyons.
A prime trick-or-treat destination
As any seasoned trick-or-treater will tell you, the end goal for every kid on Halloween night is to gather as much candy as possible.
And Lyons not only respects that goal, but has streamlined the Morbid Motel experience for young visitors to achieve the most efficient trick to treat ratio.
“I wanted to make it a structured tour so that kids in the family can view the haunted house and get the experience, and also at the end there will be a main area for them to get their candy,” he adds.
The haunted motel experience will be up and running for around four hours on Halloween night, and takes approximately half an hour to walk through.
“It’s up for one day only because we have full time jobs and it’s labour intensive [to keep the show running]. For the best theatrical performance, it’s best done just the one day,” says Lyons.
Ten years ago, when he first started transforming his yard into a spooky Halloween destination, 693 Daffodil Avenue would receive between 30 and 50 trick-or-treaters.
Last year, that number jumped up to over 200 and the family expects even more visitors this year.
As the house is located at the end of a cul-de-sac, parking is limited and vehicles driving to Morbid Motel tend to clog up the road.
Lyons suggests parking your car at nearby Hyacinth Park, and walking over with the family and/or friends to check in at Morbid Motel!
- When: Thursday, October 31st, 5 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
- Where: 693 Daffodil Ave
- Admission: FREE!