No glory but lots of guts at Dr. Frank’s Insanitorium

Annual haunted house event is back again in Penticton

The tiny residence tucked away at 796 Eckhardt Ave. E. is known as the little house that could — could scare the pants off you that is.

And, if you happen to (oh please) to escape haunted Dr. Frank’s Insanitorium with your heart in your throat, consider yourself lucky.

Bigger, better and scarier than ever, the diabolic duo husband and wife team of Erik and Lisa Laflamme are back again for the sixth year to send chills up and down the warped spines of hundreds of visitors from Oct. 28 to All Hallows’ Eve.

“There have been some additions of course,” said Laflamme this week with the same old sinister glint in his eyes and crooked smile. “This is not for the faint of heart or children. The little teaser I can give you about this year is, not all the props are fake, can you understand that?”

Read more: Penticton family decks out their house for Halloween

And not all the undead who exist among the torture chambers or are dismembered on the ground outside and holes in the walls are mannequins.

In fact, in the past, a chainsaw-wielding, bloodied murderer has been seen chasing innocent visitors up down the street just for fun.

“We had a spooks actor meeting here the other day and one of my fellow haunters, who has traditionally been unscareable, heh, heh, we got him good this year,” said Laflamme.

Halloween is actually a year-round celebration for the repugnant pair who were married on that date at a haunted house attraction in 2010.

Even their annual summer holiday is filled with the fun and festivity of guts, gore and entrails.

Each August they and other members of Fright Fest B.C., a collection of people with a “taste” for the macabre do a haunted camping trip to Fort Camping at Brae Island Regional Park near Langley.

There, members who come from as far away as Calgary and Seattle, construct a haunted house and feed off of each others creative flesh.

“It’s our primer going there, we love it,” said Laflamme. “It’s a bunch of like-minded individuals, you put a bunch of weirdos together in the same room and all of a sudden there is a sense of normalcy, a sense of belonging.”

Warped and ready to go, he has almost completed this year’s haunted exhibition with just a few more blood splatters and a limb or two to put in place.

Once again this year the fright nights are all for a good cause, this time monetary donations will go to the Crickets special needs softball team.

Visitors are also asked to bring a non-perishable food donation which will be given to the Salvation Army Food Bank.

The Laflammes will be welcoming visitors (over 800 souls attended in 2016) from 7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 28 to 30 and from 7 p.m. to late on Halloween night.

Other Halloween events locally include the annual Haunted Hotel and Haunted Mini Golf event at LocoLanding Adventure Park Oct. 27 to Oct. 30. The child-friendly portion runs from 5 to 7 p.m. and after that, until 10 p.m., visitors are warned to be prepared to scream. The 1,300-square feet of terror is guaranteed to leave you trembling according to organizers. The 18 holes of mini golf will also have horrors lurking around every corner.

Also on Oct. 27 from 2 to 7 p.m. the Penticton Public Library is offering up some spine chilling fun for kids age five to 12 at the Haunted Halloween celebration. Spooky stories, a creepy-craft event and petrifying puppet show await those brave enough to come and have a little Halloween fun. Costumes are optional.

On Oct. 28, the library will also host, A Mystery in the Library. His majesty, King Henry the Eighth has disappeared. Now it is up to the other literary characters in the library who leave their books at night after the library has closed to discover what happened to him and solve the mystery before 10 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Event starts at 7 p.m. Must be 19-plus to attend. Cost is $20 per person. For more info visit www.pentictonlibrary.ca/event/mystery-library.

Halloween Party with Houdini on Oct. 28. Visit the great horned owl at the South Okanagan Rehabilitation Centre for Owls (8965 Highway 97, Oliver) from 4 to 6 p.m. Haunted rooms, spooky games, prizes and trick or treating. Tickets are $5 and space islimited so registration is required at sorco@telus.net.

Oliver Parks and Recreation presents Scareview on Oct. 28 from 6 to 9 p.m. Carnival games, family activities, free popcorn, DJ dance party and more at the Oliver Community Centre. Admission is by donation and children 12 and under must be accompanied by their parents.

The 259 Air Cadets have once again created a spooky haunted house, with more rooms and a photo booth on Halloween night. The house, located at 400 Nelson Ave., will be open Oct. 28 from 6 to 10 p.m., Oct. 29 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and Oct. 31 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Minimum donation of $2 is required.

On Halloween night this year will be Nightmare on Front Street starting with a costume parade at 4 p.m. starting at Valley First Credit Union and continues with a party until 6 p.m. Included in the fun will be trick or treating at various businesses, a graveyard by Starbucks and voting for the most popular pumpkin. Prizes will also go to the most original costume, best themed group and best dressed pet. Hot chocolate and hot dogs will be available by donation.

Also on Oct. 31 is the Family Friendly Halloween Party at the Nest & Nectar at the Cannery Trade Centre from 5 to 8 p.m. Treats andactivities, door prizes, buffet style appetizers and silent auction. Tickets are $12 for an adult and $5 per child 10 years andunder. Event is a fundraiser for the South Okanagan Similkameen Mental Wellness Society.

Cherry Lane Shopping Centre will also hosting its annual trick or treat event on Oct. 31 at participating businesses displaying balloons from 3 to 5 p.m.

 

Erik Laflamme (above) doing his best Beatlejuice impersonation at the haunted Dr. Frank’s Insanitorium that he and his wife Lisa create each Halloween, raising money for local causes and collecting non-perishable food items for the food bank. Photos by Mark Brett/Western News

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