A new driving tour that showcases Sarnia’s Halloween spirit is a runaway success.
Crystal Boulton says she conjured up the eight routes and 51 homes decked out for macabre fun after it appeared her favourite holiday might not happen this year.
“My husband joked that COVID-19 may cancel Halloween and that got me thinking,” says the 37-year-old grocery store employee.
Boulton was heading to work in early October and noticed a house decorated early.
“I thought about people who do Christmas light tours,” she said. “Why not Halloween tours? Especially if we’re being encouraged to trick-or-treat less and not have parties.”
Boulton created a Facebook group called Sarnia’s Haunted Halloween Tour and invited enthusiasts to volunteer their homes. So many contacted her she created eight route maps, six in Sarnia, one in Bright’s Grove and one in Petrolia.
Now, every evening, a parade of cars slowly passes the Regan home at 1018 Briarfield Ave, said Dave Regan, Boulton’s neighbour.
“We’ve always had people come by to see the house at Halloween, but this year some nights are just insane,” he said.
“The tours are a brilliant plan,” added wife Linda. The Regans go big on décor, and have since their daughter Samantha was born on Halloween 26 years ago.
The lawn is covered in skeletons, ghosts, spiders and an animatronic werewolf that howls whenever anything moves.
The extra visitors have inspired the Regans and others on the tour to amp up their effort.
“The pandemic motivated me to create it, but I think we’ll keep it after this,” Boulton said. “Everyone who said they wanted to be on the tour is saying they love it. Some displays are smaller but any effort is great if it’s making the kids happy.”
Boulton did not create the tour to raise money, but people have offered. She asks that any donations be directed to Heaven’s Wildlife Rescue, where she volunteers.