Barb Stokes shows off one of the Halloween decorations packed into the front yard of her Esquimalt home.

Barb Stokes shows off one of the Halloween decorations packed into the front yard of her Esquimalt home.

Esquimalt woman brings scares to her neighbourhood

There's some unusual sounds coming from the front yard of Barb Stoke's home in Esquimalt these days.

There’s some unusual sounds coming from the front yard of Barb Stoke’s home in Esquimalt these days.

People screaming, eerie music, and haunting voices shout “You are walking into your doom!” to those who dare to approach the front door. Creepy skeletons and witches hang from trees decked out in colourful lights while tombstones line the front lawn. A giant spider lurks by the front door, waiting to jump at unsuspecting visitors.

For Stokes, it’s a wonderful time of the year.

“I just love it,” said Stokes, who began decorating her house for Halloween about nine years ago with a few things from the Dollar Store. “It just grew from there. This year my daughter sent me a picture of somebody who had done a house in the states with skeletons on the side of the house and I thought, oh I got to do that.”

Stokes’ impressive collection of Halloween decorations began with about 30 hanging skeletons and a few things stuck in the window. But gradually it grew to large decorations going into the ground. Now, the 70-year-old has at least 15 bins of Halloween decorations, and recently inherited three more from a neighbour who moved out of town.

Stokes makes sure she has everything in place come Oct. 1, but has been adding more things as Halloween draws near. She’s also taken decorations across the street to make sure her neighbours have just as much fun.

“My house definitely sticks out on the block. They (the kids) all love it,” said Stokes, who had about 80 trick or treaters that came to her home on Norma Court last year. “The main thing is seeing the enjoyment the children get out of coming to see it.”

Stokes isn’t the only one who’s been gearing up for Halloween since the start of the month. The City of Victoria has embarked upon a month-long Halloween campaign, adding a number of spooky additions to the city.

A swarm of fake bats now make their home in Trounce Alley, trees on Government Street are lit up in orange and green lights — some with luminescent eyes — and the Bay Centre has become The Bat Centre at the Fort Street entrance, complete with a bat cyclone and a smoking gothic-style fountain.

Black cats are also perched around the downtown core, and a witch flies over the clock tower at city hall. A bat cyclone is also planned for Centennial Square.

Now in its third year, the Halloween campaign has caught the attention of other cities, and has been featured in the New York Times, Vancouver Sun and the Calgary Herald.

“It is another tourism driver for us,” said Trina Moussea, chief marketing officer at Tourism Victoria.

“Our destination makes us an authentic and fun Halloween experience that makes us the perfect getaway to get your spook on and the world is taking notice.”

For more information visit TourismVictoria.com/Halloween.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria Hospice staff Brianne Ohl, left, Angela Chalmers, right, and Sandi Ogloff, at back, show off their buttons that show a picture of them smiling. Staff has worked hard to maintain the connections with patients despite the barriers of PPE and rigid COVID-19 protocols. (Victoria Hospice Photo)
Hospice provides compassion in a time of COVID

Victoria Hospice 40th anniversary on pause during pandemic

Look for the Random Act of Kindness Day colouring contest in Black Press issues Jan. 17. Physical entries can be mailed or dropped off to local Black Press offices. A scanned or photographed entry can be emailed to info@victoriafoundation.bc.ca. Winning entries can get a $50 gift card to Bolen Books and a $100 donation to a charity of their choice from the VIctoria Foundation. (Pixabay)
Colouring contest coming for Kindness Day

Kindness Day colouring contest in partnership with Victoria Foundation

Sidney has moved the remaining parts of its public consultation phase part of the Official Community Plan online. (Black Press Media File)
Sidney moves to an ‘all online engagement’ process for OCP

Staff says OCP charrette scheduled for mid-February

(File photo)
‘Very lucky’: Two passengers, dog escape rollover crash in Saanich unscathed

Vehicle flips on Trans Canada Highway after hitting median, possibly due to ice, firefighter says

The large metal gate stolen from Muddy Valley Farm in rural Saanich on Jan. 18 reappeared less than a week later. (Muddy Valley Farm/Facebook)
Large metal gate stolen from Saanich farm makes mysterious reappearance

12-foot gate returned to Muddy Valley Farm less than a week after it was stolen

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

A long-term care worker receives the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Nanaimo earlier this month. (Island Health photo)
All Island seniors in long-term care will be vaccinated by the end of this weekend

Immunization of high-risk population will continue over the next two months

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Comox Valley RCMP are looking for witnesses after the theft of a generator worth thousands of dollars. Photo supplied
RCMP asking Vancouver Island residents to watch for stolen generator

Vehicle may have been travelling on Highway 19

Most Read