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.

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria BC Transit driver taken to hospital after assault

Driver attempted to stop an altercation between two people on the bus

Art takes a personal tone during the 110th anniversary of the Victoria Sketch Club

The 47th annual art show is taking place until March 24

CRD’s 2019 financial plan includes 23 per cent increase for capital projects

Housing, health care and wastewater projects included in 2019 plan

How a scrawny kid from Oak Bay bulked into one of rugby sevens’ best

Doing it for Dylan, Oak Bay’s Connor Braid at the top of his game

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

Short list for new gnome home includes Parksville, Coombs

Five potential locations have been chosen by Howard’s owners who will decide Tuesday

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Baby left alone in vehicle in Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

Nowhere to grieve: How homeless people deal with loss during the opioid crisis

Abbotsford homeless advocate says grief has distinct challenges for those living on the streets

Most Read