Halloween Boo-tique shocks Lougheed shoppers
For 11 months of the year Alexis Danielson works to ensure visitors to Lougheed Town Centre shop with smiles on their faces. But from Oct. 6 to 31, she wants to make them scream and cringe.
That’s when the mall’s customer service supervisor pulls on her black cloak and boots, pulls down her tall, black pointed hat, curls her lips and gnarls her fingers as “Lexy” the witch, gatekeeper to the shop of horrors that is the centre’s first Spooky Boo-tique.
Located in a vacant space just off centre court, the 5,000 square foot boo-tique isn’t for the feint of heart. Behind the black curtains that shield shy shoppers from the terror within are macabre scenes of gore and guts, a sinister surgery, a zombie’s play yard, and a wicked wedding banquet in which both bride and groom seem to have lost their heads.
It’s enough to make adults balk, indifferent teenagers shriek and emboldened children squeal with delicious delight.
“I’m in my element,” says Lexy with demented glee. “This is the time when I really come alive.”
The Boo-tique is a first for Lougheed Town Centre. And it’s proved pretty popular, with a couple hundred customers bravely stepping over the threshold every day, says the mall’s marketing director Bev Diallo.
Admission is by donation, or free with a proof of purchase from one of the mall’s merchants. But with all proceeds going to the Burnaby Firefighters Charitable Foundation, visitors are only too happy to contribute to the kitty in exchange for the fright of their day, says Diallo.
The boo-tique is a warren of darkened rooms, each with its own scary scene enhanced with spine-tingling surprises, chilling sound effects and even creepy shadows. There’s a shortcut for younger or more squeamish visitors to avoid some of the more horrific rooms.
“We had to find a balance between fear and fun,” says Diallo.
Visitors who can hold their hand steady enough to take a picture can also enter a photo contest on the mall’s Facebook page for a chance to win movie passes. And on Halloween, 4-5 p.m., children are invited to put on their costumes and trick or treat amongst the stores.