Anyone in Chestermere who likes a good scare knows they have to stop by the Koroll’s haunted house on Halloween.
“They might want to stay out of the kitchen,” said Mike Koroll with a grin when talking about the scares he has planned for his haunted house this year.
He is the driving force behind the annual haunted house that fills both the garage and driveway of his home on the corner of Westchester Blvd and Crimson Lane.
Although he started out building haunted houses by himself, the annual project quickly became a group effort with several of his neighbours pitching in to help.
“Mike and I both love Halloween,” said Dave Curda who lives a couple of houses down from the Korolls.
“I loved Halloween as a kid and I wanted to share that with the kids from around [here],” he said.
Originally, Curda said that he and Mike where the only people decorating for Halloween on the block.
“Every year it just got a little better,” he said.
“When he started doing the haunted house and getting crazier…he needed some help,” said Curda.
He brings his skills as a furniture builder to the project.
“I have my own shop and this is just fun,” said Curda.
“Mike’s an easy customer,” he laughed.
Daryl Aarons lives across the street and has been helping with both construction and the initial designs for the haunted house for several years.
“It really just started out, just being neighbourly,” he said, “and since then its turned into a lot of fun.”
Construction on this year’s haunted house began at the beginning of September.
“Every year it gets better,” said Curda, “and every year it takes more and more time.”
They go with a different theme each year. This year Koroll said it is Hillbilly Hell.
“It’s Hills have Eyes meet Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” he said.
Along with a new theme each year, the haunted house is redesigned as well.
“Everything inside is new every year but the façade, this is the first year for it,” said Curda of the brand-new façade they built this year.
Ever since he was a kid, Curda has loved Halloween.
“Growing up as a kid…we used to go out carrying pillowcases,” he said.
In addition to helping build the house, Curda likes to help scare people in it too.
“Last year, we actually had lady faint right in front of me when I scared her,” he laughed.
Curda said that her husband picked her up and she was fine after the scare.
For Curda it’s the variety of responses that makes working to scare people in the haunted house fun.
“You never know what to expect from people,” he said.
Like Curda, Aarons enjoys acting in the house each year too.
“It’s fun to do,” said Aarons.
“It’s a lot of hard work…but the reward at the end…getting to participate in the haunted house, that’s kind of the gravy at end of it,” he said.
New this year, Koroll and his team hope to have the house finished and open by the middle of October.
“Which is like crazy early compared to anything else we’ve ever done,” he said.
They’ve put too much work into the haunted house this year to only be open for a couple of nights he said.
“So, I want to get as many people out to see it and enjoy it and hopefully raise as much money and food for the food bank as we can possibly make happen,” said Koroll.
Once they finish it, Koroll said he’ll be home each night ready to open the haunted house up for anyone brave enough to enter.
“People can come by…I’ll be around every night,” he said.
The last day for the haunted house will be Halloween night.
People looking for a fright are encouraged to bring either a monetary or food donation for the Chestermere Regional Food Bank.