When Tracey and Denny Unger learned a local couple was selling hundreds of custom-made Halloween decorations, they said they knew they had to be a part of it.
In September, The NEWS ran a story about Stacey and Sheila Goodman’s collection of about 700 or so custom-made pieces of set decoration that was up for sale.
After reading the story, Tracey, who runs Cloudhead Games with her husband Denny, said she contacted the town about purchasing the decorations for a haunted house, which would be hosted by Cloudhead Games in the old firehall.
“We thought, we’re going to host it. There’s no other way around it,” Tracey said.
Cloudhead Games is hosting the haunted house this Saturday and Monday in the old fire hall in Qualicum Beach located at 124 Harlech Rd.
Qualicum Beach CAO Daniel Sailland the town usually buys a little bit of decorations ever year. “We try and enhance wherever we can, so when this opportunity came up, it was just more of an opportunity to get a number of years all at once,” Sailland said. “For us, it’s more than the annual budget, but we can spread it over a number of years. It’s a good investment for the town.”
(A town official told The NEWS the purchase price is not being disclosed out of respect for the seller.)
Tracey said it was important for the community to know that the decorations and the haunted house were staying within the community.
“We want to give back to the community as well, which as soon as we saw that they (Stacey and Sheila Goodman) were wanting somebody to take over this collection, we thought that it’s the ultimate dream of ours to have a big haunted house. We can do it, we have the space.”
Stacey said about 30 or 35 different people and groups contacted them about the decorations.
“When the town contacted us, I thought that was great because it was perfect for us,” Stacey said. “It’s kind of nice to be able to pass it off onto the town. I’m glad they have it now.”
Over the last two decades, the Goodmans, who have both worked in the film industry, have accumulated their collection from movie set decoration sales. “My wife had an awful lot to do with the creativity and the building and the artistry of a lot of it too and the ideas,” Stacey said of their collection. “Without her help, and her effort, we could have never put together what we did over the 20 or 30 years that we were putting it all together.”
Stacey was on hand at the fire hall on Saturday to help with the set up.
“This year we figured we better come down and just kind of walk through some of it with them because some of it is a little complicated and some we used outside and now they’re going to try and use inside, so if I can help them sort some of that out,” Stacey said.
“A lot of it is mechanical too and I want to kind of go through that with them and explain some of that to them too so they’re familiar with how some of it works such as what is more fragile than other pieces because a lot of it is hand-built and quite fragile,” Stacey said.
The rest of the community was also a big help with setting it up.
Tracey said four or five girls from the leadership club at Kwalikum Secondary School helped paint two of the rooms black and start the inspiration on how they were going to build it.
“We knew that there was going to be a wizard’s lab,” Tracey said. “We knew there was going to be a dining room and that sort of thing and what the flow was going to be, but everybody — all of the volunteers here today — are just pitching in and going crazy and it’s going to be better than I even imagined.”
Tracey said she’s hoping this will be the first of many years for a haunted house hosted by Cloudhead Games.
Denny said he thinks they’ll be able to continue hosting the haunted house at the old fire hall.
“This last bay is our motion-capture space, so there will always be room in one of the bays to do this,” Denny said.
As for their technology, Denny said they won’t be using any of their virtual technology this year, but maybe next year.
“There are a lot of experiences for (virtual reality) that are spooky, horror games, but they’re pretty intense, so if we do anything next year, we’re kind of looking for something that’s not too terrifying,” he said.
Admission for the haunted house is free, but donations to the food bank are welcome.