It all began in 2006, when my best friends parents let us take over their garage and turn it into a maze, for the local neighbourhood kids!
We created a Halloween experience that was so out of the ordinary that we had kids and their parents asking for years afterwards whether or not we were doing it again the next Halloween.
We had about 600 kids that first year and we gave away full size Oh Henry Bars to every one of them. We had about 10 volunteers, mostly whom were teenagers. We stapled black poly to the garage walls and ceiling and completely covered those few hundred square feet in darkness! We came up with about 20 different characters, and spent from 7am to 4:30pm that day creating our first "AsYLuM" haunt! We knew we'd started a tradition and a need to scare and entertain the local children.. and of course their parents. What a feeling!!!
In 2011 & 2012 we took the haunt to a new level. We brought in 20-30 people and created an outdoor event that took 2 weeks to build! We had the fine craftsmanship of a local friend and carpenter, who spent all of his off work hours putting together the wooden framing for our outdoor maze, which covered 2 backyards, the garages & the long driveway out to the street!
We were getting pretty serious!!!
WHO are we NOW??
ThE AsYLuM 2016 is a free, intimate, interactive haunted house experience. 2016 will mark our first year in Edmonton Alberta! We are so pleased to announce that The North Millbourne Community League will be presenting our event! We will run from 7pm to 10:30pm, October 28, 29 and 31st!
Located in The north section of Millwoods, The Millbourne Community Hall will host ThE AsYLuM and has graciously offered to help fund our event as well.
We have always funded our event ourselves and have been completely volunteer based event and every year we choose a new charity to support. 2014 was our first year to try the KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN and together we reaised $2010!! We have chosen donating items instead of charging a fee at our door! In the past, ThE AsYLuM has supported the Food Gatherer's society of Fort Saskatchewan! 2016 will mark our first year working with the Ronald McDonald House of Northern Alberta! We are totally inspired by the work this amazing organization does and after a recent visit to the house, our excitement to fill their "magic" toy room to the brim with (purchased/unwrapped/unused) toys has just exploded!
RMHCNA has been home to over 19,000 families since opening on August 15, 1985 In 2015, RMHCNA provided 10,977 nights of comfort to families when they needed it the most.
Please check out the link for tons of info on this amazing organization whom we are SO proud to support!
Video courtesy of Island Time Productions and John Attrell.
Since 2011, we have come up with new and exciting themes for our haunt! Our very first year was based on the disturbing and terrifying world of horror movie serial killers! Leather face (complete with chainsaw), Freddie Kreuger, The Joker, Jason, Michael Myers, and many more were what frequented our haunt! The second year we chose clowns!
Knowing the fear of clowns is a world wide phenomena, we did our best to create a lasting memory for all who entered!
2014 was our most complex idea as we wanted to create a medieval castle out of a residential home and back yard! We called it "Vaughan Castle". The haunt required us to build a village out front, a massive, dark maze in the backyard which would exit through the garage and back out onto the street. We built the front of the castle with about 25 styrofoam boards, which Samantha King ( coordinator/artistic director) went to town on with a dremol tool! 2 weeks later the boards appeared to resemble stone castle walls, which we then attached to the front of the house with gorilla tape and then painted dark grey! The village was based in the front yard, which we made into a maze with about 50 wooden pallets, all attached together! With about 3 torn apart hay bales, some lit tiki torches, gargoyles, tombstones and a handful of actors dressed as drunken peasants, we had created the perfect village for "Vaughan Castle"!
The castle itself was located in the backyard, which had been transformed into a pitch black maze, with poly and massive military tarps! Complete with vampires, Egor, Frankenstein, a werewolf, and a few witches and monsters, we created a memorable and terrifying experience for all who entered!
Yes! The theme for our 2016 haunt will be a bloody mess of gore, bodies, and a collection of the undead who you may run into in countless numbers within and outside the haunt! What else could we have conjured up, knowing the hall would lead us down a long flight of stairs into their pitch black basement!!! This year's haunt will surely get a scream from even the toughest haunt critic! Since our haunts have quite a disturbing and horrific atmosphere, our disclaimer states the age minimum to enter our haunt is 13+.
All the money we raise will go directly into all the materials we purchase for the 2016 AsYLuM Haunt. PINKY SWEAR! We truly need all the help we can get, and since we're clearly not doing this to make money, we do all we can to put every penny we make (not just from kickstarter or what's given to us from The North Millbourne Community League) into the project! These are the basic materials and props your funding will help us achieve/purchase for our haunt! Some things off the top of my head!
- Black Poly - We use this to cover all the walls/ceilings and anything we dont want you to see. It is a poor man's wall basically but it surely does the trick. This year, we are only using it to cover the ceiling and the surrounding 4 walls, as we will creating the "layout" with styrofoam boards and wooden framing. Every haunt we've created, we've spent easy 600-700 on poly alone.
- Styrofoam boards & wood used to make the entire layout of the haunt. Cost for this could be around 700-1000$
- Paint/spraypaint for coloring the walls we create. We're going to create a "dirty cement" look for this year's haunt.
- supplies: tape, staples(staplegun), string, twine, bubble wrap, more tape, glue, liquid cement, spray foam, dremol tool bits, nails, tacs, etc etc etc... and more tape.
- Small Props - spider webbing, signage, gauze, sheets, burlap, etc.
- THINGS! - fake blood, more fake blood (especially for this year).. we're going to need like 6 gallons! LOL.... skeleton props, surgical equipment, tables, more wood to create our Morgue body FREEZER!
- possible hearse rental.
- Extra costuming for our actors, MAKEUP... TONS OF MAKEUP, PROSTHETICS, SFX MAKEUP -... THIS CAN cost up to $500-600
- Floor matting (the floor in the basement is VERY slippery when wet) so we must add some mats to keep the kids/big kids/bigger kids from falling.
- We have lots of lighting already, but seeing as this venue will be much darker (we're so used to being outside), we may need a few more lights!!!
Risks and challenges
Weather has always been an issue for us in the past as our haunt was mainly outside. Because we are in an actual hall this year, the weather wont be as much of an issue. If for some reason we get a massive blizzard and it keeps some people away, we are open for 3 nights so the public will have a choice of when to come!
If all of our workers and actors didn't show up to do the haunt, I know for a fact the people of the North Millbourne Community League would all get their board members to come down and do what they could to help us get by! I'm not too worried, it always works out great, and we end up having a surplus of people who want to be involved. We are very thankful for all the support we've recieved as a non-profit event! We look forward to any challenges that come our way, as I know as a team we can roll right through any of them! Even a zombie apocalypse..... ehem.
- (30 days)