Halloween isn’t just about the shadows lurking in the night and the ensuing jump scares.
For Caravan Farm Theatre, a good scare is the culmination of haunting beauty, humour, absurdity and the vast unknown. That’s the modus operandi behind the Theatre’s 15th annual Walk of Terror Oct. 27.
Complete with an estimated 100 volunteers and exciting new events, Caravan Farm Theatre artistic and managing director Estelle Shook said this year’s nighttime walk through the 80-acre property will continue to push the envelope.
“Every year, we’re exploring ways to make it a bigger event,” Shook said.
New to the farm this year is the Okanagan-based professional fire entertainers, the Kinshira Fire Troupe.
“To me, that just pushes it over the edge because it’s such a spectacle,” Shook said of the Kinshira Fire Troupe. “We had such a hard year for fires. If you can distance yourself from that, fire juggling is so beautiful.
“It’s so great to bring out this group of acclaimed artistic ability. I think they are going to bring something wonderful and spontaneous to the walk.”
Three distinct scenes will line the 20-to-30 minute walk as patrons wind their way across the Salmon River Road farm. A core creative team of five people is working with the volunteers to produce both beautiful and wittingly repugnant characters.
“Setting is very important. As a theatre company, we know the human being is complex. We aim for the whole spectrum of emotion,” Shook said. “It is macabre. There is a darkness there. I think it’s a healthy experience that helps us not to do that sort of thing at any other time.”
However, despite the myriad of scares wrought throughout the walk, Shook said the Farm’s mandate is to keep the Walk of Terror open to families.
“It is really family-oriented. It aims to be everything for everyone,” Shook said. “We really do want to make it as creepy as we can for adults but as magical as we can for kids.”
To facilitate that sanction, volunteers can coordinate with one another via radio to warn, or perhaps prepare, actors of ensuing families with children or a group of teenagers to create a finely-tuned experience.
Following the walk, Compassion Gorilla will kick off the dance party in the timber barn at 8 p.m. complete with food, hot drinks, free marshmallows for children and a costume contest with cash prizes presided over by three expert judges.
“We always get amazing costumes,” Shook said. “People put in so much effort.”
“It’s very much a Mardi Gras experience, carnival experience. It’s an opportunity to go to a fantastical place.”
Tickets to the 15th annual Walk of Terror are $20 advance or $25 at the gate and are available through caravanfarmtheatre.com. Youth 16-and-under get in for $6. The walk begins at 6:30 p.m. with the dance party slated to begin at 8 p.m.