Around the side of their house, the Blais family has two giant spiders making themselves at home. (Submitted photo)

Around the side of their house, the Blais family has two giant spiders making themselves at home. (Submitted photo)

Halloween house brings smiles to downtown Chilliwack neighborhood

An elaborate yard display on Kipp Avenue has cars and pedestrians slowing down to take a look

A young family that is new to Chilliwack is bringing Halloween spirit to the downtown area with a dazzling front-yard display.

April and Josh Blais and their children Carter, Ben, Lucas and Emma recently relocated to Chilliwack from Abbotsford, moving into their first house on Kipp Avenue. They brought their Halloween tradition with them.

“It’s basically to bring the community together because we’re all about happiness and spreading joy,” Josh said, with spooky sound effects and music playing in the background. “We like seeing smiles on peoples’ faces and the kids really like doing it.

“It’s a lot of bonding time for the family and brings us closer together.”

If you’ve ever wondered who buys the bigger items from Spirit of Halloween, the answer is this family.

They’ve been collecting for eight years.

You’ll see life-sized animatronic Mike Myers, knife in hand. You’ll see Pennywise the creepy clown. You’ll see massive skeletons that have to be at least 12 feet tall, and an inflatable Frankenstein that can look them in the eye. Huge spiders lurk around the side of the house and one of the kids went rogue and improvised his own mini graveyard.

And for the youngest, Emma, there’s a cute inflatable unicorn.

“That’s the only innocent one out here,” Josh laughed.

As eye-catching as the display is, it almost didn’t happen. In the first few days setting up, the family had a couple life-sized skeletons stolen by teenagers.

“We knew it was more of a high-crime area and people were saying, ‘Aren’t you afraid stuff will get stolen?’ and sure enough stuff got stolen,” Lisa said. “When those skeletons got stolen I was like, ‘I’m done.’”

Distraught and discouraged, she said so on Facebook and was blown away by the response.

“There was so much support, and a lot of people said, ‘Don’t let someone ruin your family’s tradition,’ and it’s true,” April said. “Why would I let some teenagers ruin it for all of us. The kids were practically crying when we said we weren’t going to do it this year.

“We decided to give it one more go, and knock on wood, so far so good,” Josh added.

So, they’ve added lights, signs and security cameras and they’re hoping all goes well.

“We really love doing this,” April said.

The display will be running from 3 to 9 p.m. daily until Halloween, and all day until 11 p.m. on Oct. 31.

Their house is at the corner of Kipp Avenue and Stanley Street.


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eric.welsh@theprogress.com

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