WEYMOUTH, NS – Owners of the hallowed home at 390 Fort Point Road in Weymouth North, where a haunted house has thrilled over a thousand guests, are set to scare one last time this Halloween season.
Angela O’Neill Whiteley, the owner of Beautiful You Day Spa and painter of the ‘My Canada Rocks!’ rocks, is the creator and designer of the Fort Point Haunted House. This will be her third and final year of the project.
She paints props, sets up scenes, and imagines the unimaginable, all amounting to one big frightening spectacle.
“I don’t want people to think it’s cheesy – I want them to get scared,” says Whiteley.
Creating a haunting atmosphere
Whiteley held her first haunted house in 2013, and again in 2014, investing her own time and money. Each year saw over 600 guests tackle the house and its scares, to a screaming success.
And though it may seem she’s discovered the formula to a successful scare, she never knows what her next set up will look like.
“I really don’t have an idea until it speaks to me as I create it. I sit in it, look around, and figure it out from there,” says,” says Whiteley, who holds being both a makeup artist and costume designer among her many talents.
“It ends up taking on a life of its own.”
A scary growth of success
Elements from the haunted house are re-used from year to year, and have grown so numerous that Whiteley’s husband, Glyn, built an addition onto their barn to house them.
“Our design started with a graveyard I created outside. It then grew to another display on the porch, and then to a room inside,” laughs Whiteley.
“The next day, I looked at my very patient husband, and asked if I could do the whole house. He didn’t ask for a divorce, so I took that as a good sign.”
The 2013 haunted house took Whiteley two and a half months to complete, and the 2014 one over a month.
This time, she began prepping just one week ago, and plans to have the place spook-ready in under one month.
“Every room is an art installation with the ultimate goal of being as convincingly scary as possible,” she says, detailing the rooms inside the house, which include a maze made from palettes donated by Sissiboo Home Hardware.
“We’re literally living within a maze until this gets going.”
One final take at spooking the crowds
This will be Whiteley’s last year creating her eerily convincing set up, an endeavour she’s loved being part of.
“It’s taking something that is nothing, and turning it into something else people can’t believe you created,” she says.
“I always feel giddy when I step back and look at everything.”
It’s bittersweet, but her final haunt will be both an opportunity to organize her materials to sell to another person looking to tackle the project, and one final ode to the spooky world she’s created.
Though Whiteley won’t herself be housing the set up in the future, she says she’d volunteer her time to help the person who eventually takes it over, to help re-create her witchy world.
“We’ve had people aged 8 to 80 come through and love it. It’s a great community event, and I’d like to see it continue to scare and entertain people in future Halloweens to come,” she says.
The house is located at 390 Fort Point Road in Weymouth North and will be open from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. October 20 and 21, and again at the same times the 27 and 28. Tours involve live actors, and are a no-touching environment for props and people to ensure safety.
A non-haunted tour of the house for those wanting to get a close-up look at the artwork will be held on the 29 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Tickets will be sold at a booth onsite for $5 each, with a portion of the proceeds going to St. Mary’s Bay Academy yearbook costs.