October 10th, 2012
by Sheliza Mitha
Consider this your fair warning. The Lougheed Town Centre’s new BOO-Tique is not for the faint or the faint of heart. But, it is a frighteningly good time – and a spook-tastic way to get you into the Halloween spirit.
The stroller- and wheelchair-accessible BOO-Tique is a full sensory experience with lurking shadows, moving creatures and some mind-blowing interactive features that may just make you jump and scream. (Or maybe that was just me?) Luckily, the BOO-Tique offers two tours (or rounds) – with one being a bit less scary and a bit more kid-friendly than the other.
Step into the depths of this haunted house of horrors and you’re immediately in a creepy “Night Circus” with a very sinister clown who (along with his menacing minions) is just “dying to meet you.” (On an interesting side note, I found out that the hand-painted mural that acts as a backdrop for the “Night Circus” is actually a movie prop that cost something in the neighbourhood of $25,000 to create.)
From the circus, you’re invited into the deeper and darker labyrinth of the BOO-Tique with a very appropriate sign telling you that you’re about to enter the “House of Horrors – Enter if you dare.” If the creepy circus was enough of a scare, skip the sign and take the short way out, which takes you through the heart of ancient Egypt – complete with mummies, sphinxes and cobras (the fake kind, of course).
But for those who do dare, well… you’re in for a Halloween treat (and yes, pun intended!).
As you enter the second round, prepare to be spooked – because I don’t think there are enough words to describe just how bloody, gory and frighteningly fantastic this is. It’s something out of a nightmare, really: terrifying horror scenes coming from a static-y television set, an evil doctor performing “surgery” on a helpless victim, a skeleton cutting into a body with a chainsaw… and it gets better. Hard to believe, but it does.
Whatever you do, make sure to look down for the “Step here” signs and step on them. Do so, and you’re in for some true Halloween magic with sound effects and unearthly moving creatures. (Don’t worry… you’re protected by a very sturdy gate. I’m sure you’ll be fine.)
Then there’s the ominous “Hell’s Gate” with (step on it) crawling zombies and evil creatures rising ominously from the flames.
If that doesn’t keep you on your toes, the “Head Table” will. I don’t want to give too much away here (because that wouldn’t be any fun for you), but I’ll just warn you to watch for shadowy axe-carrying figures who are out for obvious blood (and revenge) as part of this wedding-gone-very-wrong display. I’ll never think of the words “head table” in quite the same way again.
The attention-to-detail of this entire BOO-Tique is both awesome and awe-inspiring, with credit going to creator Phonse Clarke for the thoughtfulness and ingenuity that went into creating this impressive and interactive malevolent masterpiece. (Either that, or he just really, really loves Halloween. But then, who doesn’t?)
The Lougheed Town Centre’s Spooky Boo-Tique is on display during mall hours from now through Halloween night (Oct. 31st). You can gain admission by presenting your same-day receipt from a Lougheed mall retailer or with a $2 donation for the Burnaby Firefighters’ Charitable Society. Want a heads up so you aren’t too scared? Check out some more photos at the Tourism Burnaby Flickr Page.
See you at the BOO-Tique… if you dare. Mwaa haa haa!!!
Sheliza Mitha is a freelance writer and editor based in Burnaby, BC.