Local couple opens their home to the public for family friendly Halloween tour

By Chadd Cawson Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The countdown is on to see superheroes, princesses, witches, monsters, ghouls and goblins go trick-or-treating door to door.  Most families and their kids, out for Halloween fun, and candy usually only get to see decorated porches and foyers, at best. Those who love Halloween as much as Donna Scheffer and her husband Arnold do, are in for an early treat!

The Scheffers will open their home – 410 Third Ave. – to the public on Oct. 27 and 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. It’ll be a free, fun, and spooky (but not too scary) walk-through tour which will begin from the Scheffer’s back deck. All children must be accompanied by a parent with a one adult to two children ratio preferred. 

For many, Halloween may just be about the trick or treating but for the Scheffers, it’s so much more. “My favourite part of Halloween, besides the decorating, is seeing the joy on the faces of those who come and truly appreciate what they are seeing,” said Donna. “To some it’s all about the treats but to others it’s seeing the decorations and for the parents to realize the thought and time that has gone into it.”

The Scheffers, live in Althamer, located on the unceded territories of the Secwépemc and Ktunaxa People and home chosen by the Metis people of B.C. They moved into their home 16 years ago and have always wished there were more children living in the area as they would have loved to have had more visitors over the years.

Donna explained, “Our first three years in our home, we decorated the front of our house, but since we are on the ‘no thru’ part of Third Ave, it wasn’t a very popular place to bring your kiddies. We then got the idea to decorate our back yard. Decorations started going up two weeks before Halloween and were more readily visible from Sifton Street.”

“We received our little guests at our back door off our deck. From there, they could see some of the decorations in our house. If they were with adults who showed interest, they were invited in for a viewing. From there it grew.  Each year we decorated more of the house, and friends said it was a shame more people didn’t see it with all the work that went into setting it up.”

The Scheffers’ love for Halloween isn’t the only thing they sing about. Members of Valley Voices Choir for several years, they would host an after-supper practice on the Monday before Halloween, pre-Covid.  

“Halloween isn’t everyone’s thing, but those who came enjoyed the decorations and the eats,” said Scheffer.

Over the years they have dressed up as pirates, hippies, a gypsy, witch, and Dracula, hopeful for more families and trick-or-treaters each year. If you are curious about what they will masquerade as for these tours, well, you will just have to come and see for yourself. While there is no cost to enter the Scheffers’ home to take in their Halloween décor, Donna would be more than happy to take non-perishable donations for our local food bank or a ‘Toonie for Terry’ Fox. (Donna has two passions: The first is making a difference, specifically through the Terry Fox Foundation, and the second – Halloween.)

“Halloween for me as a child was always such a happy, magical time,” Donna said. “Going to neighbours and strangers’ homes looking for candy was so much fun and if we got an apple or a piece of homemade fudge or a popcorn ball, it was a bonus. My mom would usually make pie from the apples, as they were pretty banged up by the time we got home.  Those days are gone, but I hope that whoever visits our home will go away feeling happy.”