Zombies are invading Kamloops and locals are loving every minute of it.
The ghoulish phenomenon is alive and well in Halloween haunted houses popping up all over the city this week.
“We’ll have a truck in the front yard that looks smashed up with a zombie underneath it,” said Dwayne Newman, whose North Kamloops home at 638 Alberni Ave. will be decked out inside and out for maximum shock value.
“We’ll have guys dressed up (like zombies) and they’ll pop out and grab people. Last year we had a few instances where we made a couple of kids cry but we warned everybody, ‘It’s your parents’ discretion whether or not you go in.’ ”
But just because they’re undead doesn’t make them ungenerous. Among the zombie-themed haunted houses is one family’s fundraiser for the Western Karate Christmas Cheer fund.
Eight years ago, the Mitra family’s haunted house tradition began in the spirit of giving when then-seven-year-old Keenan decided he’d rather give out candy than collect it, said mom Alisa.
The family began decorating to attract kids to their home at 1365 Columbia St. after realizing that trick or treaters avoided their road.
Alisa Mitra says that she, her husband, her daughter and even her parents, all get exhilarated about the Halloween season.
“It’s the one time of year you get to be truly juvenile.”
Little did they know how much their efforts and the crowds they attracted would mushroom.
“We keep a counter so last year we know it was 1,357 people,” she said. “And this year is, by far, the biggest undertaking.”
It led them to put out a donation jar five years ago. So far, however, donations haven’t matched the crowds the house attracts — the hordes dropped only $800 in the jar last year, said Mitra.
“We don’t keep a dime either,” she said. “It would be nice if everybody donated at least $1. But whatever — if they don’t, we do it for the fun, too.”
Their haunted house front yard is suitable for all ages, said Mitra, but the backyard is open only to those older than seven.
The Mitras are not alone in their love for all things spooky. Locals can visit numerous haunted houses in several neighbourhoods around town.
Here are just a few:
* Sakred Skin and Studio, 320 Victoria St., hosts a haunted house Wednesday and Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. for kids, and jolts the spook factor for adults from 7 to 10 p.m.
* The Bulloch family, at 1321 Ottawa Place in North Kamloops, offers a walk through a haunted graveyard on Halloween night from 4:30 to 9 p.m.
* Today to Thursday, from 6 to 9 p.m., visit the crypt keeper downtown at 1114 Douglas St., where some sort of industrial accident has cut off communication with the crew, but not before they warned about . . . a witch?
* It’s no coincidence that the house at 666 Munro St. downtown bears the number of the devil. Wander by for a scare — if you dare.
* More than 1,000 people were spooked by the Mitra household last year — find out what the fuss is about at 1365 Columbia St. on Halloween night.
* Not for the faint of heart, North Kamloops residents should brace for a bona fide zombie attack at 638 Alberni Ave. on Halloween night.
* Elaborate and hair-raising surroundings await Westsyde kids brave enough to visit 3212 Archibald Place.