Seniors jump in caskets for haunted house like no other

A casket waiting outside of a retirement home is not usually a welcome sight, but for seniors in Witless Bay it was just the spooky touch they were waiting for.

"I'm 91 but some days I feel like 90," said Teresa Lawrence.

"I'm quite a fan of Halloween. The kids enjoy it, and I wouldn't do it if I didn't enjoy it."

Lawrence was one of the seniors at Alderwood Estates that donned white face makeup and got in a casket at the home's haunted house for kids. 

Rene Houlihan, recreation director at Alderwood Estates, said the theme of Tuesday night's event was Club Med turns to Club Dead.

"Our seniors have been working on characters all week that they think will be horrifyingly terrible," Houlihan said.

"The real story here for me is the vitality and sense of humour that the residents have attacked this project with."

Mike Simms/CBC

And while it may seem grim for an elderly person to climb in a casket, Houlihan said there were so many takers that they nearly had to do a lottery. 

"The residents were like, 'Let me in,'" she said.

They were so dedicated, Houlihan said, the residents stayed in costume and in place until the last child made it through.

"This is not a haunted house for the weak of heart. No, no, no, this is terrifying, horrifying, from zombie grandmothers to caskets to heads on platters to operating tables with guts on it ... this is a stellar project by the seniors," she said.

Mike Simms/CBC

The haunted house got its start last year when Alderwood had hoped to see about 30 grandchildren come by, but instead they had 400 people come through the doors. 

Dalton's Caskets and Ryan's Funeral Home were on hand to make the night extra creepy.

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