Eleven years ago, Trina and Shawn Rundgren escaped to Las Vegas to get married on Oct. 31. Now they celebrate their anniversary every year by turning their yard and garage into a haunted house for friends and neighbours to enjoy.
"We both enjoy Halloween very much," Trina told CTV News from the couple's home in East Vancouver.
The effort started in earnest when their daughter Peyton was three years old.
"We wanted to make Halloween really fun for her. So we started by decorating one of her little outdoor playhouses," Trina said. "Every year it got bigger. We decorated a little more."
Now, their haunted house includes a graveyard, a mad scientist room, a torture chamber complete with a live electric chair, a spider tunnel and countless zombies and dead bodies.
But the scariest part is probably Peyton herself. She dresses up as a zombie and hides around corners or under tables and jumps out to scare guests.
"It's awesome. It's so much fun," Trina said.
The family starts building the haunted house at the beginning of October. It takes a whole month to set everything up. Searching for new props and pranks on Craigslist or other haunted houses is also a year-round job.
They invite neighbours, friends and their kids to experience the house completely free of charge—only accepting donations to the Vancouver Foodbank and the BC SPCA.
"That's something we're really passionate about, too, is creating that environment for the kids to have fun every year," Trina said.
She jokes that if they won the lottery they'd make their haunted house even bigger and go to professional trade shows.
The Rundgrens say anyone is welcome to experience their haunted house this Halloween. It's at 2270 Lower Skipper Lane in Vancouver.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Julie Nolin