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Big scares generate big bucks for Tri-Cities food bank

The Anmore Manor haunted house takes over almost an entire home every Halloween.
Big scares at the Anmore Manor haunted house generated big bucks for the SHARE food bank.

Frightening the pants off people is helping put food on the plates of local families in need.

The SHARE food bank recently received a donation of $18,060 from Ken Honigman, the proprietor and evil mastermind behind the annual Anmore Manor haunted house display that takes over his own home on Robin Way every Halloween season.

The money, as well as 158 pounds of food, was donated by visitors to the haunted house that Honigman has been crafting for the past nine years.

The effort also generated 17 boxes of new socks, underwear and t-shirts, along with gently-used clothing, jackets and shoes that were distributed in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood.

On his Facebook page, Honigman said the annual display relies on a huge cast and crew of volunteers to bring the scares, manage traffic and parking as well as transport the building materials and props he keeps stored at various locations through the year until he begins construction in September.

Honigman, a millwright, started his journey to Halloween fright meister with a giant spider web made of ropes and several tombstones on his front lawn. But now the display, that’s loosely based on H.G. Wells’ novel The Island of Dr. Moreau, sprawls ghoulish creatures and macabre scenes through his living and dining rooms, kitchen, backyard deck and part of the garage.

Many of the props have been acquired through the film industry and from estate sales.

Honigman said he gleans his ideas from visits to dozens of other Halloween houses across North America and he travels to Hauntcons — conventions of haunted house enthusiasts.

"If you enjoy it, it takes a hold of you," he said.