It’s bizarre how something as simple as the passing of time can make things appear creepy. Exhibit A: old-timey toys. Just imagine children of yesteryear tearing opening their Christmas presents and squealing with delight at the sight of any of those wooden nightmares. Seems almost morbid, right? I realize toy evolution didn’t happen overnight….but come on….there must have been a small part of their toddler brains that just knew there was a 50/50 chance some of these expressionless grimacing dolls would come alive and maliciously chase teenagers in the 80s. (Surprise, I watch a lot of movies)
Now that I’ve established a bullet-proof theory that old-timey = Creepy, let’s head down to the Western Development Museum where the good folks use this very theory to their advantage every Halloween. By now I’m hoping everyone is familiar with Boom Town- the website calls it “An indoor representation of a typical Saskatchewan town, recapturing the atmosphere and style of this bustling period” It’s basically one long street of scale replica buildings and shops from that time period. So an old dentist’s office, old school, old church, and old butcher shop, etc. Archaic dental instruments, a crude RCMP office complete with a holding cell and the ever present threat of the school’s classroom strap is already unsettling if you immerse yourself in the unapologetic past. Yes, making this place go from Zero-to-Scary takes no time at all.
Once a year, in the spirit of Halloween Boomtown dims the lights, drops the M and becomes “Boo Town”.
Halloween when you have small children will forever be a delicate dance. How scary is too scary? Asking multiple children to stick their hands into a bag of cooked spaghetti/brains can produce alarmingly different results, that’s why Boo Town’s biggest strength is that despite its Halloween makeover- nothing will jump out at you… It’s safe. For the little ones that are a little jumpy – Boo Town is just Boomtown, but with a fresh coat of Halloween paint. You won’t have to tear your kids off your leg to get them to partake in games like Deadly Dig, Witch’s Cauldron and Tombstone Toss. Storytellers spin spooky (but not too spooky) stories and everyone can take part in the giant Boo Town mystery.
The only flaw in the annual Boo Town extravaganza is their blink-and-you-miss-it limited hours of operation. If you can’t make it Friday, October 28th between 5:30 and 8:30 you’re (wolf howl) OOOOOOOOOOOOOOut of luck. (Author’s Note- I was sure I could do better but eventually gave up).
I know the event taking place over suppertime, but don’t worry about leaving three hours later as starving skeletons because the Witch’s Kitchen will be cooking up favorites like Haunting Hot Dogs, Boo Burgers and Creepy Cupcakes.
Yes, the hours are limited, but if you have Halloween-sensitive-youngsters under ten- this is the event for your family. Regular Museum Admission applies.
Visit wdm.ca/stoon/events/bootown.htm for all Boo Town details.