Calgarians getting into the spirit with elaborate Halloween home-decorations

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It’s not unusual for Calgary to be covered under a layer of snow this time of year, but for Halloween enthusiasts, the recent spell of warm weather has made it easier to spookify their homes.

Altadore residents Sylvia and Wilf Barwitzki say they have been going all out to decorate their home for Halloween for the past eight years — unless the weather was too cold.

“That one year that we just had so much snow I just looked at Wilf and said, ‘Forget it, we’re not doing it this year.’ But this year, if we get a little snow, we get a little snow. It’s already done,” Sylvia says.

Located on a corner lot, across the street from Altadore Elementary School in southwest Calgary, the house is hard to miss. The front yard has been transformed into a cemetery, complete with skeletons and decrepit headstones Wilf made in his workshop.

Then there’s the massive figure of Death floating above the walkway to the front door. When people walk underneath, it beckons, “Commmmme clossssser!” This Halloween, the couple added a few scary additions, including a stockade and gallows that they hope will impress pint-sized trick-or-treaters.

“We love to see the faces of the kids when they stop and look,” says Sylvia, “And the adults too actually.”

Sylvia adds they are expecting as many as 50 trick-or-treaters and have prepared some special treats.

“I made up little goodie bags that have missing fingers, cut off toes, gummies and jelly beans,” Sylvia says.

With so many options available to families looking for Halloween entertainment, neighbourhood treat-or-treating has dwindled in many communities. Yet, families like the Barwitzkis are keeping the tradition alive… or at least undead.

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