While Vancouver is host to all manner of haunted houses this time of year, North Vancouver’s Presentation House presents a more adult version designed for the theatre set.
Hosted in its very own “certified” haunted building by the Cornerstone Supernatural Group, members of the HIVE Performance Collective have transformed some of the unlikeliest of spaces in the building that was once a school, city hall and police station.
The creepiest of the short vignettes is encountered at the very start. Without knowing what is in store, the tension in the room is real. That unease runs through the next couple of scenes but eventually dies away as you realize the scares you think (or hope) are coming do not materialize.
One of the funniest and most clever takes place in one of the washrooms with an homage to the Halloween mainstay, The Rocky Horror Show. It’s a tight space, so you really need to push your way in or risk missing half the fun.
In fact, humour runs through much of what is presented, whether listening to a creepy bedtime story in Mary’s room or watching the Stepford Wives go on the attack in another.
A couple of scenes don’t seem to go anywhere, but there is something wickedly fun about confessing to Santa’s helper if you’ve been naughty or nice and getting to scream on demand.
Ultimately though Presentation Haunted House could use with a few more real frights. After all, who doesn’t like a good scare at Halloween?
Presentation Haunted House continues at Presentation House Theatre (333 Chesterfield Ave, North Vancouver) until November 2. Visit phtheatre.org for tickets and information.