Last year was the first year of the Go By Bike, “Haunted Business Tour” co-sponsored by the Smithers Chamber of Commerce and Central Mountain Air (CMA).
This was an event for which local businesses decorated for Halloween and members of the public could pick up a passport to collect stamps or signatures at each business in order to win prizes.
A condition to collect the stamps was that people had to cycle or walk between businesses, thus promoting active transporation and a healthy lifestyle.
Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the social distancing restrictions this event wasn’t practicable for 2020.
However, Central Mountain Air has continued the tradition by decorating their downtown Smithers office.
Until the pandemic is over, CMA’s downtown offices are not open to the public but they will be sharing a video of their haunted business on their social media sites.
Staff at CMA’s downtown office have decorated for the past several years, even before the Haunted Business Tour, but last year was the first year the decorations were really promoted to the public.
“We try to re-use and shop locally where possible,” said James Mackinlay, customer care coordinator for Central Mountain Air.
“For example, some of the wood frames are reclaimed from used pallets, other pieces of lumber were purchased locally at Smithers Lumber, and the stain for the frames came from Smithers Canadian Tire,” he explained. “The bats are made from craft paper purchased from Mills Office Productivity and Books suspended with fishing line from McBike & Sport, and much of the spider webbing and insects came from Your Dollar Store With More. The hay bales are on loan from one of our staff and came from a local farm.
“Last year people definitely had their favourite part of the decorations whether it was the animatronic witch or skeleton pirate (both sourced locally), the wall of spiders, or the very creepy zombie babies.”
This year the theme is: “Portals to other worlds/dimensions.”
“Our windows are based on the TV series Stranger Things, and much of the other details were painted by one of our reservations staff and local aspiring artist Vanessa Aderlini using Tempura paint,” Mackinlay said.
There are about 400 handmade paper bats, decorating everything from the walls, doors and lights to the desks the reservations agents use.
Right in the centre of the reservations room is a life-size scarecrow, dressed accordingly for Hallowe’en, and there is a very creepy new “reservations agent” sitting behind a desk who would give you pause, should you ever get him on the phone.
It really is a “haunted workplace” decked out for the occasion, from the minute you walk in the door, thru the halls and ending in the reservations room. No matter where you put your eyes, you will find a decoration there.
The virtual tour of CMA’s haunted workplace is online now on their Facebook page.
Truly, it’s a trick you should treat yourself to.