We've not had the chance to check out all the haunts we wanted to this year, but we've made it to a few that were excellent.
Potters House of Horrors: This is the biggest and most elaborate haunted house in the lower mainland (Surrey). There are lots of neat sets, fancy animatronics, special effects, great actors and some really great scares. They've figured out the scaring perfectly, not always scaring the first person through, and providing distractions so they can get you when you don't expect it. The sets are often very detailed and professional, with lots of little subtle touches that took our second time through to notice. There are a few masks that seemed a bit goofy and out of place, and some areas that are little too brightly lit, but overall a great haunt for some great startles. The final room is a vortex tunnel. I've seen these on the Internet, but until you step inside it, you can't understand how disorienting the thing is. Defiantly go to Potters. It's well worth the wait in line and the $12 (I couldn't find them offering any coupons or discounts if you bring a food bank donation, which is unfortunate).
Bear Creek Ghost Train: This is just minutes away from Potters and worth going to if you're checking out potters. Most of the sets and scares are pretty ordinary, but they have a few things that really stand out. There's a super creepy set with many (bear?) skulls on stakes, it's lit well and elaborate. They also break some of the boundaries that haunted houses normally have (don't touch actors, they wont touch you). You will be grabbed! The train ride is well done, and for only $7.
Dunbar Haunted House
YES! YES! YES!!! This is the one haunt to visit in Vancouver. An amazing production that rivals professional haunted houses, and all done in someone's (large) yard. Lots of time, money, love and creativity have gone into this production. The sets are very elaborate and detailed (and expensive). There is also a theme to the haunt, which I enjoy, "Horror through the ages." You start out in ancient Egypt, and all the way through genetic modified pumpkins. With all the greatness, there were a few issues we had with some of the volunteer actors coming out of character; the giant tree that asks you, "Are you the last guys through, we were supposed to close at 10," takes you out of the mood. Admission is by donation (I'd suggest $8 or so) and proceeds go to a number of charities. Located in Southlands (6478 Dunbar) and open all day until 10pm, midnight on Friday and Saturday with actors coming out to haunt at 7.