A regular staple of Halloween in the Border City will not be returning this year.
Last year, Yvon Cleroux was celebrated for his efforts in turning his home into a haunted house each year, for the past 11 years. Cleroux had said that 2015 was to be the last year for the attraction, and an effort from community members had made that final haunted house a memorable one.
However, after the celebration was finished, Cleroux was told by those who had helped with 2015’s event that his legacy would be carried on to this year. Unfortunately, those promises have been broken.
“They came up, and they said ‘we’ll take over your legacy’ and my legacy was mainly to gather money and donate money to different people, like the MS Society, the Fire Department, the EMS,” said Cleroux.
“I gave money to the hospital for cancer and different researches. That’s what my legacy was, and they didn’t step up.”
With no one to carry on Cleroux’s tradition this year, he has begun to donate his remaining Halloween decorations to those who wish to take them, in memory of the annual event.
“I feel kind of sad, about it, but that’s all I can do,” said Cleroux.
Cleroux also said it would be too late for anyone to step up and get the ball rolling now, due to the time it takes to set up the attraction. However, he did not rule out the possibility of the house returning next year.
“If somebody would step up,” said Cleroux.
“I’ve sold most of my props right now, and I’ve got long years of collecting and making these dummies of mine, and now I’m getting rid of most of them.”
He would be open to meeting with anyone interested, and developing a plan.
106.1 The Goat reached Chris Gagne, who was one of the people who Cleroux had mentioned as approaching him to help in 2016.
He indicated that the effort had fallen apart after one of the organizers began facing outside issues, and that he had felt it best that the memory of the haunted house remain as it ended in 2015.
He also offered some words of encouragement for whoever else might try to take up Cleroux’s legacy.
“After being part of the core crew for the past 11 years all I can really say is this, plan ahead,” said Gagne.
“Such things are costly and they can take their costs out of you in ways one never expects. And by all means for anyone wishing to start out in something like this. Start small. Try not to rush into trying to build something as large as Yvon’s was right off the bat…it took most of those 11 years to get to where he ended up.”