With Halloween right around the corner, London-area residents have been getting into the spooky spirit by decking out their yards with spine-chilling sights and ghoulish goodies.
Among the long list of haunted houses stands one in the north end of the city. Created by resident Jeff Deane and his wife, the haunting display at 21 Balcarres Rd. features upwards of 45 animatronics and stretches across four front lawns.
“We’ve been doing it for about 12 years now and it’s slowly getting bigger and bigger,” he told Global News.
Including 40 feet worth of party tents and 10 gazebos, Deane said the majority of the display is covered.
“So even if it’s drizzling rain, people can still come in enjoy it while being nice and dry,” he said. “It really is a sight to see.”
Deane added that on top of getting those into the Halloween spirit, they wanted to give back to those in need.
“When COVID hit, we decided to try to help out the London Food Bank,” he said. “We started collecting, and we get bigger every year.”
He said that within the past three years, they’ve collected over $18,000 and a little over 3,400 pounds of food for the local food bank.
“They just love that we’re trying to help,” Deane added. “I said to them, ‘What we do is a drop in the bucket to what the food bank needs.’ But their response to me was, ‘If you get enough drops in the bucket, eventually you can fill it.’ So that’s what we’re trying to do.”
On top of collecting donations, Deane said that he’s noticed his neighbourhood getting more involved with the spooky season.
“Our whole street is starting to get into it…. It’s contagious,” he said. “On top of that, we handed out 550 bags of candy last year. So, the volume of kids that come is incredible and that’s why we do it.
“When you the kids and even the parents say thank you and they got smiles on their faces because they love it, that’s what makes it worth it.”
Having orchestrated the growing display over a number of years, he said that “the sense of amazement still remains.”
“We’re running out of room,” he joked. “I’m almost to the corner of the street on my neighbour’s side.
“But we just try to make it fun that way to people kind of get a kick out of it, and I think more than anything is if we can just continue to help the food bank, that’s my biggest goal right there.”
Some other Halloween haunts in the city are also going toward a good cause, including a haunted manor at 664 Cranbrook Rd. raising funds for the Humane Society of London and Middlesex.
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“We open for walkthroughs complete with animatronics, fog machines, black and strobe lighting with live characters and scares,” owner Kim Styles said.
Just last year, the display collected $4,000 in donations for the humane society.
Here are some other Halloween displays out in the London region this weekend.
Know of a haunted display or house that isn’t included? Email us at email@example.com with the address, a photo or two, and a description.
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