Last week my girlfriend told me that I had to check out this house that was all done up for Halloween. My first reaction was, “How cool can a house be?” I figured it was done by some run of the mill obsessive decorator, like Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation. You know how neighbors are always trying to one up each other. Well, I’ll be damned, because I was dead wrong about this one!
Mike Spade, a local magician, has the most kickass Halloween setup and he told me he’s been doing it for about 19 years. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t heard about this and I lived in the area my entire life! It’s obvious that Mike genuinely loves putting his Haunted front yard up year after year. The amount of work that goes into his display and the details that you can pick out are spectacular. After checking it out on a cold October night, it was outrageous.
I’ve been to a ton of haunted houses. I’ve visited independent walk throughs, Disneyland, big sponsored haunted ordeals, and I can tell you that nothing can compare to one man’s quest to scare the shit out of people. Mike basically put a dark ride in his front yard sans the boats. What’s most surprising is that he does this all because he loves it and he doesn’t charge people, he only puts out a donation box.
Mike’s Halloween setup has been featured in Weird NJ. For those who aren’t aware, Weird NJ is a magazine that began as a small fanzine type newsletter featuring oddities around the state and now it’s gotten so popular that the publishers Mark and Mark have hosted their own show on History Channel and now also publish books about oddities in other states.
There’s only one day left but you should definitely check out “Mike’s Haunted House.”
Pictured above are some of my favorite moments from the display. You’ll see Samara from The Ring crawled out of a television set and is climbing up a tree. There were some glowing ghosts that moved so gracefully, exactly how I picture a real ghost. Mike also built an old fashioned hearse with a coffin inside that won’t stay closed because of that damned skeleton in there! Coming out of the ground are some ghouls that clearly want to come and join you while your taking your spooky stroll through Mike’s haunted house. For more info about Mike and video of the display click here.