Dressed in nothing but bare bones and a top hat, there is a special resident of John McKeown’s house in Maple Ridge who greets visitors as they walk down the aisle.
“Ah, you look like you died on my friend,” a skeleton says as its body suddenly comes to life, its eyes shining an eerie white.
“Soon there will be enough of us and we will terrorize the living until we possess tonight.” Are you with me? “Asks the skeleton.” The night is ours, “he shouts.
Guests who are not afraid to continue up the steps to McKeown Gate will also be greeted by Michael Myers from the Halloween horror film series, film sam Trick or treats, Billy the puppet riding the tricycle in Seen, and Regan from the classic movie The Exorcist.
McKeown’s front yard is filled with skeletons – human skeletons trying to escape from the ground and skeletal spiders walking. A skeleton also keeps a blue box that McKeown hopes to fill several times before Halloween night with non-perishable food for the Friends In Need food bank.
McKeown has been decorating his home for Halloween for over 20 years. This year he started decorating on October 1.
“I try to change it all the time. This year, I opted for a skeleton theme, ”he said.
“The kids in my neighborhood love it, so I keep doing it,” he explained.
McKeown doesn’t know the exact amount but, he admits, he has invested thousands of dollars on his screen.
And he gets help with the setup and Halloween night from his good friend Darrin Lambert.
“The best time is at night because I have the whole front yard and the house lit with red lights, fog machines, you name it, I have it,” McKeown said. Loud and spooky music will add to the goosebumps of the Halloween night display.
McKeown hopes to give back to the community with his exhibit by fundraising and raising food for the local food bank.
Last year, he didn’t take out his food donation box because he didn’t even know if the kids were going to make treats.
In previous years, however, he was able to fill the entire back of his van with food and raise funds for a few hundred dollars for the charity as well.
This year he is collecting cash and food donations again and will personally match all cash donations made by the end of the month.
So far, however, donations have been slow in coming.
“I basically only have one donation. A neighbor came over and gave me $ 20 in cash and I thought, oh my gosh we’re getting pretty slow here this year, ”he said.
McKeown’s love for Halloween began when he was 9 years old.
“My mom would let me stay up late if I kept her company watching horror movies,” he explained.
The first horror films he saw as a child were The Exorcist and The omen, and since then he’s been a huge fan of horror and Halloween movies.
Now 55, his love for Halloween has never wavered.
“Some of us kids just aren’t growing up, we’re getting a little older,” he laughed.
McKeown’s display is located at 20510 124A Ave. at Maple Ridge.
He will collect donations until Halloween night.
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