With Halloween just a few days away, it’s one of the rare opportunities for homeowners to treat the masses and impress visitors with creepy creations.
Jim Gorman and his family have been doing exactly that for 10 years.During that time, thousands of people have come to see what is new each year at their Mount Royal home.
“A lot of my neighbours when I ask them afterwards, will say: ‘I got seven. ‘I got 12.’ ‘I got 35,'” Gorman said of the trick-or-treater tally. “Well that’s nice, I got 850, or whatever it is that year.”
Called Saskatoon’s Halloween House, Gorman got the idea to turn his front yard into a week-long Halloween display after a party one year.
A friend suggested turning Gorman’s garage into a dungeon. With all of the extra Halloween decorations hanging around his home, the display grew and grew, eventually becoming the massive display it is now.
Storage is constantly an issue.
“All over the house,” Gorman said of where he keeps all his props. “I’ve got boxes of spiders, rats and all the fun stuff.”
“I literally have skeletons in my closets.”
This year’s theme is A Christmas Nightmare to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Tim Burton’s cult-classic The Nightmare Before Christmas debut in theatres.
Gorman likes to stick to three-year themes, growing them each time before beginning a new one to keep the return visitors guessing.
It’s family function as well. Gorman’s daughter sews the costumes, his son designs and builds pieces and his wife assists all over the yard as Gorman rushes to get it ready by the end of October.
“A lot of people just like being scared or being frightened,” Gorman said . “It’s the one night a year, whether you’re a child or an adult, you get to go and have a little fun and dress up.”
On his best year, Gorman had more than 1,300 children trick or treat, with an addition 2,000 adults stopping in.
The set-up is not interactive and is for display only.Gorman has a donation box at the front of his yard with proceeds going to the Canadian Red Cross and its bullying prevention programs in Saskatoon schools.