Halloween homes in the Southland 2012
By Jessi Virtusio firstname.lastname@example.org October 24, 2012 11:58AM
Monsters on Morris Ave. can be found at 18425 Morris Ave., Homewood.
LOOKING FOR MORE SITES?
◆ Click Chicagoland Haunt List at darkshadowshomehaunt.com for the Chicagoland Home Haunts list that includes sites in Burbank, Evergreen Park, Justice, Lansing, Lockport, Mokena, Oak Forest, Oak Lawn, Orland Hills, Orland Park and Tinley Park.
◆ Haunts Against Hunger sites are accepting donations to help local food pantries. Click the Drop Off Locations link on hauntsagainsthunger.com and then the Illinois link to find spots in Lockport, Palos Heights, Park Forest, Orland Hills, South Chicago Heights, Steger and Worth.
Updated: November 27, 2012 10:34AM
We asked for your suggestions about Southland homes decorated for Halloween, and you shared several great spots.
Here is a look at some of the Southland homes and what you had to say about them.
If you know of a great site not included here, feel free to leave a comment below with the information on the Southland home or homes.
7821 Columbia Drive
Marty and Alice Vilimek’s home is near the corners of Archer Avenue and Roberts Road.
“We have lived here for 45 years,” the couple said. “We decorate our house for every holiday. We love the holidays and we show it .
“The next big holiday is, of course, Christmas. Wait till you all see this display.”
8639 S. 78th Ave.
“Our home is decorated for every holiday of the year,” Annette Mitchell said of the abode she shares with her husband, Joe. “Our home and story is also in the book ‘Best Decorated Homes in Chicago.’
“Our Halloween display has many lights along with strobes, foggers, pumpkins and ghostly things. Every year many people stop by to see our display.
“A woman recently stopped by and said, ‘You and your husband do such a great job. You really do the village proud. Thank you.’ That was a great feeling.
“We get that same response from many of the people that come year after year to see our house. They bring their children and grandchildren and always ask if they can take pictures of their kids with the display.
“Well, I’m glad that the people really enjoy what we do. That makes us feel really good to see the smiles on their faces when they come to look at our decorations. Happy Halloween!”
The Nephilim, 8211 and 8215 S. Mulligan Ave.
Michelle Whitty suggested these two houses, which are one block east of Narragansett Avenue.
The displays are available through Nov. 3 from 7-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 7-10 p.m. Sundays.
Live ghouls appear on the weekends and also are scheduled from 7-10 p.m. Oct. 29-31.
10628 Oak Ave.
Deb Scinto’s home features a spooky graveyard, a spiderweb and blowups and is heavily decorated even down the driveway and into the back yard.
“I have been decorating for over 10 (years) and it all started with helping my mom,” Scinto said.
“She decorated every year, and so much so that the Chicago Ridge Park District preschool teachers would schedule visits to come see her decorations. We would dress up and pass out candy, all well before Halloween.
“I am in the field of parks and recreation and love to decorate and have continued every year even without my mom (as we would decorate each other’s houses together). She passed away in 2010 from cancer.
“Years ago I started hosting an annual potluck bonfire and backyard party on the second Saturday in October for all my friends.
“‘We all volunteer in different causes together, and it’s a way to get together before we all get caught up with the holidays. So I decorate for the party.
“By the way, the groups we are involved in volunteer for our soldiers and military: American Veterans Motorcycle Riders Association, Honor Flight Chicago and Veterans Food Drive as well as several other causes or benefits including Hope Children’s Hospital. The list goes on.
“Most years I would even be entered in the park district contest by my neighbors, as the kids on the block love the decorations, or by a family member, but unfortunately I have yet to win.
“And every year I try to add at least one new item. (I did so) even last year and this year although (it was) a much smaller item as I have been unemployed since July 2011 due to state budget cuts at the disability agency I was working for.”
420 Nevada B Ct
“This home decorates for all holidays, but Halloween and Christmas have become their favorites as we can see,” the Tarpanoff family, of Tinley Park, said.
“The kids really love trick-or-treating at this home, and the family is so very nice if the kids are scared. They will show them it’s only pretend.
“We also pass at Christmastime to view decorations.”
“I hope you enjoy this one. Our family does. (I) just don’t think enough folks enjoy it for the time they must spend on setting up these two holidays.”
Monsters on Morris Ave., 18425 Morris Ave.
Sean Roberts said he has been decorating this site to the extreme for three years.
“It’s creepy and allows me to work with my hands a lot,” he said.
“I get to build things. I built the fence myself. I built the mausoleum. We’re fans of scary things.”
18145 Riegel Road
Karen and Phil McHugh decorate their home as a haunted graveyard.
“Our history of decorating for Halloween goes back over two decades ago. My sisters and I started out in 1988 when we lived on Kedzie (Avenue) in Homewood,” Karen McHugh said.
“We used to do an elaborate graveyard scene before it was even commonplace, and folks would stop in the turn lane at Kedzie (Avenue) and Olive (Road) to have a look.
“One year we actually had police directing traffic because there was such a commotion.
“After we all grew up and went our own ways and my folks moved, the graveyard and all our homemade monsters and dozens of handmade gravestones just faded into our family memory book.
“Fast-forward to last year: my husband and my second Halloween on Riegel (Road). With a main street right there I simply could not resist resurrecting the graveyard.
“All of our old monsters suffered the fates of decades and were pitched long ago so we started fresh.
“Last year was all the tombstones and the Wolf Man and a couple air-blown friends: skeleton biker and the ghost stooges in their pumpkin.
“And in the same tradition we did it all those years ago, we will add to it each year. This year’s ‘newly departed’ are an 8-foot Frankenstein monster, his lovely bride and a ghoulish vampire in his coffin.
“We also have our caged ghoul hanging from the tree and his skeleton buddy trying to free him.
“I’ve always loved Halloween all the way back to when I was a member of the (now) dissolved Homewood-Flossmoor-Glenwood Jaycees and was an active participant in the annual haunted house.
“I think creating a really cool yard display and having neighbors and visitors enjoy it is such an awesome feeling.
“We get such a charge when a car pulls into the parking lane in front of the house to have a look.
“The other day I was out making a couple of adjustments and a woman pulled up in her car, rolled down the windows and told me her young daughter makes her drive around the block every day to see the Halloween house.
“That is why I love doing this — for the joy it brings to others.”
Mokena Home Haunt, 18909 Parkway Lane
Julia Wilson, an account executive with Sun-Times Media, suggested this spot, which is open from 7 to around 10 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays and features a life-size ghost ship, a haunted garage, live spooky performers on the weekends and an animated yard display.
6248 W. 94th St.
The reader who submitted this spot said it’s on the northeast corner behind Jason’s deli.
Dark Shadows, 16741 88th Court
This spot, which is available from 6:30-10 p.m. daily through Oct. 31 and is collecting canned food for Haunts Against Hunger, features a front cemetery with animations, spitting and thrashing skeletons and a haunted garage walk-through. The home also placed in the top 20 home haunts nationwide in 2011. Information: darkshadowshomehaunt.com.
17404 Deer Creek Drive
The reader who submitted this spot said Yvonne and Ralph Shurley’s residence is extravagantly decorated. Also, live actors frequently appear.
SOUTH CHICAGO HEIGHTS
The End, 3027 Miller Ave.
Joseph Kaminski’s Haunts Against Hunger site features a food drive for the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
“I’ve been decorating for Halloween over 20 years. I do it every year so everybody can enjoy a little Halloween fun,” Kaminski said.
“I take pride in the creep factor. I use a lot of realistic details that really make people cringe. Everything I have is original. I stay away from what everyone else has.
“My display grows and changes every year. Last year I did a tribute to the classics. This year I added the Haunts Against Hunger food drive to help out people in need.”
6913 W. 176th St.
Famous monsters and f(r)iends are on display at Chuck and Diane Kaffka’s home, which is best seen at night.
“We’ve been decorating our house for Halloween for 19 years, as long as we’ve been married and shared a home. We’ve been in Tinley Park for 15 years,” Chuck Kaffka said.
“Halloween is probably our favorite holiday. Being a baby boomer, I grew up watching Creature Features every Friday night on WGN-TV (Channel 9), so my outdoor display reflects an appreciation for the famous monsters of Universal Pictures: Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolf Man with an assorted host of flying ghosts and a resurrected skeleton.
“In the coming years I hope to add one or two more famous monsters, but I won’t tell you which ones just yet. Motion sensors activate the lights for the different monsters, so they are in dark until the very last second before a scary surprise.
“Every year around Halloween we enjoy hosting a party for our friends and family. We encourage everyone to dress up and have a frightfully fun time with us.”
Jessi Virtusio blogs about music, movies and much more on Elaborating on Entertainment at blogs.southtownstar.com/entertainment.