Talk about curb appeal! The Pankow's literally change the face of their house each year for Halloween. I cannot fathom the time and effort that goes into this yard haunt. Oh, and did I mention they give out FREE hot cider?!
CZ: I already know that Halloween is the most awesome holiday out there but my readers may not, so can you give us your opinion why it is?
MCHH: Halloween has the best sense of humor. Whether you’re decorating for small children or an older crowd, there’s always room for fun. Halloween also has the greatest range of theme within a holiday. Silly, bloody, macabre, ghastly, etc. you can do almost anything for Halloween. This allows for a lot of range and creativity.
CZ: When did you start “haunting”?
MCHH: I have decorated for Halloween since I was old enough to walk a pumpkin to the front porch, but I really started “haunting” when my wife and I bought our home in 2003.
CZ: Creepiest man behind the mask – Michael Myers or Jason?
MCHH: Michael Myers is creepier. I think a lot of that has to do with John Carpenter.
CZ: What is your favorite prop/decoration and why?
MCHH: Currently my favorite prop is the false tower I built out of wood and Styrofoam to sit on top of the house. It’s a big piece and brings a lot of attention to the house. I hope one day to replace the fake tower with a real one!
I’m also very proud of my Cider Hut. I originally built a wooden cider shack, but last year I built a brand new structure that is far too nice to be called a “shack” so now it’s known as the cider hut. It’s a kiosk-like structure that I put out at the end of the haunt where I serve hot, homemade apple cider to ToTs and parents.
CZ: You must have one absolute favorite memory about your haunt - tell us what it is.
MCHH: My little girls running through the graveyard laughing and giggling as they dart between the tombstones and grave fences.
CZ: What’s the ultimate Halloween candy?
MCHH: Homemade popcorn balls.
CZ: How much time goes into your haunt each year?
MCHH: Let’s see, 365 days in a year, 24 hours in day…I’d say I put about 500 hours a year into Halloween, but a lot of that is design and planning.
CZ: From whom or what do you draw your inspiration?
MCHH: My inspiration comes from all over. Television, movies, halloweenforum, holiday specials, etc. If I see something I like, I try to recreate it and put it in my haunt.
CZ: Morticia Addams or Lily Munster?
MCHH: Morticia – all the way!!
CZ: Is your family supportive of your haunting obsession or do they think you’re insane?
MCHH: My wife is supportive and collaborative and my kids get excited every year.
CZ: What does the future hold for your haunt?
MCHH: Every year I hope to improve props and add more detail. I’m always ambitious, but it boils down to available time. Someday, I’d like to add more moving props, a skeleton band, singing pumpkins, more tombstones, better witches, etc. The list never ends.
CZ: Any links you’d like included?