An awesome sight day and night, Lorraine and Cletus Janes' place, House #666, located graveside by the main road in Irishtown, is where a lot of people find themselves this time of year.
From near and far they come to be buried in the horror of the Jans’ garden, a haunting decade-long labour of love and eager endearment drawn of the couple's own amourous Halloween leanings and the enchantment of others absorbed in their annual creative and artistic retreat. They fit it all in late October weekends.
The loaded and lit Halloween display that more and more people are talking about on the Bay of Islands upper north shore is a labour of love.
"It is something we do because we love Halloween and doing it for the kids," said Lorraine. "We just love the kids coming.
"I always used to decorate for Halloween around the house, but after (getting together with Cletus), it just grew, we added a little more each year."
Cletus said they have actually not spent much money of any of the big collection of inanimate kooks, spooks and gooks that fill their front yard. With the exception of three mannequins, three sheets of plywood for 27 headstones and a trio of commercial blow-up characters bought this year, it has cost little.
It is all stored away in the family shed after Halloween.
Friends and fraternal interests donated the built pieces, Cletus noted, while most of the rest has been created by himself and Lorraine from yard sale items, goodwill stores and garbage picking.
Lorraine laughed about how their driveways ugly zombie bride with right arm hacked at the shoulder initially got picked up cast aside on the side of the road as a broken mannequin. It survived to tell its hallowed tale, blood-spattered white wedding dress and all.
Anyone might agree it all looks good to see, but, bad to imagine.
In addition to a large black cat looking to pounce, the scene sees Hannibal the Cannibal jailed on the premises, adjacent decapitations via guillotine happening by the front steps, and bloody bucksaw surgery being conducted on the front porch by the door for when fools come knocking.
Cletus was pleased Sunday that the forecast was looking good for Tuesday night.
That’s when the real ghosts, ghouls and goblins ooze from the woodworks, the plasticine and rubber shells of their creation. Lorraine especially looks forward to it. They both do. They all do.
Do beware. Tricks and treats go to and fro', all a part of it. The Janes garden is rigged for night lighting. There was no hint of it wired for sound.
Though not yet a labeled tourist attraction, photo opportunists make their way from nearby Corner Brook and places further afield in Bay of Islands to snap it up.
The Halloween haunting consumes their front poach and about half of the large garden at 666. a roadside haunt located on Route 440, a.k.a. Admiral Palliser's Trail.
In curiosity shown the Janes display by grown passersby to the thrills exhibited on bare-faced children who've dared venture the grounds of 240 North Shore Highway in the Town of Irishtown-Summerside, the amount of big folk looking in for Halloween and number of smaller ones looking out for much-hallowed loot bags have continued to grow, says Lorraine.
Dressed for the gig, the Janeses handed out 122 bags of treats last Halloween, up from about a dozen bags a decade ago, said Lorraine. Cletus expects they could get 150 or more trick 'r treaters this year.
The unjust and macabre cast of characters and apropos props and symbols flanking the creepy outer entry to Lot 666 stand ready to test the wits and will of all who subscribe and succumb of the horror genre.
A white cross adorns their graveyard backdrop.
Not to worry, though. They're all good for fun people, these quiet creeps seen yet hanging around the Janes’ makeshift cemetery. Not a murmur. With that hitchhiking zombie bride picked up hitchhiking by the road one strange day a way back still silent, the Janes’ groom for more tonight (October 31).
Dave White welcomes your Bay of Islands news and events information at 660-5712, or email at: email@example.com.