A spooky ride
Published 3:42 am Friday, October 22, 2010
With so many Halloween-themed attractions and events in the area, it’s easy to overlook the ones in our own neighborhoods.
But Rhonda and Mark Allison of 2818 South Third St., Niles, have their very own mini-theme park in the front yard.
For the third consecutive year, the couple has erected a homemade attraction, but it’s not the usual white sheet-ghosts and pumpkin lanterns.
A conductor greets visitors from the “Ghost Train,” the Allisons’ theme this Halloween.
“We were kind of tooling around with the idea for a couple years,” Mark said Thursday. When a TV news anchor mentioned on-air that Mark “must be an engineer,” they decided to go with the train theme. Last year’s pirate ship theme was very popular, Mark said.
The couple began around Oct. 1 setting up the display, which includes animated skeletons, a train car with “passengers” and many surprises that may catch visitors off-guard. Mark built the engine, passenger car and boarding dock from scratch.
Some parts for the display — like the computer-programmable voices for the skeletons —are new. Other parts are found from “Dumpster diving … yard sales, garage sales,” Mark said.
Mark said although he and Rhonda are known for the Halloween displays, it’s not necessarily because they are “Halloween people” — it’s that they believe decorating for this holiday is easier with the mild weather.
“We get to be the kids,” Mark said with a laugh.