Scares for everyone

In public facilities and in private homes, Halloween offered a few frightening moments for all ages.

November 01, 2006|By Chris Wiebe

In a quaint backyard near Chandler Boulevard, a helmet-clad executioner clutched a bloody ax as he loomed over a guillotine.

Inside the house, the scenes were just as grizzly: a man strapped to an execution chair, a large coffin, scattered body parts on the ground and a dismembered head floating in a fish tank.

But the blood and gore was all in good fun, part of a haunted house that Burbank residents Todd Ryan and Kevin Mulligan, aka The Executioner, built to give a sightseers a Halloween scare free of charge.


"Each year it just keeps getting bigger and bigger," he said. "It beats the heck out of going to Knott's Berry Farm and forking out 50 bucks a head to go get scared. Come here and we'll do it for free."

The Chandler neighborhood haunted house, which Ryan and Mulligan have built together since 1998, is also a family affair, with Ryan's sons, Shane, 8, and Dylan, 6, joining several costumed hoodlums who pop out at opportune times to give sightseers a jolt.

"If you pop out at the right point in time, you can really scare the begeebees out of them," Ryan said.

Ryan's family started the tradition 14 years ago when he lived on Rose Street.

He brought it with him when he moved to Chandler. Every year the house takes three to four weeks to set up, he said.

Elsewhere in the city, the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department put on Halloween carnivals, with festivities at the McCambridge Recreational Center, Olive Recreational Center and Vickroy Park, recreation services manager Kris Smith said.

Catered toward children in elementary school, the event organizers provided candy, carnival games and prizes in a family environment, she said.

"It's a safe place for parents to bring their children on Halloween," she said.

"I think we have a great response from the community. Each of the different locations offer an area for the neighborhood kids to be able to come over with their parents and trick or treat safely and enjoy their community parks."

On Saturday, the city also held a Halloween-themed dance for middle-school students at the Verdugo gym, and a carnival for pre-school aged children at the McCambridge Recreational Center, recreation services manager Pat Thomas said.

The events combined attracted almost 700 participants, he said.

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