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Skeletons, ghosts, and nightmarish fiends invade Maple Ridge house for Halloween

Donations being accepted for the Friends In Need Food Bank

Dressed in nothing but bare bones and a top hat, there is a special resident at John McKeown’s Maple Ridge home greeting visitors as they walk up the driveway.

“Ah, you look like death worked over my friend,” says a skeleton as its body suddenly jolts to life, its eyes glowing an eerie white.

“This is good.”

“Soon there will be enough of us and we will terrorize the living until we own this night. Are you with me?” asks the skeleton. “The night is ours,” it yells.

Guests who are not afraid to continue up the front steps to McKeown’s door will also be greeted by Michael Myers from the Halloween series of horror flicks, Sam from the movie Trick’r Treat, Billy the puppet that rides the tricycle in Saw, and Regan from the classic film The Exorcist.

McKeown’s front yard is filled with skeletons – human skeletons trying to escape from the ground and those walking skeletal spiders. A skeleton also guards a blue box that McKeown is hoping to fill multiple times before Halloween night with non-perishable food for the Friends In Need Food Bank.

McKeown has been decorating his house for Halloween for more than 20 years. This year he started decorating on Oct. 1.

“I try to change it up all the time. This year I went with a skeleton theme,” he said.

“The kids in my neighbourhood love it so I keep on doing it,” he explained.

McKeown doesn’t know the exact amount but, he admits, he has invested thousands of dollars on his display.

And he gets some help with the set up and on Halloween night from his good friend Darrin Lambert.

“The best time is at night time because I’ve got the whole front yard and the house lit up in red lights, fog machines, you name it, I’ve got it,” said McKeown. Loud, scary music will add to the creepiness of the display on Halloween night.

McKeown is hoping to give back to the community with his display by raising money and collecting food for the local food bank.

Last year he didn’t put his food donation box out because he didn’t even know if children would be going trick-or-treating.

In previous years, though, he was able to fill the entire back of his pickup truck with food and fundraise a couple hundred dollars as well for the charity.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge Halloween events to fill Food Bank

This year he is collecting cash and food donations once again, and will personally match all cash donations made by the end of the month.

So far though, donations have been slow to come.

“I’ve only got basically one donation. A neighbour came over and gave me $20 cash and I thought, oh boy, we’re getting pretty slow here this year,” he said.

ALSO: Creepy dolls are taking over the Pitt Meadows Museum for Halloween

McKeown’s love for Halloween started when he was 9-years-old.

“My mom would let me stay up late if I kept her company while watching some horror movies,” he explained.

The first horror movies he saw as a child were The Exorcist and The Omen, and he has been a big fan of horror movies and Halloween ever since.

Now, 55, his love for Halloween has never wavered.

“Some of us kids just don’t grow up, we just get a little bit older,” he chuckled.

McKeown’s display is located at 20510 124A Ave. in Maple Ridge.

He will be collecting donations until Halloween night.

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John McKeown, left, has been decorating his house for the past 20 years for Halloween, with help from his good friend Darrin Lambert. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)

Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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