For some, Halloween is just a hobby with costumes, candy and trick-or-treating. But for other families across America, haunting their homes is a deadly serious matter.
The lavish lights, morbid music and dark decorations involved to create spooky scenes on their front lawns are often months in the making with no ghastly detail spared.
Take a look, if you dare, at these elaborate, greatly ghoulish haunted homes:
Halloween Light Show Set to Ylvis’ ‘The Fox’ – Leesburg, Va.
The Edwards Landing Lights home, in Leesburg, Va., has only been creating Halloween light shows for three years now, but Brandon Bullis, the mastermind behind the creation, has already mastered getting his entertainment-seeking fans’ attention.
This year, their synchronized routine set to Ylvis’ viral hit, ‘The Fox,’ is garnering tons of attention, already surpassing more than 1.5 million views on YouTube since it was originally posted Oct. 17. Bullis’ 7-year-old son persuaded him to choose the song, which lit up the Internet in early September, by asking the odd question, “What does the fox say?”
Their displays, which accept donations for the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, are quite impressive. They’ve also compiled a “Blurred Lines” light show this year and mastered Psy’s “Gangnam Style” last year with more than 3 million views.
Bullis is on his own when it comes to his Halloween hobby, however.
“It takes a lot of time,” he said. “I do this while my wife watches ‘American Idol’ and ‘X Factor.’”
’Grim Grinning Ghosts’ Bates Haunt – Taylorsville, Utah
Dave Bates first fell in love with Halloween, and Halloween decorating, at a young age after a visit to Disney’s “Haunted Mansion.” He chose to set his “Bates Haunt” to the mansion’s theme song, “Grim Grinning Ghosts,” because he “needed a big production number” and it was “the song that inspired it all.”
He estimates upwards of 1,000 visitors come to sit on his front lawn to take in the spooky sights.
As a website designer by day, Bates’ favorite thing about his Halloween tradition is that it combines all the things he likes to do: video, music and computers. “It gets the whole gambit,” Bates, who has been doing his projection show for 11 years, said.
Halloween Show Saved by Donations – Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.
At only 23-years-old, Scott Johnson, of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., is already giving more seasoned Halloween veterans a run for their money.
“I just started doing theatrical work at a young age in elementary school and I’ve liked lighting ever since,” he told GoodMorningAmerica.com.
Showing true dedication, Johnson successfully raised $1,100 to put toward his show this year after some of his lighting equipment started going bad last season. His neighbors love the display, as well as Johnson’s “The show must go on” mentality, which is why most of the donations came from his supporters around the community.
Johnson estimates his home gets several hundred families stopping by on weeknights, with even more visitors on weekends.
Mansion of the Macabre – Palm Harbor, Fla.
An orthodontist by day, Halloween aficionado by night, Dr. Paul Duryea of Palm Harbor, Fla., has mastered his spooktacular yard haunt, “Mansion of the Macabre.”
“It’s been a lot of fun. For me, it’s a hobby and I do it to entertain my patients,” Duryea told GoodMorningAmerica.com of his yearly sinister set up that takes donations for the Florida Suncoast Hospice.
Open for two nights, Halloween and the night after, Duryea estimates he gets more than 1,000 visitors excited to lurk through his ghoulish abode. He tries to make his haunt as realistic as possible, saying, “Most people think they’re going to come here and just see a bunch of pumpkins, but I’ve got over a ton of smoke machines,” adding the smoke is even scented like a swamp.
His newest animatronic addition this year is a 25-foot lifelike flame, which shoots in the air and is sure to evoke the devilish-side in all of his ghoulish guests.
Haunted Halloween Lair — Spanish Fork, Utah
Matt Champneys and his daughter, Jessica, of Spanish Fork, Utah, have been creating their Haunted Halloween Lair for 11 years now.
“She was only 9 years old when we started. Now she’s 20,” Champneys said of their passion project, which has a new haunted pirate theme this year.
The elaborately spooky spectacle takes about 100 hours to set up, although they’re thinking about the decorations year-round. “We begin planning on Nov. 1,” he said.
In total, the father-daughter duo estimates anywhere from 3,000 to 3,500 people participate in the walk-through, which is equipped with tour guides telling jokes and stories of the set-up as they take you from one point to the next.
And as for how Champneys’ wife deals with the visitors who line up around the block to visit their home, “She’s very supportive,” he assured us.
13 Skeletons – Bridgewater, N.J.
The Adams family of Bridgewater, N.J., has more than a few skeletons in their closet. They have 13 to be exact, and every year they bring them out to create an elaborately themed Halloween display in their front yard.
This year, the skeletons escaped being trapped underground by lighting dynamite to break out of their crypt.
“The whole main thing about it is how they come out of the ground each year,” Jim Adams told GoodMorningAmerica.com. “This year, we did dynamite with gunpowder and blew a hole in the ground.”
Once above ground, the spooky skeletons wreak havoc around the yard and torment passersby, even crawling toward the road in an attempt to “hitchhike” to a neighboring town.
To see more pictures of the spooky ’13 Skeletons,’ click here.
Transformers Figures Take Over Front Yard – Cleveland, Ohio
Every year, Pete Marin of Cleveland, Ohio, adorns his lawn with huge Transformers figures for Halloween. The tallest transformer, “‘Megatron,” stands 18 feet tall.
“Every year we add one. It’s becoming more of an attraction for families to get together and come down at this time of year,” Marin told ABC News affiliate WEWS-TV.
Inspired by his son to think outside the box for Halloween decorations, Marin creates the figures with wood and polystyrene foam. The first Transformer he constructed was “Bumblebee,” who is a looming 16 feet tall.
Halloween Light Show Set to Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ – Valley Center, Calif.
Holiday decorating enthusiasts Neal and Melissa Adams posted a video to YouTube earlier this month of skeletons, ghosts and more dancing to “Blurred Lines” in front of his Valley Center, Calif., home, which has already racked up more than 12,000 views.
The couple, who both work from home selling on eBay, began their Halloween light display tradition eight years ago when their neighbors moved away and left them with Halloween decorations. It quickly grew into an annual event in their town that draws visitors to their neighborhood every night throughout the month of October.
“I guess it just became a hobby for me,” Adams told GoodMorningAmerica.com. “I love this time of year. Halloween is my favorite holiday, followed closely by Christmas.”
Realistic 2-Story Pirate Ship Emerges From Home – Lorain, Ohio
If you like to decorate your home for Halloween with pumpkins and fake spider webs, prepare yourself, because the bar has officially been raised. Ricky Rodriguez’s home in Lorain, Ohio, has a lifelike, two-story shipwreck crashing through the back between the house and the garage.
“All the trick-or-treaters are excited,” Rodriguez, 39, told GoodMorningAmerica.com. “We’re going to have everyone dressed in pirate costumes and have a big pirate-themed party.”
The incredible attention to detail with peeled back shingles, bent gutters and even a broken foundation is so remarkable it even prompted a confused home inspector to stop by.
“Everybody enjoys it,” said Rodriguez, who took two weeks to build the pirate ship. “Just seeing everyone drive by and the smiles on their faces; they take double takes and turn around and come back around the block. The look on everyone’s faces makes me happy.”
Deathly DIY Haunted Halloween Yard - Chesapeake, Va.
Cindy Matthews of Chesapeake, Va., has been decorating her hair-raising yard for 13 years straight. And as if that’s not enough of an undertaking, she also adorns her mother’s yard with coffins, skulls and other frightful sights as well.
Matthews’ haunting inspiration came from looking at Halloween DIY projects and videos online, and her passion grew from there.
Although heavy rain delayed her deathly decorations a bit this season, she still managed to complete her startling set up, which is sure to terrify any oncoming trick-or-treaters.