Top 7 Outrageous Halloween Houses of 2012

PHOTO: Dr. Paul Duryea, an orthodontist in Palm Harbor, Fla., decorates his house to entertain his clients for charity.PlayCourtesy Paul Duryea
WATCH Halloween-Light Displays Get Outrageous

For some families across America, Halloween home-decorating is taken very seriously. The lights, music and decorations involved to create these spooky scenes on their front lawns are certainly starting to give typical Christmas cheer a run for its money.

All seven families interviewed while compiling the list of the most outrageous Halloween homes admitted to spending no less than an entire month putting their creepy creations together. For some, Halloween is just hobby. But for these folks, haunting their neighborhoods has become an absolute obsession.

Take a look, if you dare, at these elaborate, greatly ghoulish haunted homes:

Halloween 'Gangnam Style' - Leesburg, Va.

With only two years of practice under their belt, the Edwards Landing Lights home, in Leesburg, Va., has already mastered how to get the attention of their Halloween entertainment-seeking fans.

This year, their 'Gangnam Style' synchronized routine is garnering a lot of attention, already surpassing 400,000 views on YouTube since it was originally posted Oct. 17.

Their over-the-top show features 13 full-length songs, four short intros and a handful of announcements thrown in the mix to keep the viewers guessing. Edward Landing Lights divided the songs into two roughly 25-minute shows that will alternate depending on the night you visit.

Bates Haunt - Taylorsville, Utah

Dave Bates first fell in love with Halloween, and Halloween decorating, at a very young age after a visit to Disney's "Haunted Mansion."

"I probably haunted my house since I was about eight. I just experimented with different things and they kept getting bigger and bigger," Bates said. "I didn't have anywhere to store them, so it became more of a virtual haunt. There's not a lot of stuff to store. It's mostly electronic instead of having a ton of props."

Although he's gained quite a following for his annual virtual Halloween house show, Bates tries to limit the amount of time he spends on the planning process.

"I usually wait, even though I'm thinking about it all year," he explained.

Each year, Bates gets upwards of 1,000 visitors coming to sit on his front lawn to take in the spooky sights. The presentation is especially creative because he writes all his own music and lyrics to accompany the light show, which usually takes him about a month and a half to compose.

As a web designer by day, Bates's favorite thing about his Halloween tradition is that it combines all the things he likes to do: Video, music, computers, "it gets the whole gambit," he joked.

This year marks the 10th anniversary for his Halloween projection show.

Halloween Light Show - Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.

Scott Johnson may only be 22, but in the three years he's been doing his elaborate haunted light show, he's certainly already giving more seasoned Halloween veterans a run for their money.

"I've always been into lighting, since fourth grade, doing theatrical lighting for shows and theatre," Johnson told "I was online looking at YouTube videos and saw all the Halloween and Christmas decorations and thought, 'I want to do that.'"

Johnson puts in a whopping eight months of prepping before his final reveal several days before Halloween. Programming the music to be in sync with the light show takes the longest, and to actually set up the display takes about two and a half weeks.

If you miss the spectacularly spooky light show earlier the night, have no fear, because he has it on a loop where the production runs about seven or eight times in a night.

His neighbors love the show. "They're either outside every night or looking out their windows, looking at how many people are watching, or how many cars are pulling up. They enjoy it," Johnson said. "A couple neighbors want to join in, want me to make pumpkin houses for their houses."

Johnson's favorite part is watching his audience's reactions to the whole show.

Haunted Halloween Lair - Spanish Fork, Utah

Matt Champneys said his "neighbors would be disappointed" if he stopped creating his Haunted Halloween Lair. Although there are a select few neighbors that complain about the amount of people that show up to walk through his family's creepy corridors, Champneys is comforted by the fact "there's no law against having people to your house" and said the police have always been really nice about it.

Champneys' daughter, Jessica, first decided she wanted to start elaborately decorating their home for Halloween when she was eight years old.

"She called it a 'Spooky Hollow Fright.' She just decided to do it by herself, so I decided I should help her. Now she's 19 and she's having a lot of fun. She's still doing it," Champneys said.

There is no charge to take the five-minute walk-through of their home. The Champneys family, along with a little help from friends, act as tour guides telling jokes and stories of the set-up as they take you from one point to the next.

"We have a graveyard and one of my favorite jokes is that we have a famous composer buried here, but now he's just decomposing," Chamneys laughed.

The family has been doing this for 10 years. When they first started they only had about 100 people walk through the home. Now, Champneys said, "We're overrun. It's a lot of fun."

Mansion of Macabre - Palm Harbor, Fla.

Dr. Paul Duryea is an orthodontist by day, Halloween-aficionado by night. He's been decorating his "yard haunt" for so long, he's gotten to be friends with some big-name players in the decorating industry, such as people that manufacture props for Six Flags and other large scale events.

"It's been a lot of fun. For me, it's a hobby and I do it to entertain my patients," Duryea said.

Dubbed the 'Mansion of Macabre,' the yard haunt accepts donations for the Florida Suncoast Hospice. Duryea's neighbors are "very cognizant of the fact" he wants to respect their privacy, and explains "they've been extremely tolerant and gracious because it's for charity."

Duryea believes Halloween is a great holiday for kids, and a great excuse for parents to get out and spend quality time with their children.

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. The smoke is scented like swamp. It's not bloody, it's not gory. It's just very realistic. Everything from an electric chair to hangmen, and every year I keep trying to improve, making it better and refining it."

Pirate Ship Halloween Yard - Chesapeake, Va.

Cindy Matthews, 40, has been decorating her mother's and her own yard for 12 years straight. She got inspired by playing around online looking at Halloween DIY projects and videos, and her passion grew from there.

She begins putting up her props and decorations on Sept. 1, and leaves them up until Halloween. The huge pirate ship in her mother's yard is probably the most elaborate part of the yard-decorating process since it takes several hours to assemble. Matthews "got smart" after the first year of making the ship, and has since marked each board for easy assembly and tear-down steps.

Matthews' neighbors love her decorations, and she has even gotten some special attention from officials in town for them.

"They love it. Around here, we've got very little kids. The first year, maybe 25 showed up. But now hundreds show up. One year the fire department showed up and asked if they could hand out their candy at my house because no one was coming to the fire house," Matthews said.

Halloween is Mathews' favorite holiday. And although her mother loves Christmas just as much, Matthews won't be volunteering to put the Santa statue on her roof.

"Mom gets into Christmas, but after Halloween I'm basically wore out," said Matthews.

13 Skeletons - Bridgewater, N.J.

The Adams family of Bridgewater, N.J., much like the infamous Addams family in the movies, really gets into Halloween.

Since 2006, Jim Adams has set up an elaborate skeleton display in their front yard. Each year the display gets a new theme, and the number of incorporated skeletons grows with each day leading up to the big night. He never uses more than 13 skeletons because he wants passersby to understand what's going on, even at 50 miles per hour.

"It started out as putting one skeleton on top of another one's shoulder. I'm sitting in my rocking chair looking at it thinking, 'You know, I think it can go higher.' I never intended to move them around, but one of the parents at my daughter's school said the kids think they're moving around. But I was just tweaking it, trying to get them in different spots. So that's how it started," Adams said. "Each year we try to do something different. Come out of a grave, pulling each other out, then another year, out of a chest with smoke coming out of it."

Adams' daughter was suggesting ideas this year and came up with a hay ride theme. The neighbors love it, and some guests to see the skeletons even leave gifts as a token of appreciate for the entertainment.

"So many people drive by and stop to take photos. Last year we got letters in our mailbox. One time I got a beer with a skeleton on it dropped it on my porch, just saying we enjoy driving by. It's mostly commuters that see it and kids on the school bus. We always get someone stopping by just telling us the joy they get out of it," said Adams.

The Adams will continue to spook their yard with skeletons "until it becomes a problem."