A haunted house in Brier? I was suspicious, but since it was a dead night, I thought I’d check it out. Go big or gourd home, that’s what I say.
After several blocks with no luck, I knew I had finally found the place: Purple lights and creepy ghoulish figures adorned a lawn. What must have been a 12-foot-tall skeleton stood guard at the driveway, while a pirate’s bony figure twirled on the porch. Tombstones held their secrets in a small cemetery, while Vincent Price’s immortal words echoed from a speaker:
“The foulest stench is in the airThe funk of forty thousand years And grizzly ghouls from every tomb
Are closing in to seal your doom…”
Chills ran up my neck. At least I knew I wasn’t alone. Cars crypt slowly pass the house, as drivers and passengers took in the sights. They drove on, however, leaving me alone again. Don’t be a scaredy cat, I said to myself. I felt like Luther in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.
Then I saw a man lurking around at the other end of the driveway, close to the house. I shouted, “Hello?” No answer. Again, I said, “Hello?” No answer. By this time, The Monster Mash was playing loudly. The mysterious man must not have heard me among the loud noise.
Once more, and with a spirited “Hello?” I got an answer. “Yeah, I hear you,” he said.
He wasn’t the scary man I had imagined. He was more like a grandpa busily setting up fun before the grandkids arrived.
His name: Bob Batchelor. He said he’d been decorating his house for many years. “It started with we could never get kids to come up here,” he said. “It started with one fogger and went from there.” As to how many kids he sees on Halloween night, he said, “I have no idea. I’m so busy running around.” His wife keeps tally by the amount of candy left over.
Bob said Halloween is his favorite holiday. Decorating duties start in September for him.
This year, he is cutting down on the decorations. He won’t be putting up the alien exhibit, covered wagon, or a large screen for videos. Still, what’s on display looks pretty fang-tastic.
It was getting dark, and I had to go. I thanked him for his time and for letting me stop in for a spell.
Before I said goodbye, Bob — in a sinister tone — said, “If you’ve got a second, I’ll show you the electric chair.” That invite jolted me. He said he’s electrified “PUD people, several mailmen, UPS people. But never a reporter.”
I had an inkling I was to be the first. I was right.
He asked me to sit in a giant wooden chair. With a flip of a switch, the chair shook tremendously.
After watt seemed like an eternity, the chair stopped. I was still breathing! Thankful for being spared, I bade the Batchelors a nice evening, and I said I’ll come back to trick-or-treat at their house this coming Monday.
If you want to pass by to see the decorations, the house is at 23415 32nd Ave. W., Brier.
— Story and photos by David Carlos