Chris Lofton says Kay Avenue had around 700 kids trick-or-treating there last year, when a few years ago, "you couldn't even give away a small bag of candy" because the street was so dead at Halloween.
Now it's beyond dead — Kay Avenue is positively zombiefied. A spiky black fence lines the front yard of number 2801, with skulls skewered by the eye socket to its posts. Graves spew rotting bones onto the grass, while shadows flicker in the orange glow of the torch flames.
This is the seventh year that the family has transformed their home into a hellish maze.
Ghastly noises eminate from the outside, pounding and squealing as visitors await their turn to enter the long, dark tunnel ahead. Inside, they face a series of corridors and rooms, each presenting a different horrifying scene and terrors lurking in the darkness.
The whole family are in character, with the kids in on the act too. On preview evening, one young boy was dressed in a clown mask with a thin, swirling tongue leaping from its mouth. "Can I have the machete?" the clown asked Lofton just before showtime.
They've never made back the cash they invest in building the haunted house each year, Lofton says, but it's not about the money. "We just want to make sure the kids have a good time," he said.
This year, the running total was around $5,000 for all the construction work and props, which includes 90 walls to build a "House of Horror" that extends from the front, back 100 feet behind the building and around the other side. The set-up requires an extra generator, plus hours of time from a host of talented volunteers from builders and electricians to actors.
The cost of entrance to the "maze of hell," as Loften calls it, started on a donation-only basis and has gradually increased each year as the maze has become more and more intricate and required extra resources. Proceeds from Kay's House of Horror 2012 are going to three local charities: the Child Abuse Prevention Council and STAND! For Families Free of Violence.
Adults are $10 and children are $5. A family of four can get in for $25. The maze is accepting victims on the following Wednesday.
It can be stressful, says Lofton, especially since the couple have a 20-month old daughter and the house takes just as long to build as it does to break down afterwards. But "it's worth it," he adds. "We have that much fun."
Have you ever visited the Kay Avenue Haunted House? What do you think of the idea? Share your experience and thoughts in the comments below.