FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A Fort Wayne house is receiving national recognition for its Halloween display.
Mark Thompson’s home on the northwest side of Fort Wayne has been named one of ten semi-finalists for the LIVE with Kelly and Ryan Spooktacular Halloween House Contest. If selected as the winner, Thompson will win a trip to Hawaii for two. The trip is for seven days and six nights at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort and Spa. The trip includes airfare, a $200 daily food and beverage credit, and two spa treatments. The total prize is valued at approximately $9,000.
The house features a graveyard, a Zombie zone, a pirate area, and several scary figures and a coffin in the garage. It takes a month to set up and they have the display up for the entire month of October. It takes piles of batteries, motors, cords, and rebar to keep everything staked in the ground. His family has traveled far to acquire the items in the yard, including going all the way to Pennsylvania.
Thompson and his wife have always been big horror movie and haunted house fans. They first began decorating for Halloween at their rental house 20 years ago. When the couple moved to Oakdale Drive in the Foster Park area of Fort Wayne, they began putting together big displays. They did this for 14 years. Now the couple resides at 2912 Sweet Cider Road. This is the second year for the display at their new house, which has three times the yard space.
Thompson decided to enter the national contest at the advice of their neighbor next door. They found out they were a semi-finalist when the show announced Thompson’s name live on Friday, Oct. 15th. Public voting for the best house was open after the Oct. 15 broadcast and closed at 11:59 PM on Sunday, Oct. 17th. One of the top five semi-finalists will be announced each day from Monday, Oct. 25th to Friday, Oct. 29th. Besides the grand prize for the winner, second place will receive $1,000 and third through fifth place will receive $500. Thompson hopes it is their house that is selected as the big winner on the 29th and they can schedule the trip for February.
The most special part is how the display brings people together, says Thompson. “Neighbors are meeting neighbors that don’t know one another here just because we’ve got some skeletons and scary lights in the yard. So we love that…just bringing so many people together and having them come out and have fun.”
Halloween itself is also special at the Thompson house. Thompson is excited to welcome individuals of all ages, with plenty of candy to go around. They hope to eclipse 1,500 trick-or-treaters. They even offer trick-or-treating for dogs.