Congratulations to our City of Fort Walton Beach Yard of the Month winners for October, Kenwood neighborhood residents Stephanie and Tyler Farris. The couple have transformed their front yard into an elaborate outdoor haunted house for trick-or-treaters to enjoy this Halloween.
Dubbed “Eagle Haunt Cemetery,” the haunted house located at the corner of Eagle Street and Fairway Avenue is a family tradition. Stephanie’s father, Jerry Baum, first built the spooky spectacle when he lived at the home more than a dozen years ago.
“It started out with boarded-up windows; trying to make Styrofoam look like wood,” said Jerry, who was working on an art class project at the time.
“It was a creative outlet. Then I got onto the Halloween forums. You see what other people have done and say, ‘I can do that,’ and then you end up with this,” said Jerry as he gestured to this year’s display.
“This” includes a wrought-iron enclosed graveyard complete with tombstones, a “clown jail” with about a dozen scary clowns and about 6-10 individual “rooms” featuring scenes to frighten visitors as they pass by. They also plan to use theatrical smoke to give the whole yard a foggy and creepy look.
Based on previous years, the family expects they’ll have more than 2,000 visitors walk their haunted halls this Halloween.
And while Jerry and his wife have since moved to another home, he’s still involved in bringing the haunted house to life every year.
“Tyler’s taken over and orchestrates everything now, but I’ll still give him ideas,” said Jerry.
Tyler, Stephanie, and Jerry typically start setting up the Halloween display in September. Now, with a week until showtime, they’re just putting on the finishing touches, which include stringing lighting and painting new tombstones.
It’s a lot of work for one very busy night, but the family’s enthusiasm for Halloween glows through.
“We’ve already started thinking about next year,” said Tyler. “We’ve got a couple ideas that we’re going to work on as the year progresses toward Halloween.”
Eagle Haunt Cemetery is located in the Kenwood Neighborhood at 8 Eagle Street (corner of Eagle Street and Fairway Ave and will be open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 31. For more information, visit the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=eagle%20haunt%20cemetery