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Thursday, October 28, 2010

It's the last Halloween for Annandale homeowner's haunted graveyard

Residents of Annandale’s Ravensworth-Bristow community have been enjoying a neighbor’s makeshift haunted graveyard on Halloween for the past 16 years, but this will be the last year. “It’s been a lot of fun, but I’ve just gotten tired of doing it,” says Brenda Griffin of 7609 Newcastle Drive. “It takes four days to set up and two days to break down.”

The display features skeletons, a giant pumpkin, giant spider, and all sorts of witches, ghosts, and demons. On Halloween night, fog machines create a spooky atmosphere, and the display comes alive as Brenda and her friends and family dress up as a pumpkin head, pirate, headless horseman, or other scary character and chase children through the graveyard. Trick or treaters must get through the graveyard to get to the candy, and once they get to it, a human hand emerges from the bottom of the candy bowl.

“There are always kids who won’t go in,” Brenda says. “One year, a woman got so scared, she ran off, leaving her children in the graveyard.” She stores the Halloween decorations in her attic during the off season, and admits to giving her nieces and nephews a scare by asking them to bring her something from the attic.

The display will reappear next year in a new location. Brenda is giving the decorations to a friend on Moss Drive, on the other side of Annandale.

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