Yard Haunts! There’s Probably One Lurking in a Neighborhood near You!

What are Yard Haunts? Where can you find them this October 31st? We track the best ones across the Ville and give you an EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW of “Disturbed Souls” in J-town!

“Three more days to Halloween, Halloween, Halloween. Three more days to Halloween, Silver Shamrock! It’s almost time kids—“

Halloween III: The Season of the Witch” (1982)

As the Silver Shamrock ad reminds us, it’s almost time! It’s the Phantom of the Ville here in the backyard of Shawn Pulliam and Kristy Ferrell’s Gaslight District home, which has been transformed into an elaborate Halloween haunted maze full of silver screen boogiemen, creepy clowns and animatronic monsters for a FREE yard haunt this Halloween.

Yard haunts are haunted attractions put on by extreme Halloween enthusiasts in their own backyards, usually featuring members of their own family, their friends and neighbors as actors. You’re usually not going to find anything in a yard haunt resembling the same high tech quality you might find in a haunted attraction charging a $20 admission fee, however, some of these attractions might just surprise you at how much work, detail and attention goes into their construction considering they’re only built to operate for a few hours on one night of the year. They are all FREE, by the way!

Disturbed Souls,” in J-town for example, delivers quite a show out of pure love for the holiday. I was invited to a sneak preview night on Saturday, Oct. 25th, of their third annual backyard haunted house and brought back some pictures and stories to tell about the experience.

You can’t miss Pulliam and Ferrell’s yard when you’re driving down Marlin Drive in J-town. The front yard is lit up like a Halloween beacon that can be seen from a block away. Just listen for the scary music pumping through their sound system as you turn into their neighborhood. You’ll find a graveyard scene amid a yard full of Halloween inflatables and blow molds.

When you pass the entrance to the haunt, you’ll meet a scary little girl with a scream that could break glass and her creepy grandpa who you’ll run into again towards the big finale. Then it’s into the maze, passed some poisonous snakes and caged werewolves and right into Pinhead’s torture chamber. Next it’s a jaunt into America’s heartland and an encounter with Michael Myers, and then through a fog bound, outdoor movie theater playing “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” that’s haunted by Ghostface from “Scream.”

You’ll have to feel your way through a dark, foggy laser tunnel and next you’ll have to get by Chucky and a great “Exorcist” scare including a possessed bed (hydraulic effects and everything!) before navigating a clown room full of balloons. Freddy Krueger will threaten you before you head into the final maze where grandpa returns in a scene that has him floating right up the wall just before the big shock chase out.

Not bad for a FREE haunted stop on your evenings’ trick-or-treat adventures!

DISTURBED SOULS YARD HAUNT is located in the East End in J-town at 3702 Marlin Drive. It’s FREE, and they’ll be open Halloween night from dark until at least 9 PM or until everyone in line gets to go through.

THE HETZER HAUNTED HOUSE presents PSYCHOPATHWAY this year in the South End just off Dixie Highway at 6615 North Drive. It’s FREE, but you can bring a canned good to benefit the Southwest Christian Ministries Food Pantry. They open Halloween night at dusk and close when everyone has gone home for the night.

THE TWISTED SILVER YARD HAUNT is located just across the bridge in New Albany at 1015 Silver Street in New Albany, Indiana. It’s FREE and will be open on Halloween night from 6 PM until 9 PM.

So no matter what part of town you live in, there’s a FREE yard haunt not far from you. All ages are welcome, but parental supervision is encouraged. Some of these haunts can be as scary as their professional big brothers, and you’re likely to encounter chainsaws and bloody scenes just like at the bigger haunts. Mostly, though, these yard haunts are labors of love put on by folks just like you and me that just love Halloween. Get out there and join them this Friday night!

The Phantom of The Ville

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