Rocky home becomes a nightmare for Halloween
THERE is something a little kooky about the way Sonya and Jacob Richards mark their wedding anniversary.
But their novel celebrations have bewitched hundreds of people in Rockhampton.
The couple's anniversary falls on Halloween - October 31 - and they again plan to transform their Quinn St home at Kawana into a haunted house for another night of fun and fright this Friday.
Last year, between 500 and 1000 fans visited their home and they are expecting as many, if not more, this time around.
It's a "monster-ous" labour of love for the Richards and their five daughters.
They start planning and buying bits and pieces for the display about two months out, and the set-up takes about 10 days.
The Richards have always gotten into the spirit of Halloween but upped the ante a few years ago. Sonya says she has fond memories of trick-or-treating when she was a teenager.
"We started with just a few displays but, about three years ago, we had a walk-through under the house and a couple of props outside the house," Sonya said.
"A friend really liked what we had done and rang the local radio station and, before we knew it, we were doing a haunted house under the house."
They are also creating a graveyard in the yard, for those not brave enough to set foot under the house.
Sonya said it was all about seeing the smiles on children's faces, once the initial shock wore off.
"We enjoy seeing the kids have fun," she said. "Some of them do get scared but they keep coming back.
"I think Halloween is getting bigger in Australia and I think it is just a fun activity for families. We can never have too many fun things for families, getting out and doing things together.
"And it's about the community spirit too. It's nice to get other people involved."
HAUNTING FACTS about Halloween
Ireland is believed to be the birthplace of Halloween.
Halloween is closely linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain.
The traditional colours of Halloween are black and orange.
The first jack-o-lanterns were made from turnips.
Magician Harry Houdini died on Halloween in 1926.
Samhainophobia is defined as the fear of Halloween.
The word Halloween was first seen in the 16th century.