CENTERVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) — For two decades, one Miami Valley man has been scaring trick-or-treaters with his homemade haunt.
“Halloween is a tradition for me because you can get your friends and family together,” Tim Connell said.
His 130-foot graveyard, located at 401 East Spring Valley Pike in Centerville, is 20 years in the making. It took him about eight months to plan for this year’s display and about five weeks to get it all set up.
“I have a walk-through. I have a graveyard. I have spiders. I have zombies. I have grave digging skeletons. I just got a whole lot of stuff to scare a lot of people,” listed Connell.
Connell previously lived in Kettering. That was where he started the display and walk-through 20 years ago. This year, he moved to Centerville and is continuing the Halloween tradition at his new home.
“I’m good with my hands. I know how to use electricity, and air, and pneumatics, and I just love putting things together,” Connell explained.
Creative and crafty, Connell has made nearly everything in his display.
“Most everything that I have that moves or jumps is something that I built personally. I don’t have a lot of Spirit store props. Most of my things are unique, one of a kind, something that might get your attention that you’ve never seen before,” Connell stated.
It all started with a single skeleton and has grown over the years.
“I thought if I hooked a skeleton to a string and moved it, people would get scared when I gave them candy. And they got scared,” Connell said. “That was a whole lot of fun. When I got to know people could get scared by something little, I had to escalate it a whole bunch.”
Connell’s family is also into Halloween.
“I’ve never trick-or-treated at my own house before because of this,” smiled Connell’s nephew, Aidan Cassity.
“He’s been doing this for so many years, and he’s really enjoyed the smiles on faces. And he just likes to give,” said Lorie Cassity, Connell’s sister. “It’s bigger and better than ever. Everybody just needs to come see it.”
“I’ve always helped him set it up. I’ve been on the front rows helping him build all of the things that he’s built,” stated Tim’s son, Tom Connell.
It is not just the tricks; Tim and his family want people to come out when they hand out the treats.
“First 100 people get full size candy bars to come on out,” said Aidan.
“This is free. I’m not taking any donations. Come out and see me. Walk through the walk-through. Come down the driveway. Get a couple pieces of candy on trick-or-treat night. That’s what I’m here for,” Connell said.
Centerville’s Trick-or-Treat is happening Sunday, October 31 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.