Taking the Spirit of the
Season to the Next Level
Story by Matthew St. Amand
Photography by Michael Pietrangelo
The hulking, misshapen shadow of Halloween looms at the end of October. As merrymakers get their costumes together and others buy candy to hand out, there are the hardcores among us who turn their homes into nightmare shrines for the season.
Windsor resident, Brad Brown, lets his creativity fly constructing his dark circus/carnival display at 311 Isack Drive, which is known as Twisted Circus.
“I created all of our props by hand,” Brad says. “I brought in the first moving prop last year. This year I have four different moving props.”
Brad and his wife, Krista, have been doing the full display for the past five years. “Before that, the display was just on the porch,” Brad explains. “It spilled off the porch the following year, and it grew from there. It’s a hobby that I enjoy and work on all year round.”
Brad’s clowns are his own creation. Visitors won’t find figures from popular movies amid the display.
“I have dabbled with zombies and monsters in years past,” Brad continues, “but I now stick to clowns—that’s what I have the most fun creating.”
The family’s sunroom is his work area and storage room.
“Some people are really freaked out by clowns,” says Krista Brown. “I have a close girlfriend who won’t even look at our stuff!”
Visitors often ask Brad and Krista if they may photograph the display.
“Come and enjoy it!” Krista says. “We have done this so that kids and everyone can enjoy it. Take your pictures and videos.”
“Nighttime is the best time to view the display,” Brad adds. “After the sun goes down, that’s when everything comes to life!”
Todd Dunford’s Halloween display, St. Mary’s Cemetery, at 1015 St. Mary’s Boulevard began with a birthday gift to his wife.
“I bought a portable car port for my wife’s birthday a few years ago,” Todd explains.
“And one of the first things he said to me,” his wife, Nancy McDowell-Dunford interjects, “is ‘Nance, we could turn this into a Tunnel of Terror!’ for Halloween!”
Nancy has always loved Halloween, and it didn’t take much convincing to incorporate the portable car port into their ever-growing annual display.
“Every season, I stood back and looked at our decorations seeing the possibilities of doing something more,” Todd continues. “Every year, I have to make something new or buy an animatronic or I’ll watch a horror movie and get ideas. We sit in the back and hear the squeals of people going through the maze. They come back to see what’s new.”
“This is our fourth year at this size,” Nancy says.
The display is now comprised of a 200-foot-long maze visitors can walk through, which ends up in the garage which Todd and Nancy convert into a mad scientist’s laboratory. Last year more than 1,300 people visited the display on Halloween night, alone.
There is no admission fee but Todd and Nancy accept non-perishable food items as well as toiletries, hats and scarves with which they create care packages and distribute to people in need.