Print – 2015

Halloween house of horror scary fun for Markham family

Markham Economist & Sun

In the months leading up to Halloween, one Markham family’s front lawn transforms into a ghoulish nightmare complete with all the guts, gore and brains imaginable.

Starting just after school begins in September, Richard Young starts to transform his two-car garage into the neighbourhood scare factory.

Ghouls and goblins guard entry to the haunted house, at 6 Red Ash in the Markham Road and 14th Avenue area, only to find creepy clowns, possessed zombie babies and a mad scientist cutting into someone’s brain inside.

To get your treat, you must walk past the coven of witches on the front porch and the psych ward featuring a girl with a spinning head.

Then, to end the night, you must walk past a graveyard with a coffin, skulls and skeletons watching your every move.

“When you hear a lot of screams followed by some laughing and the kids walk away with candy only to come back again, that’s good success”

“Halloween is for all kids and big adult kids, too,” Young said. “The candy is good, but it’s all about the memories.”

Each year, more than 1,500 kids venture through the scariness, which is never the same way twice.

Donations are accepted as you enter the Legacy of Horror in support of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. More than $10,000 has been raised.

“Penny for penny,” goes to the cause, he said.

What started as simple makeup and props one Halloween before Young’s daughters Yasmin, now 11, and Jaedyn, 8, were born has turned into the annual show, highly anticipated by families on the street and in the surrounding neighbourhood.

“It was a few props, then each year we added a few more,” Young said. “Then it just went bonzo. The house looks normal the rest of the year.”

Setting up the Legacy of Horror is a family affair, with his kids helping with design and setup while wife, Sheila, comes up with new ideas each year.

“The kids do a quick dash around neighbourhood early in the night,” Young said. “Then they come back here where the action is.”

Many of the pieces found scattered along the family’s lawn, front porch, driveway and garage are pieced together by hand, using cardboard, clay and spray paint to add the gory affects.

Simple motors, such as one used to power windshield wipers on a car, as well as air compressors are Macgyvered together to create moving body parts, including a skeleton shaking a fence and zombies rocking back and forth.

Each haunted lair is complete with movable parts, 3D creatures and the odd live scaremonger.

“When you hear a lot of screams followed by some laughing and the kids walk away with candy only to come back again, that’s good success,” said the computer and IT specialist.

Not only has the Halloween spread across the lawn, but also down the street as children from far and near line the closed street in preparation for the annual flight or fright delight.

Their facebook page has 10,000 likes, a testament to the popularity of what they do each year.

Halloween decorating starts in early September and takes about six weeks to complete the Legacy of Horror, Young said.

It takes about three days to take down.

“Nov. 1 is a big exhale,” he said. “Then there’s two or three weeks to get the Christmas lights up. Christmas and Halloween share the same storage space.”

Below is a video of last year’s walkthrough, but you’ll have to come up with the courage to visit this year to see what they’ve come up with.

The haunted house is open every night this week, Oct. 25 to 28, 5 to 9 p.m. and Oct. 29 to 31, 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

For more information or to make a donation, visit

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