Published: 05:00, 14 October 2021
| Updated: 14:20, 14 October 2021
Gravestones, a scorched scarecrow and a 7ft clown are just some of the spook-tacular decorations at one family’s haunted Halloween house.
For the fourth year running, the Ameys have been transforming the front garden of their home in The Finches, off Highsted Road, Sittingbourne, for the scary season – all in the name of charity.
What began as a hobby for dad Robert in 2017 has since spiralled into a massive project.
In previous years, the Ameys’ front garden has been turned into a ghoulish graveyard – the Finches Rest Cemetery – but this year’s display is “bigger and better”.
Robert said: “I’ve built a haunted house, which has a floor space of 16ft x 16ft. It doesn’t sound big, but it’ll take a while for people to walk through.”
He added: “This year, I wanted to step the display up a notch and make it something really worthwhile.
“Year-on-year we’ve added more to it, and it’s drawn more and more people each time. This year, it’s bigger and better than before, but it’s been a lot of work.”
The 48-year-old dad-of-three said it had taken about six weeks to build the display this time round.
The haunted house is made up of five spooky scenes, with animated props and jump scares.
There is a scorched scarecrow display, one that involves a 7ft undead evil clown who enjoys playing hide and seek, a bedroom, a shower scene and a picture corridor.
Visitors will be welcomed inside for a night of fearful fun free of charge from this weekend.
The Ameys just ask for donations to be made towards The Autism Apprentice, which has helped the family “immensely” over the past couple of years.
Daughter Jessica, 12, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and auditory processing disorder about two years ago.
Since then, the charity has helped Robert and his wife, Lauren, with schooling and getting the right support in place for her, as well as helping with every aspect of her wellbeing.
In the meantime, the Ameys’ 10-year-old son George has also been diagnosed with autism, while Robert himself was told at the start of the year that he, too, had it.
“The Autism Apprentice has been brilliant,” Robert said. “It’s helped us immensely, as well as so many other families.”
He added: “It’s such a minefield to go through an assessment process, but The Autism Apprentice makes it all more accessible.”
Last year the family raised more than £400 for the charity and they are hoping to add to that this year.
The haunted house display will be open from 4pm-9pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
It will then be open every weekend, at the same times, up until Halloween on Sunday, October 31.
“Everyone is welcome, and we’re very much excited for everyone to see it now,” Robert said.
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