WAXAHACHIE

Only brave children have the guts to venture into the front yard of Rick Shinpaugh after the yard on E. Marvin was taken over by zombies, classic horror characters and more.

The yard is hard to miss, as gruesome figures move about the yard coupled with spooky noises you only hear once a year. Even with a fearful yard, Shinpaugh hands out anywhere from 500 to 700 pieces of candy on Halloween.

“Some little kids get scared, and the bigger kids get scared, but they know it’s not real,” Shinpaugh said.

For the past 15 years, Shinpaugh has mastered the art of creepy. His first purchase was the dead bride and groom who hold their heads in their hands, and then the iconic Michael Myers from the “Halloween” movies was bought. From there, Shinpaugh elaborated on the creatures to terrify passersby.

Now, he constructs his own monsters to give the creatures life with movement. With PVC pipes and old windshield wiper motors, zombies seem a little more authentic as they jab left and right and dig out from their graves.

“Everything in this yard I built beside the little witch,” Shinpaugh explained.

The zombie that moves side-to-side is his favorite because the motor is hidden so well and from the street, it looks real. The ground crawler was also his first to design and construct on his own.

After over a decade of work, the yard transforms a little every year as he purchases new décor and recreates horror with decorations that deteriorate.

He admitted the scary films do not amuse him as much as they do his wife. But the drive behind the spooky yard is his children and grandchildren.

“I had four kids, and they love Halloween,” Shinpaugh explained. “I started decorating when the kids were little. As they got older, they started having grandkids, and I started to do a little more. My grandkids, some of them love it. Some of them hate it.”

His home will be open on Halloween night, but he will, unfortunately, be in Galveston for a biker rally. But not to worries, his children will work the front door and jump out at children.

If anyone dares, people can enter the yard from the iron gates from the sidewalk, be greeted by a werewolf and try to make it to the front door steps for a few pieces of candy. There is also an opportunity to tune into a set radio station each night to see the yard and decorations synched with Halloween-themed music. More information on the radio station can be found on a sign in the front yard.

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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450