Six years ago, the Granado family couldn’t get rid of a single bag of candy they bought for trick-or-treaters. If this year is like last, they will run out of sweet freebies. But that won’t stop people from pouring into their extravagantly decorated yards in an area just west of Lake Cliff Park and forming a line of cars as far south as Davis.
Michael Granado, his father, Ralph, who lives next door, and Michael’s younger brother, Derek, spend long hours planning and building the props in their two yards. Michael’s wife, Martha, says she often has to call the guys in when they work too late. Derek describes his family as a “modern-day Addams family,” and Michael agrees. He says that Christmas has always been a holiday for kids, but Halloween is when grown-ups get to act like kids.
The Granados’ love of Halloween has influenced the entire neighborhood, and that was always their intent. After that first lackluster year, Ralph came up with the idea to decorate the yards. They put out some inflatable pumpkins, which drew a few more trick-or-treaters than the previous year.
Over the years, the decorations became more elaborate. The family has always been into scary movies, and they figured if other people could create frightening front-yard scenes, so could they.
Now when the Granados are out shopping, they are always aware of an item’s worth as a potential Halloween decoration.
Local businesses including a local State Farm office, BHP Etc., Casita Lupe, the Beckley BrewHouse and a nearby fire station have donated candy over the years. Calvario, the funeral provider where Ralph works, donated a coffin.
Ralph and Michael have been working on this year’s decorations since July, and they plan to keep them up through el Dia de los Muertos on Nov. 2.
New for this year is a “Thriller” zombie theme to honor Michael Jackson. Visitors can also expect slasher flick stars such as Michael Myers, Freddie, Jason, and Leatherface.
Where once families would drive their children to Kessler and Stephens Park for trick-or-treating, they now make a quicker trip to those areas and head to the Granado houses. Last year, a cousin heard partiers say, “Hurry up. Let’s go to the house on Beckley.”
The Granado homes are at 1018 and 1022 N. Beckley, and while there is no entry fee, some visitors donate a few dollars.