VIENNA, Ohio (WKBN) – People who frequent Warren-Sharon Road in Vienna may be familiar with a cemetery that pops up every Halloween, bringing the street to life with illuminated figurines and animatronics.
Next to the cemetery, behind a hearse with a skeleton riding shotgun, is a free haunted house that welcomes all who dare to enter.
“We started with just a few figures in the yard in 2000, and every year, it’s gotten bigger and bigger… until we’ve got to the point where we are now,” said homeowner and organizer Rick Davis.
Since then, Davis has continued to collect props for Grimm Manor, including some from a popular amusement park.
“A trip to Kennywood once and we found out that they had a lot of figures from their old railroad that were going to the scrap heap. If I didn’t buy them, they were going to be junked and I bought them as collectibles,” he said.
He said they were inspired to turn one of those figures into Dracula. Another became the bride of Frankenstein.
“Over the years, we’ve adapted a couple more and of course skeletons everywhere. You have to have skeletons.”
Davis said other props were designed by him.
“We have an outhouse over there that was just an idea that came into my head. I work in electronics for the FAA here at the airport, so I designed the electronics for it and tinkered it until we had it right,” Davis said.
“We have an electric chair that actually started out as a small model from Kmart from years ago, basically stole the electronics from it and upscaled it. We have a few other ideas; it’s just trying to find time to do everything,” Davis said.
Grimm Manor brings in hundreds of guests every year. Davis said organizing this lets him blend some of his favorite things together.
“[Halloween] is one of my favorites. I mean, it wraps up several hobbies. Obviously, I’m a car collector with the ’57 Chevy and the hearses,” Davis said.
Davis did not want to spoil this year’s theme for guests, but he said previous years included “Men in Black” and a twisted take on “A Christmas Story.”
All ages are welcome, and Davis said parents can walk through the house first to see if their kids would be able to handle it.
“For the little kids, we say we can give them a magic wand and that magic wand will protect them from all the monsters inside,” Davis said. “Basically, it’s an LED glow stick, so we ask them to hold it out so our actors, if they see that, they won’t scare them.”
To volunteer as an actor or help build props for the house, contact Davis through Grimm Manor’s Facebook page.
The haunted house is open to the public from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and on Halloween, weather permitting.
Guests can go through the house as many times as they want.
The cemetery display will continue through the rest of the month.