Granddad spends £13,000 transforming home into haunted house for charity

The witch room (Picture: SWNS)

If you thought you might have overspent on your costume for Halloween, spare a thought for Rod Dawson, who’s spent £13,000 this year alone on doing up his house for the big day.

The 55-year-old from Cornwall, has transformed his bungalow into a spooky house of horrors, complete with themed rooms featuring clowns, witches, and ghosts.

While it may seem extravagant, the spooky decor is all for a good cause, as Rod opens his home to the public and takes donations for charity each year.

As well as the creepy ornaments and wall hangings adorning the house, the granddad has also got 10 volunteers to get in on the freaky fun by frightening those who dare to enter.

Anyone who is brave enough to go into the St. Austell house will start off in a completely black hallway with ghouls projected onto the walls and skeletons hanging from the ceiling.

Rod has roped in 10 volunteers to gently spook his guests (Picture: SWNS)
This year a pirate room was added to the house of horrors (Picture: SWNS)

From there, they’ll head to the ‘butcher’s quarters’, where they’ll see heads and limbs hanging bloody from the ceiling, while the butcher himself appears with a pig’s mask with blood covering his body and wields a machete.

The alien room features a dead alien laying on a surgical table with flies coming out of his mouth.

Next up a young woman dangles across the bed resembling a scene from the exorcist whilst a girl takes the role of Annabel as she rocks a monster baby in a cot.

The alien room (Picture: SWNS)
It’s not Halloween without Freddy Kruger (Picture: SWNS)

Witches and wizards take you to a new room featuring a projection with further haunting characters taunting guests.

Freddy Kruger awaits beyond this lair and swipes his claws at those daring to enter.

Rod says, ‘There is a room full of gravestones. We have loads of animatronics and smoke. There is also a pirate room.

Would you brave it? (Picture: SWNS)
The butcher’s quarters (Picture: SWNS)

‘We don’t have things or people that jump out, they just move slightly. Last year we had costumes that we stuffed and this year people will be in them, there will be ten of us hiding around the house this time.’

It all started out for Rod as a bit of fun, but when people started asking where they could put donations, he decided to give any money people wanted to leave to the Cornwall Air Ambulance Service.

It’s taken off so much that he has to inform the emergency services and bus companies beforehand, as thousands of people turn up to be part of the experience and there can be congestion.

As well as the specialist props, Rod has made lots of extras himself (Picture: SWNS)
The terrifying volunteers (Picture: SWNS)

In an odd turn of events, Rod actually doesn’t like horror movies, so the ideas for the themed rooms have come all from his own imagination.

For the 2019 festivities, he and his friends began setting up the whole thing three weeks ago, and it’s been an expensive process.

‘A friend gave us lots of stuff from America last year but in total we spent around £13,000 – it’s like Christmas,’ Rod said.

He added: ‘My wife and my lad help me with the decorations. I put little snippets on Facebook before we hold our open house.’

And, although he says that the whole thing is too frightening for little ones, it appears the younger members of his own family enjoy the whole thing. Rod said: ‘One of my grandchildren was actually born on October 31 – so they ended up thinking the decorations and visitors were in their honour.’

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