Brenda and Del McNeil spend the weeks leading up to Halloween decorating their 25th Avenue home. (Roger Knox - Morning Star) See story on page 3.

North Okanagan houses show Halloween spirit

Adults love Halloween as much as the kids

‘Twas the night before Halloween and outside the McNeil house on 25th Avenue in Vernon, the husband-and-wife team of Del and Brenda McNeil continue to add to their already impressive Halloween yard display.

It’s a display that rivals any house decorated for Christmas, complete with a 17-foot-high Grim Reaper, 16 mannequins, headstones, pirates, coffins and an electric chair.

“We had to build a shed to keep all of our Halloween stuff,” laughed Brenda, who runs the cafeteria at Kalamalka Secondary School in Coldstream.

“We are still adding to the display,” said Del, a machinist who makes most of the display himself.

The McNeils have four grown-up children and four grandchildren. One daughter who lives in town, refers to her parents’ love of Halloween and the home display as “awesomely crazy.”

Brenda and Del have lived at their current home for just over three years, and continued doing the Halloween display they started at their old home off Alexis Park Drive on 35th Avenue for nearly nine years.

“People have followed us because of the display,” Brenda said. “Halloween, for us, is a season. We get about 200 visitors just for the display. We’ve had people come in from Kelowna just to see it. Kid-wise, on Halloween night, we get about 70 or 80 kids. Usually, people will make our house the last stop so they can see the display.”

The McNeils begin putting up the display the day after Thanksgiving and will keep it up for a few days after Halloween.

Meanwhile, out of her home-based business in Coldstream, salon owner Karla Bruneau begins decorating her Mt. Symons Place shop and yard Oct. 1 and keeps them up throughout Halloween.

A big fan of Halloween, Bruneau will don her regular witch’s costume that she said evolves every year. She pulls out her latest score, a new witch’s hat.

“It’s so exciting and fun,” Bruneau said of her lifelong love of Oct. 31. “It’s a chance to be a kid again.”

The salon, which is in the home she shares with her husband, Nathan, is decorated with pumpkin lights, haunted houses, ghosts and decorative Halloween words like “Boo” and “Spooky.”

“My clients love it. They get their pictures taken with the display,” Bruneau said. “I have clients that will book specifically in October so they can see the display.”

Outside her salon, Bruneau’s front yard is decorated with a cobweb, complete with big black spiders, headstones and skeletons.

There’s a similar display just down around the corner from her house. It’s a residence on Middleton Way where tenant Randy McDuff has also built a rather large cobweb out of twine.

It stretches from the top of the front of the house out to the roadway. The web is decorated with big spiders, and ghosts guard the web along the front of the house and driveway.

“I’ve been doing this off and on for about the last five or six years,” McDuff said. “The cobwebs are handmade and the spiders I’ve bought over the years. I’ll also have about 25-to-30 pumpkins carved and ready for Halloween night.”

McDuff, who will hand out candy wearing his Jedi Knight costume that he had made for the premieré of one of the Star Wars movies, has always been a fan of Halloween and carried that into adulthood.

“The kids enjoy it, I think, even more than Christmas,” McDuff said, whose border collie, Oreo, is decorated in an orange collar with black bats. “I plan to keep doing this, for sure.”

Halloween just for kids? Surely you jest.

READ MORE: Stay safe this Halloween: Vernon fire department

READ MORE: Okanagan College extends president’s contract for two more years


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Coldstream home-based salon owner Karla Bruneau decorates her salon (and herself) for Halloween every year. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Coldstream’s Randy McDuff built this massive spiderweb at his Coldstream home out of twine for Halloween. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Just Posted

Okanagan highlanders dance in support of kids, food banks

A nationwide virtual dance-a-thon will garner donations for Food Bank Canada and Kids Help Phone

Okanagan set for thunderstorms before sunny weekend

Thunderstorms are predicted to give way to a hot, sunny weekend around Kelowna

Body of 21-year-old man found in Okanagan Lake

BC Coroners Service is investigting the circumstances of the man’s death

UBC Okanagan caps digital fees per course amid COVID-19

The UBCO student senate capped fees at $65 per class for the first winter term in 2020

Police investigate late-night truck fire in Vernon

‘At this time, investigators are treating the fire as suspicious,’ says Cpl. Tania Finn

Airlines dispute Dr. Henry’s claim they ‘very rarely’ give accurate COVID contact tracing info

Air Canada, WestJet say they provide names and contact information

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen pays nearly $8 million in wages

Figures included in latest Statement of Financial Information

Democracy costs Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen more than $500,000

Remuneration and expenses paid to chair, directors and alternate directors comes to $542,588

Workplace design: Are you grown up enough to work from home?

Columnist Jules Galloway is the founder/owner of Evolve Design| Build

Kelowna RCMP discover more imitation firearms used in crimes

RCMP say the fake guns can be hard to distinguish from the real ones

Dyer: Replacing dam and solar power

Research indicates Canada could replace 100% of power from dams with solar, using only 13% of the land

Airborne hot dog strikes Greater Victoria pedestrian

Police called to 4200-block of Quadra Street for hot dog incident

Kootnekoff: CEWS expanded and extended

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, her diverse legal career spans over 20 years

B.C. scientist, 63, protests in trees set to be removed for Trans Mountain pipeline

Tim Takaro is reaching new heights as he tries to stall the pipeline expansion project in New Westminster

Most Read