An infestation theme adorns Bob Kowal’s property on Demley Drive.

An infestation theme adorns Bob Kowal’s property on Demley Drive.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Big crowds, big displays at community ‘Neighbor-Haunt’

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published October 22, 2020

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 Beware on Balinski Drive: a “Carn-Evil” theme is providing the fear.

Beware on Balinski Drive: a “Carn-Evil” theme is providing the fear.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

 A zombie is one of many scary characters at David Bray’s house on Harrison Street, in Clinton Township, as one of numerous homes part of the annual Clinton Township “Neighbor-Haunt” event around Halloween.

A zombie is one of many scary characters at David Bray’s house on Harrison Street, in Clinton Township, as one of numerous homes part of the annual Clinton Township “Neighbor-Haunt” event around Halloween.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP — As if 2020 wasn’t scary enough, a group of community homeowners are cranking up the fear factor.

The Clinton Township “Neighbor-Haunt” began in 2017, after another local Halloween enthusiast group, The Motor City Haunt Club, inspired them. Now, there are numerous “home haunters” part of an annual display tour.

The “main event list” includes seven properties, with one display located in Mount Clemens. Addresses for each display are listed on the group’s Facebook page, offering a map and a preview of what to expect at each location.

David Bray, one of the group founders along with Bob Kowal, said he became enamored with Halloween as a child and was inspired by his mother and grandmother.

As the years went by, displays got bigger and so did the crowds. There were about 40 people who checked out the displays in 2017, he said, followed by around 500 people in 2018 and between 600 and 700 visitors last year.

While usually doing a haunted castle display, Bray started planning in July and decided to switch it up this year.

“It’s 100% brand new, so if people came last year, they won’t be seeing what they’ve seen in years past,” he said. “It’s one of my favorite years.”

Another list began last year due to increased community interest. Now, the haunt has crossed municipal lines and includes addresses from Fraser, Roseville, Harrison Township, Macomb Township, Mount Clemens and Chesterfield Township.

“My main goal is the atmosphere of it, so when you walk up to it, you get that Halloween feeling,” Bray said. “It’s really cool to see what people are capable of.”

Bray’s “Twisted Fears” house is first on the primary list, followed by an “Infestations” theme at Kowal’s home.

Kowal has been doing displays since 2009. The current Neighbor-Haunt setup was spontaneous — “an organic thing.”

He, like Bray, developed an affinity for the holiday as a child and has scratched that proverbial itch for many years since.

“My mom was really creative and would always design costumes and stuff,” Kowal said. “She was a seamstress. I was making my own decorations since I was like five.”

For his insect-inspired setup this year, he took inspiration from 1950s cinema and old “giant bug” movies. Other themes often include variations of graveyards and zombies.

“I thought as a personal challenge, I would just come up with an absurd idea and see what would happen,” he said, adding that his display is a one-person operation and is torn down the day after Halloween.

A full list of addresses and dates for displays can be found on the group’s Facebook page. They are asking all visitors to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines.

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