AJ Vultaggio, 18, stands among some ghoulish-looking displays at his Macomb Township home. A 12-foot skeleton can be seen in the background.

AJ Vultaggio, 18, stands among some ghoulish-looking displays at his Macomb Township home. A 12-foot skeleton can be seen in the background.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Macomb Township teen transforms yard into magnificent Halloween display

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published October 26, 2020

 In October, residents had the chance to gaze at an elaborate Halloween setup on Arrowhead Drive in Macomb Township. In just a few weeks, the home’s exterior will be decked out for Christmas.

In October, residents had the chance to gaze at an elaborate Halloween setup on Arrowhead Drive in Macomb Township. In just a few weeks, the home’s exterior will be decked out for Christmas.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — AJ Vultaggio says that ever since he was a youngster, his parents say that all he talks about is Christmas and Halloween.

That’s one reason why when he’s not at work or school, Vultaggio can be found in the front yard, carefully positioning plenty of seasonal decorations.

For over 10 years, the 18-year-old Vultaggio has, among other holidays, decorated for Halloween at the family home in Macomb Township.

His display is rather elaborate and spans three homes on Arrowhead Drive, near 23 Mile and Fairchild roads, with the Vultaggio’s corner home being the focal point.

It includes displays of a haunted house, carriage, spooky inflatables, a projection display on the house, animated figures, graveyard, mausoleum and a 12-foot skeleton with eyes that blink. Many of the items were purchased from Home Depot.

He estimates 25% of the display consists of homemade items.

Vultaggio said what gives him the most joy from the work he does is seeing all the families come by and the looks on their faces.

“When they say how nice it looks, it means a lot, and that’s why I do it,” he said. “It brings people together and cheers them up.”

Vultaggio attends Macomb Community College and is a graduate of L’Anse Creuse High School-North.

“On my days off, I go to the stores and check what they have,” he said. “I come back home, add stuff to it. Pretty much all my free time is spent out here.”

Vultaggio said this is the first year going all out for Halloween.

While he can’t put an exact number on how many displays are in position, Vultaggio said he has 4,000 feet of spider webs.

In addition to his home, Vultaggio gladly puts up festive decorations at two other homes on the drive.

“I think it makes the community happy and they can appreciate it,” neighbor Ed Kern said. “We’re always so closed in and tight so at least when they go for a walk, they can see something.”

Kern added he has grown to love the Vultaggio’s who opened their arms to him and his wife Perri after their parents passed away.

“This is his passion,” Perri Kern said. “His eyes are twinkling as he’s thinking of things. You can see the passion he has. It’s not just a hobby. He’s creative and this is his thing. The satisfaction of all the people far exudes what he ever dreamed he would get out of it.”

Vultaggio began setting up the display the last week of September and spends time daily adding features.

When asked what he thinks the setup means to the community, given the hardships experienced in 2020, Vultaggio said it cheers folks up a lot.

“This year, I’ve seen a lot of people coming out,” he said. “It’s been incredible the amount of people coming by, getting out of their cars and taking pictures. They all have smiles on their faces and it’s really nice to see that.”

Vultaggios’ mother, Melanie Vultaggio, said every night, there is a lineup of cars passing by the house.

“Every day I come home and see more decorations and I just shake my head,” she said. “It’s fun watching everyone come by and seeing their reactions. It’s something he loves and enjoys, and it’s nice to see him doing something he loves.”

Vultaggio’s father, Andy Vultaggio, also said he notices how much his son enjoys it.

“We used to do some decorating when he was little, but never like this,” Andy Vultaggio said. “He doesn’t know when to stop. We’re so proud that he’s 18 and doing this, instead of drugs or video games.”  

AJ Vultaggio is anticipating plenty of foot traffic on Halloween, a day which last year saw upwards of 150 kids stop by the home.

Once the Halloween decor comes down Nov. 1, AJ Vultaggio will feverishly work to have the Christmas display — even larger than the Halloween setup — up by Thanksgiving.

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