Thousands of people are expected to brave one of Ireland’s scariest homes this Halloween – created by a man who has always been afraid of the dark
Featured on: Independent.ie
Visitors to Ken Carraher’s garden will test their nerves to the limit when they come face-to-face with a terrifying host of zombies, ghouls, a ghastly cemetery and an 8ft fire-breathing dragon.
But the transformation of his house in Killiney Hill Road, South Dublin, into an animated house of horrors is all for a terrifyingly good cause.
The electrician has been turning his garden into a spookfest for 23 years – 13 of those to raise money for charity DEBRA Ireland – and hopes to smash the €10,000 barrier this weekend.
The organisation supports 300 people in Ireland with EB (epidermolysis bullosa), a rare and extremely painful genetic condition which causes the skin to blister and wound at the slightest touch.
“We are expecting 4,000-5,000 people to visit over the weekend, we have a marquee in the garden and attractions out the front of the house as well,” said ESB worker Ken.
“A few years ago, I asked my daughter Aoife and her friends to pick out a charity and they came across children with the ‘Butterfly Skin’ condition, so since then, we’ve raised around €50,000 for Debra Ireland.
“It is a fantastic charity, when I began to learn more and meet the patients who have this truly awful condition, I wanted to do something to help.
“The Halloween garden is about community and a bit of craic and it is good that we are tying this in with EB Awareness Week this week.”
While there is no charge, everyone is encouraged to make a donation to DEBRA in collection boxes – or, if you prefer, a donation coffin.
Over the years, friends and neighbours have dug deep to help out – donating boxes of sweets, decorations, welcoming visitors and even directing traffic to deal with the army of curious thrillseekers.
Starting with just two mannequins 23 years ago, Ken has since invested thousands of euro in props, lighting and treats – a Halloween scare-fest he says his wife Gail has grown to accept.
“She’s not normally fond of it but she’s mellowing! On the other hand, I am petrified of the dark, scary movies and ghost stories.
“We live right beside the beach and anytime I’m out walking at night, I bring two torches.”
Ken’s Halloween House is Number 5 Bayview Court, Killiney Hill Road, Killiney, Dublin. Public opening hours: 4-8pm this Friday, Saturday and Sunday; 4-9pm Monday (Halloween night).