30 October 2020

Hallo-ween, come on in to the nightmare on Flemington Rd

| Michael Weaver
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The Nightmare on Flemington Road

The Nightmare on Flemington Road at Harrison. Photo: Supplied.

Some say this year has been scary enough, but you can’t accuse the residents of a house on Flemington Road in Harrison of not getting into the spirit of Halloween this weekend.

It may have taken some tricks and treats by American-born Marcus Banuelos to convince his wife Cristina Garcia to turn their house into a nightmare on Flemington Road, but she says she’s more than happy to have “created a monster”.

“It started last year, but this year, it’s gone a step further – it may have even gotten a bit out of hand,” Cristina tells Region Media.

Marcus and friend James Moudakis, who owns a production company called Unknown Strangers that creates prosthetics, make-up, film and audiovisual content, had to stem the flow of ghoulish ideas to create their best nightmare.

Marcus and Cristina’s home is now dubbed the Nightmare on Flemington Road and features a maze of seven themed sections, including a neon circus, a skeleton graveyard, and what haunted house wouldn’t be complete without a Texas chainsaw massacre?

James Moudakis, Cristina Garcia and Marcus Banuelos

James Moudakis, Cristina Garcia and Marcus Banuelos at their Halloween house. Photo: Supplied

The haunted house has been an eye-opener for many who have already stopped to marvel at the Hansel and Gretel-themed front yard. And if you don’t get a fright from the house, you can buy the T-shirt that says you survived.

Instead of a trick or treat, passers-by are encouraged to leave a gold coin donation, which Cristina says will be donated in full to the Tidbinbilla Rural Fire Service.

Hundreds of people each day are stopping for a look, especially at night when the house really lights up.

Cristina said they’ve lost count of the things they’ve bought to create their house of horrors.

“We’re really hoping that everyone who comes out will get a bit of a scare, but in a good way. We’re really happy to be supporting the RFS too after the year the firefighters have had too.

“We get really excited when other houses do it too and we’ve seen a couple of others in the area getting into the spirit,” Cristina said.

Another house in Cultivation St, Harrison, is also getting into the spirit, while trick or treaters in Canberra are leaving orange party streamers on their letterboxes to show they are also getting into the spirit of Halloween.

While many associate Halloween with the United States, it is actually an ancient Celtic festival that originated in Ireland, where people lit bonfires and wore costumes to ward off ghosts.

Cristina says even though the spirit of Halloween isn’t an Australian tradition, she doesn’t see it any differently to Christmas or Easter celebrations.

“It’s definitely my husband’s favourite time of the year. It’s been a hard year for so many people and we thought about not doing it, but we just decided it was really important to do this and it’s been great to see the looks on people’s faces, especially the parents as I think they enjoy it as much as the kids,” Cristina says.

“We’re always thinking of different ideas and we’re already starting to brainstorm next year’s theme.”

The house can be found on Flemington Road at Harrison and will be open from about 5:30 – 10:00 pm this Friday and Saturday. “You can’t miss it. You can see the place from Woolies!” says Cristina.

Their ticket box will have hand sanitiser, possibly disguised as green slime, while there will be temperature checks, contact tracing and COVID-safe marshals to ensure the safety of all who come. People can, of course, bring their own masks. The scarier the better.

Original Article published by Michael Weaver on The RiotACT.

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