Australia's Most Haunted Houses This Halloween
Trick-or-treating, haunted houses and spooky light shows -- Australians are participating in the traditions of Halloween more and more.
Despite being a traditionally American holiday, Halloween is popping up throughout Australian suburbs across the country.
Where quiet, suburban houses usually stand, tiny temples of horror will pop up this Thursday night, ready to welcome trick-or-treaters young and old.
So here's a list of Australia's most haunted hotspots this Halloween.
Para Vista, Adelaide
Trick Or Treat Manor is an Adelaide horror institution, spooking visitors for the past eight years.
"It started off very small," Mark McNeil, the chief decorator at 5 Anthony Road, Para Vista, told 10 daily.
Today, it's no simple garden display, and McNeil spends months preparing for the big day.
The house draws in hundreds of people excited to make their way through the "manor", complete with jump-scares, multiple themed sections, and live actors.
Image: Steph McNeil
"Some people do try to turn around and run back the other way," McNeil said.
The Adelaide man is quite proud of himself this year, he said, with one section in particular really set to "freak people out".
As for what's inside it though, he won't say.
There's no entry fee for those wishing to check out the Para Vista house, and you can choose between a scare or no-scare walk-through -- the no-scare option allows you to simply walk through the displays with no people jumping out to frighten you, and is recommended for the really little kiddies.
Despite the suburb's name, Sunbury has a serious dark side this time of year.
The area is serving up some serious Halloween fun, with dedicated residents crafting interactive haunted houses and kids taking to the streets in their hundreds.
While Patrick Blume told 10 daily he is the only "crazy one" on his street decorating this year, the Sunbury local appears to have put in enough effort to compensate for his neighbours.
For the past three years, Blume has been transforming his garage into a walk-through haunt.
This year, it's a zombie research facility known as The Laboratory -- and an experiment has gone terribly wrong.
"Something always seems to go wrong," he told 10 daily with a laugh.
"Last year it was a butcher shop, and that also went quite wrong."
Going off recent years, Blume is expecting some 500 people to walk through The Laboratory, munching through the 20 kilograms of lollies he's purchased quite quickly.
The house is located at 3 Donelly Close, Sunbury, and will be open from 3 pm on Halloween.
About a 10-minute drive from The Laboratory is the home of Luke Perks -- who runs the Halloween Houses Sunbury Facebook page -- on Withers Close.
As well as keeping locals across the spooky festivities in the area, Perks is walking the walk with his own home decorations, including giant jack-o lanterns and a festive light display.
Homes participating in trick or treating activities in Canterbury Hills Estate are easy to spot.
Clare Campbell, who enjoyed trick-or-treating as a child while living overseas, started to get the area involved in 2012.
She asked her neighbours to tie a ribbon or balloon on their letterboxes if they wanted to be a part of the fun, and the tradition has steadily grown each year.
"It's now become so popular we have carloads of kids arriving just to trick or treat in this area, their buckets are full after eight to 10 houses," she told 10 daily.
"Last year we had 100 pre-packaged bags of lollies and they were gone well before the night wrapped up."
Today, the neighbourhood has a no ribbon = no knocking situation, to help guide families on their spooky night out.
They call it 'Zombie Parade' -- Sydney's inner-west street where thousands of of trick-or-treaters from across the city descend.
Most of the houses on Railway Parade in Annandale are decked out in decorations, a tradition stretching back nearly two decades.
"We had a neighbour on one side who was Canadian, she was very into Halloween, and another neighbour on the other side who was from Texas," said homeowner Greg, speaking to 10 daily.
"It started with putting out some balloons on your letterbox saying you were going to be part of it [trick-or-treating] and from there it just grew and grew."
The Horswill family are having a red-themed display this year, and it's giving off a massive the-river-of-slime-from-Ghostbusters vibe.
Located at 29 Cyrragundi Road, Jindalee in Brisbane's west, this house is decked out for Halloween each year.
There's smoke machines, a projector, Halloween music and plenty of treats to go around.
This year the family is raising money for the Mater Little Miracles Foundation, which provides healthcare for babies born seriously ill or premature.
Salisbury Downs, Adelaide
The folks at 273 Salisbury Highway want you to spend Halloween in their front yard, standing somewhere between the real-life coffin and skeleton seance.
Speaking to Hit 107's Bec & Cosi, homeowner Angela Renae said the family spends somewhere between $1500 and $2000 on candy bags for visiting children.
The Salisbury Downs home is decked out with pumpkins, coffins, a zombie in a cage, skeletons hanging from the rooftops and photo opportunities for brave locals.
"You name it, it's in my front yard," Renae told the radio hosts.
She expects more than 3000 people to come by the house on Halloween night.
Whether you're heading to the hotspots above, or just your local street, here are some tips of the trick-or-treating trade:
- Go in a group.
- Only approach houses with decorations, a balloon or ribbon attached to the letterbox.
- Remember your "please" and "thank yous" -- the night may be dead but manners are not.