DEPEW, N.Y. (WIVB) – Every Halloween season for over 20 years, 84 Laverack Ave. in Depew has transformed into a one-of-a-kind haunted attraction as the “Yard of Terror”.
The backyard haunt has grown over the years, now spanning three lots with special effects and sets, as well as 15 to 20 volunteer actors determined to make you scream.
Admission to the multi-night event is free, but organizers do collect donations to help local charities and people in need in the community.
“It got bigger and bigger every year, and people started giving us donations,” Michael Krawczyk, owner of the house, said. “We said, ‘you know what, let’s do it all for charity’, and the goal was to try and keep the money we raised here local.”
Krawczyk says the donated funds have gone to organizations like the Depew schools, Our Lady of Pompeii Church, and the police department, as well as to help out people with things like Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas presents.
“Last year, in the four days we were open, we had over 1,600 people come through and raised over $3,500,” he added.
Though the “scare nights” aren’t meant for anyone younger than 12 years old (“Our goal is literally to have you screaming and have you run out the door,” Krawczyk said), they do host “Kids Days” where kids can trick-or-treat through the yard, sans scares.
“We leave all the lights on, the actors wear kid-friendly costumes,” Krawczyk said. “It’s a friendly atmosphere.”
Organizers started building the pallet maze for the attraction in summer, and everyone who works on or acts in the attraction is a volunteer.
“They all come down here and get nothing except for the feeling of helping other people,” Krawczyk said.
The “Yard of Terror” scare nights are 6:30 to 10 p.m. Oct. 22, 23, 29, 30, and 31. Kids Days are 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 24 and 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 31.
For more information and a QR code for donations, visit their Facebook page.
Kaley Lynch is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of her work here.