A family of Hallowe’en enthusiasts from Penwortham have scooped a top ‘scare’ award.
Every year Chris Walton, 49, daughter Francesca and girlfriend Tracy Wilson transform their home in Howick Park Avenue into a spooky spectaular, attracting thousands of visitors and raising vital charity funds.
Now their efforts have been recognised as The UK’s Best Home/Charity Haunt in the 2017 Scarecon Scare awards, held at Alton Towers.
Francesca, 20, said: “It’s overwhelming to win. It’s nice to know you’re doing a good job and that all the hard work is recognised. It’s also good to get some publicity for the charities we support.”
Last year more than 3,000 people attended the House of Terror over three days, with £6,000 raised for Cancer Research.
The theme, which took over 80 per cent of rooms, was a gruesome take on the Alice through the Looking Glass film - complete with a Victorian graveyard, zombies and Frankensteins’ monster. In previous years there has been a Dracula’s lair, an Exorcist movie themed room, and a Saw prop room.
Francesca, a student, said: “We love to do it, its our hobby, and we get help from our family and friends and neighbours.
“After each Hallowe’en we take a few days off to relax a bit, but then we’re straight back in to it.
“It’s a year-round thing really, with my dad researching and building props, and me helping and doing marketing.”
Michael Bolton, owner and creator of Scarecon, said the Walton’s were “deserved winners” of the title, which aims to recognise the best amateur displays in the country.
He said: “We usually go around the country looking at professional attractions, but we know there are lots and lots of people who are passionate about Hallowe’en and have events in their own homes.
“We wanted to celebrate these people who are up and coming, and two of our team were able to visit the house in Penwortham.
“We were blown away with the level of detail of what’s in the house - there are more special effects and animatronics there than some big attraction in the country.
“The level of professionalism, quality and passion really impressed us.
“It’s equal to if not better than some professional attractions.
“I think Chris could take this on a more commercial basis in the future, but I think his love is doing it at home, because that’s where it all started for him.”