Sinister clowns. Skeletons. Skulls, witches, cadavers and demons.
They’re laying in wait for the unsuspecting in the front yard of a house along the 13200 block of Vaughn Street on the border of San Fernando and Pacoima.
It’s a macabre display that startles then delights passersby, especially the children who attend the several Vaughn schools just down the street. They stop and stare, bewildered by the spooky spectacle.
It’s all for fun.
The ghoulish decor is a tradition for the Troncoso family, cooking up a caldron of Halloween enchantment in their neighborhood. Everyone knows this is the “haunted” house to see this time of the year.
Rosa Troncoso, 42, said the tradition was started in her family by her late mother Maria Nunez, who “would always be a witch” and decorate on Halloween.
Now Rosa continues the tradition with her four kids.
“When I was small, I was scared to see all this. But (when I grew up) I ended up liking it,” she said, surveying the comically gruesome display around her as the theme song of the movie “Halloween” played in the background.
This year the main attractions are sinister clowns. There are a couple outside and two inside a car parked in the middle of the display. Two cadavers are placed before the vehicle. One is covered in a plastic bag, the other one semi-buried.
“I know it’s a big thing right now (the clowns),” Rosa said, noting the numerous sightings of scary clowns reported in several parts of the country, including Los Angeles. “But it’s whatever pops into our heads.”
For son Jesse, 20, Halloween is simply “exciting.”
“I like scaring people,” said Jesse, who this year will dress as a creepy clown. “I’m thinking of being in a Jack in the Box and popping out of it.”
Rosa has been a prisoner, a clown, a fly and the devil. She’s never been a witch, she says. She hasn’t yet found a costume for this year.
The entire family helps to create the Halloween display. And every year it changes. They may add or take something away — a severed head, a rat, bloody knives.
The preparations began around the first weekend of October. The display grows slowly; at first it’s just a few things on the porch, but it soon spills out into the front yard and the driveway.
For the past four years, the family also created a Haunted House maze similar to those at amusement parks. This attraction took up the entire front yard, had several rooms, and Rosa’s older children and their friends would scare those who went inside.
But they’re not doing it this year. It became too big and hard to control. There were lines of people outside waiting to be scared, and some rowdy kids stole masks and other items.
The decorating-for-Halloween tradition continues, though, and the family looks forward to making their display as do the many people who continually come out to see it.
“The same people come every year because they know about it (the decorations),” Jesse said. “They say, ‘you guys did a good job’” — even those who pass on their way going to the churches nearby.
“They get scared, but they also like it,” Rosa adds.
The scaring on Halloween begins as soon as the sun goes down.
But there’s a reward for those brave souls who walk past the display and reach the front door on Oct. 31.
“We give out candy — the good candy,” Jesse said.
And it goes on until “the trick or treating stops,” says Troncoso.
That means they usually stay up until 10 and even 11 p.m.
They will put out Christmas decorations in December. But Halloween is the biggest celebration in their house. This is why the Troncosos go all out on the decorating.
“We’re more Halloween than Christmas. This is ‘Christmas’ for us,” Rosa said.