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Kona couple gears up to spook neighborhood with annual haunted yard

Updated: 
October 31, 2017 - 10:32am

KAILUA-KONA — A Kailua-Kona couple plans nearly year-round to get the maximum number of screams in the few hours their annual haunted yard is open on Halloween night.

“When you can make a child cry and a mother scream, that’s a good night,” Tim Ewing said of those who walk through his ghoulishly transformed property.

Tim and Leah Ewing have been spooking the neighborhood for years at their home on Sea View Circle. This will be the 16th annual running of the haunted yard with a theme of zombies.

The Ewings have been in the business of bringing Halloween frights to children, teens and adults for nearly 20 years, starting at their home in California. When they first moved to Hawaii they weren’t sure how a haunted yard would fair in their new community.

After having several trick-or-treaters, the couple decided to pick up the tradition the following year.

“We started with a front graveyard tombstones and a couple of cheap skeletons that have long since retired,” Tim Ewing said.

Tim Ewing described how he would dress all in black, cover his face in a black mask and hold the candy bowl, with one gloved hand inside guarding the precious bits of chocolate.

Ewing recalls how children would debate whether he was real or fake. When one was brave enough to go for the bowl, he’d grab their hand and the screams would fill the air.

“I heard the kids talking about it at the bus stop the next day and it inspired me to get bigger and bigger every year,” Tim Ewing said.

Now it’s 2017. The Ewings have gone beyond the skeleton props and tombstones set up in their front yard and added animatronics, built a maze and a dungeon behind the house.

“I love watching the kids,” Leah Ewing said. “They get such a thrill.”

Leah Ewing said they’ve had 300-500 people come through the yard and have given out 25-30 pounds in candy.

“We’ve had people as far away as Captain Cook come through,” Leah Ewing said.

Every year the yard has a theme. One Halloween was a haunted pumpkin patch. Last year was pirates.

“I don’t like blood and guts,” Leah Ewing said. “I like the anticipation of surprise.”

Tim Ewing said he’s looking for volunteers to help with scaring the trick-or-treaters. His wife said the “undead” will also help to manage crowd control.

Those interested in participating in the haunted yard can contact Tim Ewing at 987-1750 or by email at time2dive@hawaii.rr.com.

To walk through the yard is free, however the couple does ask for a nonperishable food item to donate to The Foodbasket, Hawaii Island’s lone food bank. The Ewings said last year they collected almost 100 pounds of food.

“To me, it kicks off the holiday season,” Leah Ewing said.

The haunted yard opens at dark and closes between 9-9:30 p.m. on Halloween, which is Tuesday, Oct. 31.

The home can be found at 77-6518 Sea View Circle in Kailua-Kona.

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