Right down the road in Hillsborough, Kenny Caperton hosts his annual Halloween Bash, which has attracted guests from all across the country. Why? To see his house — a life-size replica of Michael Myers’ home from the 1970s slasher film “Halloween.”
This Saturday, Oct. 19 marks the 11th year Caperton has opened his house up to the public. You’ll be able to take a look at memorabilia inside the house and enjoy outdoor horror movie screenings, food trucks, bonfires, jack-o-lanterns, costumes and more.
Caperton said “Halloween” has been his favorite movie for as long as he can remember. He has fond memories of watching the movie with his brother as a kid and feeling the simultaneous sense of terror and fascination that sparked his love for horror for the first time.
When he was 26, he went to Los Angeles to visit the original house from “Halloween” around the same time that he happened to be house hunting. He was having trouble finding a house he liked, and as he was looking through his camera roll from the trip, he said he got the insane idea to build the house.
Although Caperton’s appreciation of horror movies comes in part from his genuine fascination, he said it’s also born out of a certain nostalgia for his childhood.
Halloween was his favorite time of the year as a boy — his parents embraced every holiday, and would decorate the house to the nines, Caperton said. He particularly enjoyed jumping out to scare unsuspecting trick-or-treaters as they approached his house and going trick-or-treating with his neighborhood friends.
Caperton said he worries that this generation is losing the Halloween traditions he loved so much as a kid.
“I think Halloween is a very important holiday for kids, and I think we're losing it," Caperton said. "I think parents are terrified about everything, and that’s not the way it was when I was growing up, it was so much fun. We took a chance — we went out, and we trick-or-treated, and we knocked on neighbors' doors, and we got to know other people."
In fact, one of the reasons he has the Halloween Bash every year is to bring it back. He said he tends to details like hand carving his jack-o'-lanterns and playing old school Halloween music to achieve this effect.
“It’s so relaxing to sit around, and you kind of just get to be immersed in Halloween, and for a lot of people, that resonates,” Caperton said. “There’s just something about being in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by cornfields, and you’re just hanging out and watching movies, listening to music, eating good food and talking to people.”
Even the food served is horror-themed, thanks to Harry Monds, owner of one of the food trucks that comes to the event, Bull City Street Food.
“We ended up taking different horror films, one of which is of course 'Halloween,' and we came up with dishes that were created with that in mind," Monds said. "We’ve really enjoyed the creative process of that, but then the crowds that show up to these events have been incredible. Matter of fact, it is our single biggest event of the year."
Stephanie Strickland, a Halloween Bash regular, said the event is special to her because her kids have grown up, and the party brings back all the memories from when she was a child and when her kids were children. Now, her family goes every year.
“It’s really all about the atmosphere," Strickland said. "You're there, you're in it, and it’s just, how do you describe it? You're with your kids, and it’s just a great feeling. It’s Halloween, you know?”
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