The English family of Martinez has enjoyed frightening and delighting neighborhood children at their home each Halloween since 1980.
The Lake Shore Drive residents transform their yard into a Halloween trail that draws hundreds of children and adults each year.
Clay English, son of homeowners Gene and Joyce English, started the Halloween trail 27 years ago with a pumpkin patch. Since then it has grown to include a maze, a spooky science lab, a monster graveyard and scores of decorations that fill the family's acre lot.
"Everybody asks if it'll get bigger next year," Clay English said. "But I say, 'It can't, I've run out of yard.'"
The English family spends five weeks designing the trail, which will be open this year on Friday and Saturday night and on Halloween from dusk until 9:30 p.m. The trail is free, and instead of candy, the family passes out school supplies or a toy to trick-or-treaters.
Neighbors and family members from as far away as Kentucky help the Englishes operate the trail, Gene English said. The trail isn't too scary for youngsters and offers a few frights for older children, the family said.
The trails are a lot of work for the family, but the enjoyment neighborhood kids receive makes it worthwhile, Gene English said.
"When you see those first kids on Halloween night, it's worth it," he said.
For the past six years the family has also constructed a Christmas trail, which they'll begin work on the day after Halloween.
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