Trick-or-Treat Haunts

Michael Ruiz, 2, looks over the decorations his mother Lizabeth

It was the Halloween that almost wasn’t.
Every year the sister-sister team of Lizabeth Ruiz and Linda
Howe decorate Howe’s house for Halloween, complete with live
performances by Freddie Krueger, Chucky, and the Grim Reaper
– otherwise known as their family and friends.
Gilroy – It was the Halloween that almost wasn’t.

Every year the sister-sister team of Lizabeth Ruiz and Linda Howe decorate Howe’s house for Halloween, complete with live performances by Freddie Krueger, Chucky, and the Grim Reaper – otherwise known as their family and friends.

But after Howe suffered a stroke this year, the two decided putting up the window display would be too labor intensive with all the lifting of coffins, gravestones and scary props.

“Then people started showing up at our door asking if we were going to do it again this year,” Ruiz said. “It kind of tugged at our heart strings.”

More than 200 trick-or-treaters visit the doorstep of 7940 Miller Ave. each year and the number keeps growing.

“Word gets out, ‘Come see the house on Miller,’ ” Howe said.

Motion-activated crows sit in the bushes, plastic rats rest at the feet of skeletons.

The Wicked Witch of the West rides her bike through the window display while the Exorcists’ Linda Blair’s head spins in her bed. The whole scene could be right out of a scary movie – and that’s the point.

“This is about the kids,” Ruiz explained. “So they can enjoy the holidays and come to a safe house, with safe candy.”

Though they got a late start this year, with help from Ruiz’ children Laura and John Vasquez, the house should be ready in time for Halloween.

Boxes of cobwebs and lights lay strewn about the lawn Friday.

“It’s a lot of work,” Ruiz said as she directed her daughter on how to light the window. “We still have to put up the strobe lights.”

Live performances begin at 7pm and last until about 8:30pm.

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