Nearly the entire Twinberry Way has been transformed into Halloween Town, where the spooky, surreal denizens have taken up residence in the lawns and driveways of the west Gilroy neighborhood.
The street may only have a handful of homes, but Alfred Barberena has so far convinced half of his neighbors to let him decorate their homes with his custom, 3D-printed displays to present a scene like no other.
Barberena is a superfan of Tim Burton’s 1993 classic animated film “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” On a recent afternoon, Barberena, donning a shirt, shoes and oversized top hat with images of the film’s main character Jack Skellington, excitedly showed off his massive display, which has extended to his neighbors on both sides of his home.
A large styrofoam arch, with “Halloween Town” proudly displayed at the top, leads viewers into the display, where a lighted silhouette of an iconic scene from the movie takes over an entire garage door, overlooked by a large moon with the face of Oogie Boogie, the villain of the flick. Scattered throughout are also mechanical characters that move and react to passersby, complete with a singing LED-lighted pumpkin and countless other details big and small.
Barberena said he started the display in 2013, and it has gotten more elaborate as the years go on. His wife Michelle also helps paint the displays, as well as assists with the setup and takedown, with both of them noting their home’s attic may be running out of storage space soon.
New this year is a larger-than-life skeleton marionette character created in the spirit of Dia de Los Muertos. Barberena said he started 3D printing the character during the summer, which will be placed outside of his neighbor’s house along with a larger altar representative of the holiday.
Barberena said it’s all worth the time and effort to create the display every year, as it brings the entire neighborhood together. Seeing children’s reactions is also priceless, he noted.
“I definitely enjoy seeing everyone’s reaction,” he said. “It’s really rewarding.”
Next year, Barberena has even bigger plans, which center around recreating scenes from the famed Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland.
He just has to convince his other neighbors first.
Halloween may only be a few days away, but there is still spooky fun to be had during the last weekend of October.
The Halloween experience at Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park features a variety of new attractions.
The entire park is transformed into BOO Alley, where characters from “The Great Big BOO!” musical come to life and interact with guests throughout the park.
New attractions introduced this year include the BOO Alley Light Tunnel, a 100-foot long walk-through experience featuring music, lights and flying Halloween shapes and characters. The Quicksilver Mine Express Roller Coaster has become “Wendella’s Wild Ride,” where guests try to escape from Wendella the Witch’s House on the Hill and the creepy creatures hiding around every turn.
The heart of BOO Alley is the Halloween festival in the town center, with a towering pumpkin pyramid, hay maze, and an assortment of treats, drinks and souvenirs from vendor carts. The live “The Great Big BOO!” musical show plays multiple times each night at Lakeside Amphitheater.
Families are encouraged to come in costume and go trick-or-treating for candy along the BOO Trail.
Gilroy Gardens Halloween runs through Oct. 30. For information and tickets, visit gilroygardens.org.
LJB Farms continues to offer three pumpkin patches at 585 Fitzgerald Ave. in San Martin, Battaglia Ranch at 13580 Murphy Road in San Martin, and at the corner of East Main Avenue and Condit Road in Morgan Hill.
Spina Farms Pumpkin Patch in Coyote Valley, just north of Morgan Hill, is open seven days a week through Nov. 6. The patch was originally located off Bailey Avenue, but has since relocated a quarter-mile south to the property near Laguna Avenue and Santa Teresa Boulevard.