Halloween tradition gets ready to scare, provide thrills to visitors
It's easy to see why Halloween is Billy Stapleton's favorite time of the year.
"I like the spookiness, I like the changing of the seasons," Stapleton said. "I like that it's fall, it's dark."
Welcome to Camp Crystal, otherwise known as Stapleton's yard. It's a ghoulish wonderland that offers plenty to see for those who brave this yard.
"I remember my childhood Halloweens growing up, and how I loved them," Stapleton said. "Now, I'm able to be part of these children's lives when they have kids of their own. They always talk about this yard and what they do."
A lot of talk this year has centered around Stapleton, who underwent spine surgery on his neck in June and other injuries made it harder to set up this year.
"The hernia repair I had three years ago, blew through the mesh, ended up in the emergency room, it was not fun," Stapleton said.
His health nearly threatened this year's display, but Camp Crystal came to life because Stapleton turned to social media and asked neighbors for help to finish the project.
Stephanie Snyder is among those who answered the call.
"I just thought it'd be a great thing to do on a Saturday morning," she said.
Camp Crystal sits on the corner of Turpin Street and 16th Avenue. The lights will be turned on Oct. 1. It's free but Stapleton will collect donations for Anchorage Youth Advocates. The organization helps young people who have no family or a place to live.
Stapleton has also set aside times for children with special needs to visit Camp Crystal between 1 and 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
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