KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two of the spookiest Halloween decorations in the Kansas City area can be found on opposite sides of the state line.
Todd and Lorraine Arbuckle's home in the Northland is the scariest you'll find in their neighborhood.
"It really freaks people out, so I like doing that," Arbuckle said.
This year, Arbuckle's front yard was transformed into a graveyard, surrounded with a spiked fence and ghoulish creatures guarding the entrance.
"You never know when it's going to come to life," he said.
Their home haunt is a family thing.
"People say, 'What inspires you?' I say, 'Well, my wife,'" Arbuckle said with a laugh, adding that it’s because she’s creative.
The Arbuckles have been going all out for Halloween for 20 years.
"Not very many people do this stuff anymore, and I wish they would," Arbuckle said.
He makes everything himself, from the gnarled demon witches posed in trees and on stakes to the homegrown pumpkins with carved faces that snarl back at passersby. He uses tree branches and vines to add more character.
"I try not to do gore,” Arbuckle said. “I don't like a bunch of blood and stuff because I don't want to traumatize little kids. You know, there is a top speed limit at which those 5-year-olds can run, I've found, so no reason to add the blood.”
At night, the house is even scarier: the Arbuckles dress up, play eerie music, fill the yard with fog and turn on a projector that portrays zombies crawling on the roof.
Across the metro in Olathe, Mark Allen and his family give a ghastly greeting to thousands of children every Halloween. Last year, 2,300 kids came through their neighborhood.
"I am a Halloween fanatic, but I don't look like one," Allen said.
Their home has been a destination on Halloween for 23 years.
"I think it really brings the neighborhood together," Allen said. "It brings the community together because we have so many people from outside that come here."
The whole neighborhood gets involved, too. Allen says he has a neighbor who grills up hundreds of hot dogs. The Allens anticipate they will hand out 5,000 pieces of candy this year.
Allen starts planning his Halloween display after Christmas each year. He has enough decorations and costumes to fill a store, he says. He rotates through them each year.
Among his creations are a skeleton hearse, creepy clown and pumpkin monster.
He makes them just scary enough to still be considered family friendly.
"I think everyone likes to be scared a little bit," Allen said.
Both Allen and Arbuckle were hoping the early snowfall wouldn’t scare away trick-or-treaters on Thursday night.
"I thought the snow added to it. A free prop, I love it," Arbuckle said..
No matter the weather, there will be plenty of scares for the boys and ghouls at both houses.
It's a tradition that both men say they will probably never end.
"Even if nobody ever saw it, I would still have to do it," Arbuckle said.
They invite anyone to come by and take a look at their decorations, get a little creeped out, have some candy and enjoy the night.
The Allen house is located at 12241 S. Rene St. in Olathe. The Arbuckle house is at 9621 N. Tracy Ave. in Kansas City, Missouri.