Four generations transform Dalston home into Halloween house of horror – with real animal brains and eyeballs
- Credit: Picture Jessica Phillips
Real eyeballs, buckets of animal blood, goats’ heads and pigs’ brains are just some of the gory props in a Dalston house that’s been transformed for Halloween tonight.
Four generations of the Phillips family have spent months getting ready to transform grandmother Kim’s home in Shacklewell Lane into “Shackles Haunted House”. The eight adults and six children will be dressed up with (fake) blood and face paint tonight to welcome visitors to their spooky home. Entrance is free, but donations will be accepted for Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Kim’s daughter-in-law Jessica Phillips, who will be dressed as a crazy clown, said: “Every year at Christmas, Halloween and Easter we decorate the front of the house, but people said: ‘It’s so good – why don’t you open your house up?’ So we have gone all-out.”
They have been building props like a wooden coffin, papier-mâché hands and chains made of pipe lagging since August. They have tried to recycle as much as possible, and dolls have been sourced from car boot sales.
Jessica, 30, who works at a bookie’s, and her husband, who is dressing up as a demon butcher, have taken this week off work to build structures and put in the finishing touches. They include the dead animal parts Jessica picked up from The Cookery butcher’s in Stoke Newington High Street this morning.
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“I went in there three weeks ago and explained what we wanted,” she told the Gazette. “I said ‘give me some inspiration’, because the props were expensive to buy and the kitchen was the one we were struggling with.
“They said: ‘We can sort you out with buckets of blood.’ We’ve come back with a boot full of stuff. The pig’s head has got his tongue sticking out.”
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Although it sounds terrifying, Jessica thinks “it will be fine” for children.
“The main scary bit is the dark tunnel but it’s not very long – they’ll be through it quite quickly,” she said.
“Every year, we have to lock the gate and we have a queue around the block – this year I think it’s going to be intense. Halloween is my favourite time of the year. It looks amazing and once it gets dark and the lights are all on it’s going to look fantastic.
“We’ve got an 80-year-old woman here who’s not very well at the moment, but she’s just loving it,” she said, referring to Kim’s mum Rose Satchell.
Kim, 54, will be dressed up as the witch and hand out treats at the end of the visit in the spell room next to a cauldron.
The house at 118, Shacklewell Lane, will be open at 5pm.