Features

Halloween House of thrills

Local family has haunted 2,000 people and counting 

The backyard of 1400 Kathleen Court in Hollister has been transformed into a haunted house. William and Jennifer Bailes, who live at the haunted house say they will welcome “mortals” to visit Oct. 29, 30 and on Halloween night. The Bailes say the holiday scare is free of charge, but donations which help with decoration and equipment costs are also greatly appreciated. 

This is the second year the Bailes have hosted their haunted house, and they say this year it’s bigger and scarier.  Last year they lived a few blocks away but then moved to a new house on Kathleen Court. All the donations were reinvested in the haunt for candy and batteries.

William Bailes said for many the shutdown meant an end to sports and going to the movies- which made life a little boring. 

“I knew it wasn’t just our kids going through this,” he said, “so I decided to do something that could get all the kids, adults, and families, or anyone who wanted to do something fun and different…get out of the house and feel like life was getting back to normal.” 

Arrangements and planning have been made since August. The decor is from Hallucinations Creations Incorporated and most of the electronics and props are personally made or modified by Bailes. 

Besides the electronic decorations, Grace, Kayla, Matthew Liversage, and Noah Bailes alongside their parents participate in the haunt. Family friends and relatives, Grayce Southwood, Carole Brummet, Reno Rodriguez, and Mark Preader play characters. 

Last year, the family had 600 people during Halloween weekend. Over the month running up to Halloween, they had 2,000 visitors. This year, they hope to reach a total of 3,000. 

“William gets one idea and then it just kind of blows up more than you expected,” said his wife Jennifer. 

But he disagrees. “It was more than she expected. I already had thoughts of it. If I’m going to start, this is how it’s going to end,” said Bailes. 

Friends and neighbors keep coming back for more horror. “The community likes the haunt. They enjoy it, and I think some of them are shocked at how good it is. They’re like, ‘Oh my God, that was awesome’ and ‘that was way better than I expected,'” said Jennifer. 

If you asked anyone what the best part of the haunt is, they’d say seeing other people’s reactions. This means that the family members guess where the guests are located based on their screams. 

“The haunted house is here for as long as we’re able to put it together,” said Jennifer. 

Their youngest son, Noah, added “We’ll be here as long as we can unless they want to move.”

Hours:

  • Oct. 29 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. 
  • Oct. 30 from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 31 open by 7 p.m.

 

 

The BenitoLink Internship Program is a paid, skill-building program that prepares local youth for a professional career. This program is supported by Monterey Peninsula Foundation AT&T Golf Tour, United Way, Taylor Farms and the Emma Bowen Foundation.

                    

Juliana Luna

Juliana Luna is Hollister born and raised. She recently graduated from San Benito High School, 2021. Currently attending Gavilan College where she plans to earn her Business Associate’s Degree to transfer to a four-year university. In her free time, she enjoys exploring Pinnacles National Park, and horse riding.