MILWAUKEE — The iconic A&J's Halloween House in Milwaukee's Bay View neighborhood put together another incredible Halloween display that can't be missed.
This year, the duo put together a circus-themed display that is noticeably spookier than previous years at 2943 S. Clement Ave. in Milwaukee.
“We wanted to be just a little bit more spookier. We're normally a little more Disney-esque. [We] just wanted something a little creepier and fun at the same time," Jamie Beauchamp, one half of the A&J Halloween House, said.
Last year was a Ghostbusters theme. This year, it’s clowns, clowns, and more clowns.
Beauchamp and his husband, Andy Reid, have been creating these displays for more than 15 years. It means that some kids have grown up with their Halloween tradition being a visit to the Halloween House.
"Some of the kids that were young now have already actually graduated high school, so they've seen 15 years of displays," Beauchamp said.
Dozens of people come every hour throughout the month of October to take photos and admire the incredible installation. This year, Beauchamp and Reid included a seemingly runaway ice cream truck with a small girl swirling around in a tub of cotton candy.
It all fits in their front yard. However, as the displays have gotten bigger, and the duo's skills have improved, they've realized they need more space. Some neighbors have kindly offered to extend their yards to the two so the display can expand.
But it's not just the decorations that spill over into the neighbors' yards. Given the popularity of the house, it's a prime destination for trick-or-treaters. Beauchamp and Reid are responsible for that traffic increase, so they do their best to help out their neighbors with the burden.
"We also help out some of our neighbors that are directly adjacent to us with extra candy. I can't have them foot the bill for all the candy from my house," Beauchamp said.
Beyond the memories that this Halloween display has made, A&J’s Halloween House makes a direct impact on the community. They’ve raised more than $20,000 for Pathfinders, a charity in Milwaukee that helps at-risk youth. The organization specifically focuses on the LGBTQ+ community, homeless youth, sexual violence victims, and those with different mental capabilities.
"It's our gift to the community. So it's our gift to help raise money for Pathfinders and anything - our donation is our time and our product, and everything else is for Pathfinders," Beauchamp said.
As far as the creation goes for this intense display, Beauchamp and Reid do it mostly themselves. They begin in August and work until the project is done. How much does it cost? Beauchamp declined to answer. "The world will never know," he said. That's because it's not about the money, but the memories created.
You have until Halloween night to see this. They said it’s all coming down Nov. 1.