Newcastle’s family of HORROR
Most families have traditions that are a vital part of holiday celebrations.
By definition traditions are rituals families engage in over and over.
They lend a certain spirit that nurtures the family connection, giving us a sense of belonging and helping us celebrate generations of family. More importantly, traditions create positive memories for children. Even when those memories are what nightmares are made of.
Charlene and Marcus Phillips were high school sweethearts who have been married for 29 years, and according to Charlene, their children Trenton, 24, Alandra, 17, Kristanna, 15, share a love of Halloween, especially the bonding during decorating.
Scaring neighborhood children has been a Halloween tradition of the Phillips' family since 2015.
Before then, the family would only decorate the yard and the interior of the home. With more than 20 years of collecting Halloween props, the rooms are now blanketed with macabre visuals of death, zombies, skeletons, caskets and even a Halloween themed black tree complete with lights and decorations.
“I love the creepy decorations and scares,” Charlene said.
Once the creepy collection made its way into the garage, the Phillips opened up their home, and invited neighbors to take a peek at what lurked beyond. This was the year the garage officially became the Haunted Garage, a place everyone would be welcome to enter for a scare. That is, if they dare!
Since then, the Philips family have become known for providing a hauntingly good time on Halloween, with kids calling it the Halloween House.
“The Carr addition has always been a hot spot for trick-or -treaters,” Charlene said.
“Anyone that comes by, can go in if they like.”
“Some won't, but a lot do. Kids love it, adults tend to avoid it.”
In addition to scaring trick-or-treaters, the Phillips also hands out goody bags to the children whether or not they enter the garage.
“We do it all for the children,” said Charlene.
One of the biggest scares imaginable couldn’t keep the Phillips from celebrating Halloween. The Phillips lost their home to a tornado that swept through the Carr addition.
“That year we didn’t have a house, so we handed candy out of the back of our car while our home was just a frame in the background,” Charlene said.
Last year more than 250 visited the Haunted Garage on Melinda Avenue, and Phillips' expect over 300 this year.
Everyone who passes by the scary house on North Melinda Halloween night is welcome. There's no need to be afraid. Mom, dad and the kids have perfected their scare tactics, and they all know that once inside, no one can hear you scream.