No Storm Could Cancel Chamberlain's Halloween Benefit for Mary's Place

All for a great cause, Chamberlain's home will welcome trick-or-treaters of all ages and attempt to give adults the scariest experience in town.

While trick or treating was banned October 31 due to downed power lines and loss of electricity throughout town, not all Halloween plans were canceled.

For Windsor resident Janice Chamberlain, Halloween is a special time of year, and no snow storm or power outage could stop the celebration — even if it has to happen in November.

Each year, hundreds flock to Chamberlain's Capen Street home seeking what has to be one of the most elaborate, homegrown Halloween experiences in the region, and she has prepared for Monday night to be no different.

She's prepared 500 bags of candy, invested in eight fog machines, 15 black lights and a landscape that could rival the latest Hollywood horror flick.

It's all for fun, says Chamberlain, 39, who was conceived on Halloween night. But it's also for a good cause.

Chamberlain's home has attracted Halloween enthusiasts for the past 14 years. "The whole street is packed," said Chris House, who lives across the street. Cars line nearby roads and the line to enter Chamberlain's horrific yard of Halloween amusements is a sight to see, House explained.

Chamberlain has poured money into the annual event — she estimates about $2,000. She began building props in her yard in early September.

It's hard work that has gone along way and now continues to give back. 

The house has always been a hit, but Chamberlain's mother suggested the event should be taken to the next level. "You should do this for a reason," she told her daughter.

Following her mother's wishes, Chamberlain's event will benefit Windsor's Mary's Place for the second year.

The Carmon Family non-profit provides support for children, teens and families who are grieving. Among the services the organization provides are small support groups for children as young as three.

Chamberlain accepts donations at her door.

The candy bags and maze of terror on her front lawn are free, of course, but a donation is a small price to pay for the unique experience — one that Chamberlain brags has caused a few adults to leave her premises in tears.

She takes special care to ensure that trick-or-treating youngsters are not exposed to the worst, care that is on display on her home's porch where her mother sits in a welcoming costume.

Those seeking the worst that Chamberlain's home can deliver will be exposed to an array of frightful sights made possible by Chamberlain's good friends who donate their time in order to instill fear in visitors.

Set to spooky music, Chamberlain's amusements include a doctor performing surgery, a torture area, a witch burning at the stake, a guillotine, a table of potions and poisons.

"It's meant to be fun," said Chamberlain. "When I was a kid Halloween was always cool," adding that nowadays there are often less savory happenings on the night. But her event is meant to get down to Halloween's spooky, yet good-natured, core.

Youngsters are more than welcome, said Chamberlain, but things take a turn towards down right scary after 7 p.m.


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