A Chicago-area family’s Halloween exhibit became so popular that the village of Bensenville brought it downtown.
The Wilkes Family Halloween Display, which recreates the sets of classic Hollywood horror films, is now in the center of the Bensenville suburb, making it easier to scare residents.
“We needed the village’s help to direct traffic and make sure everything stayed safe,” said screen creator Chris Wilkes. “It was actually a mutual meeting like ‘Hey, do you need our help?’ and I was like ‘yes, definitely we do’ and that’s kind of where the relationship started. ”
The Wilkes family has been scaring residents, with a light show and actors hired, since 2016 when they started the show on a residential street.
This October marks the first year that the neighborhood’s emblematic exhibition is accessible to the public along Center Street.
The event is free every night until Halloween, Friday and Saturday featuring “fear jumps” – when the actors hide in corners to come out and scare guests.
Last weekend was the first that display was open in Bensenville and the village said surrounding bars and restaurants had seen a “huge spike” in sales.
“And I love all the Halloween exhibits, but when you can bring it to life, that’s the key,” Wilkes said.