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Welcome to our house of horrors

A COVEN of witches, a gaggle of ghouls and some scary mummies are set to descend upon one Dublin family this weekend.

More than 2,000 people are expected to flock to the Killiney home of horror-loving father of one Ken Carragher over Halloween.

Ken, his partner Gail, and their daughter Aoife (11) are opening their house to trick-or-treaters this weekend.

ESB employee Ken loves Halloween and, for the last eight years, has been welcoming visitors to come in and see his special ghoulish display.

“I started doing this about eight years ago – at this stage I reckon I’ve spent between €35,000 to €40,000 on it,” Ken told the Herald.

“There are probably about 2,000 items on show in the house, although some of them are quite small.”

GALLERY: Inside the house of horrors


Included are five coffins – four of which Ken’s sister kindly stores in her Clontarf house for the remainder of the year – dozens of witches, ghouls, mummies, cauldrons and smoke machines.

“It’s now a logistical nightmare for storage – we store items anywhere we can during the rest of the year like the attic, storage bins, spare rooms, the side of the house, anywhere we can,” Ken explained.

“We’ve built a marquee outside the house which people can come visit. Inside we’ve also decorated the house for just our friends, family and neighbours. My 11-year-old daughter Aoife and her friends then have a gazebo in the back garden which they decorate themselves,” Ken said.

Ken’s Halloween house, which is now seen by many as a Halloween tradition in Killiney, came about while he was out working for the ESB.

He was switching off the supply in a building that was soon to be demolished when he spotted two mannequins. He dressed them up as witches and put them in his front garden – something which attracted great interest at the time and culminated in Ken’s love for all things Halloween.

“I don’t drink and I’d say other people would spend more in a pub in a year than what I would spend for Halloween,” he added.

Ken opened his house to trick-or-treaters yesterday and will stay open until Sunday.

“We’re open from 3pm to 8pm until Sunday. We had to regulate the hours – people were coming at 10am in the morning at times and it was getting crazy,” Ken told the Herald.

Ken, Gail and Aoife will be dressing up in various Halloween costumes for the rest of the week.

“Last year, we had up to 2,000 people visiting and we were only open for three days. It could be more this year as we are open for five.”

Ken has been getting his home ready for Halloween since the start of this month. “Any spare minute I have has gone into getting this ready. I’ve taken a week and a half off work for this,” he explained.

Access to Ken’s house for Halloween is free to all – although he does have a special donation ‘coffin’ to help raise funds for a children and teenagers with autism.