SPANISH FORK -- Every year the Champneys family's love of all things Halloween is culminated in their Haunted Halloween Lair -- a family-friendly spook alley that they host at their home in Spanish Fork. This year marks the 10th year they have put on the event, which is free of charge and open to the public.
Put on by a family with young children, father Matt Champneys said he tries to avoid the gross stuff so families with children of all ages can attend.
"It is Disney-esque," Champneys said. "We want anyone to be able to attend from a toddler all the way up to grandma and grandpa."
And attend they do. Last year Champneys said there were roughly 3,500 visitors over the four days they hosted. This year the Champneyses are planning for five days. It is always free and there is even a treat for trick-or-treaters.
Neighbor Alensandra Durham said going to the Haunted Lair has become a family tradition that they look forward to every year.
"We love it and we love watching the Champneys kids act in it," Durham said. "We are always exited to see what is new and what Matt has come up with and built for the haunted house."
And each year it just keeps getting bigger and better. According to Champneys, planning for the following year typically starts in November, and the serious building and creating starts in the summer. It is a year-long process, and thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours go into it. But for Champneys, it is worth it because it is time he can spend with his family.
"It is a great family thing. My kids really love it and we do it together," he said. "Some people collect stamps; we do spook alleys."
In fact, it all started 10 years ago when Champneys was approached with the idea by his then 9-year-old daughter Jessica. They tried it out, and it turned out being a lot of fun for the entire family. Now 19, Jessica still helps plan and execute the project along with her four siblings.
"Every year it just keeps getting bigger and more expensive," Champneys said with a laugh.
The Haunted Halloween Lair will run Oct. 26, 27, 29, 30, and 31 from 7-9:30 p.m. at the Champneys home in Spanish Fork, 1641 S. Oak View Lane Spanish Fork.
"We're having a big party and we just want everyone to come and have a good time," Champneys said. "Come celebrate Halloween with us."