Killiney man turns home into Halloween graveyard for charity

by Rebecca Ryan

A Killiney man has turned his home into a House of Horrors this Halloween for charity, Debra Ireland.

The garden of Ken Carraher has become a ghoulish graveyard, packed full of moving zombies, skeletons, witches, ghostly grannies and even a giant smoke-billowing dragon.

It’s all in aid of skin charity, Debra Ireland, who support the 300 people in Ireland with ‘butterfly skin’ disease EB – epidermolysis bullosa.

It’s a rare and incredibly painful genetic condition that causes the skin, both inside and out, to blister and wound at the slightest touch.

Ken started collecting his spooky collection 20 years ago with just two mannequins, and he now has thousands of animated props.

Over four nights during Halloween, from October 28 to 31, some 5,000 people will have a frightful time at his home at Bayview Court, Killiney Hill.

“It’s a little bit scary and a little bit nice, we don’t want to be scaring the life out of little children,” said Ken.

His animated garden of horrors does, however, include a fine selection of mummies, Frankensteins, the odd Dracula, an animated granny rocking a baby skeleton, light and smoke machines and his very own fire breathing dragon.

“Our dragon is around seven-foot long and smoke billows from his nostrils.”

Visitors to Ken’s house of horrors are not charged, but they are encouraged to make a donation and over the past seven years, Ken’s crew have raised €36,500 for Debra Ireland.

Speaking of the charity, he said: “Debra really are a fantastic charity which does great work.

“Not many people know about EB, but when I began to learn more and meet the patients who have this truly awful skin condition, I wanted to do something to help.”

Ken paid tribute to his friends and neighbours in Killiney, many of whom help out over the Halloween period with setting up displays, welcoming the visitors, helping with traffic and many donating sweets to hand out as well.

He says his wife, Gail is a patient woman who tolerates his hobby, while daughter, Aoife has grown up with a collection of ghouls in the garden.

“I really enjoy the fun and excitement around Halloween and the fact that we can help support a great charity like Debra Ireland makes it even better.”

Ken’s Halloween House can be found at 5 Bayview Court, Killiney Hill Road, Killiney. Visitors are welcome from 4-8pm October 28-30 and 4-9pm on Halloween night October 31.

You can also text BUTTERFLY to 50300 to donate €4 to Debra Ireland.

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