Residents across Los Altos and Mountain View have installed ghoulish home decorations that in a few cases approach the experience of an outdoor, enjoy-from-the-sidewalk haunted house as families prepare for another season of pandemic-influenced Halloween celebration.

At Kirk Paige’s Cherry Avenue home, a guillotine takes center stage, with two skeletons preparing for the supernatural execution of a third. More skeletons dangle from the sides of the house, with headstones scattered across the front lawn in preparation to greet trick-or-treaters Sunday evening.

Revelers on Orange Avenue will be able to spot ghosts, a gigantic black spider and skeletons at Gary Kalbach’s house, where a small dog skeleton can be seen on the front porch. By Kalbach’s count, 720 children visited the street two years ago, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and limited trick-or-treaters from hitting up individual houses.

“Two years ago, they came up from San Jose in vans,” Kalbach recalled of the crowd. “It’s really nice and fun; the kids are really well-behaved.”

Farther down the street on Orange Avenue, the Garg family’s decorations feature a looming white spider web on the right side of the home and a gathering of six menacing ghosts on the left side of the lawn. When

trick-or-treaters approach the house Sunday evening, they’ll have to step along a path lined with horrifying hands reaching out of the ground, holding orange lanterns to light their way.

Gargoyles, headstones and skeletons also peek out from the ground, when Halloween hordes head a bit closer to the house – if they dare.

“We used to live in an apartment, but we have trick-or-treated in years prior at Orange Avenue,” a member of the Garg family said. “When we got the house at Orange Avenue this year, we knew that we just had to decorate this year.”


Staff Writer

Angela Tam covers local schools as the Town Crier's education reporter.