FORT WORTH — Halloween night is the culmination of year-long planning and preparation for families in the Woodland Springs neighborhood in North Fort Worth.
Over the last eight years, a backyard haunted house dubbed The Boneyard has grown more elaborate while upping the scare effects and drawing larger crowds, and it all started with a young boy’s plea to his father.
While trick-or-treating in 2007, Michael Schlebach and his son came across a home with a haunted house in the garage. The spectacle so captured Schlebach’s son that he begged his father to do the same.
The Schlebach family created their own house of horrors in their backyard the following year. With each passing Halloween, they kept enhancing the fright.
More scary details were added.
Then more families got involved with the preparation.
Before they knew it, they had an attraction the whole neighborhood looked forward to every October. Last year, 700 nearly people took the tour of terror through Schlebach’s backyard.
Schlebach’s son is now in college but the tradition keeps rolling. Planning starts at the beginning of the year with six families brainstorming ideas, developing a setup, and making it all come together. The haunted house became so big, someone suggested Schlebach charge admission like other haunted houses that pop up during the fall.
But rather than take people’s money, Schlebach had a better idea. Admission to The Boneyard costs just a can of food that can be donated to the Community Storehouse, a food pantry in the neighborhood. Because Halloween is just three weeks prior to Thanksgiving, Schlebach said it is a way to turn The Boneyard into an event serving a good cause.