By: Olivia Wile
Rob and Jan Young’s Halloween house is hard to miss. The house on 235 Frazer St., across from Egner has some of the most intricate and planned Halloween lights in Findlay. It’s arguably a staple for the University of Findlay’s campus, but has also been a family tradition for years.
“My parents had always had a haunted house. We would trick or treat when we were younger, but as we got older my parents didn’t want us going out and getting in trouble,” explained Rob Young. “So, they made a deal with us and said, ‘if you scare people coming into the haunted house you get to eat the candy that’s left over.’”
From once scaring people when he was younger to have more candy at the end of the night, Rob and his wife now get a kick out of scaring students as they pass by.
“We’re now in the middle of campus, so we do the next best thing,” said Young. “We scare the kids as they pass the house.”
As for how students are taking the spooks, Young says he gets positive feedback as soon as the Halloween decorations go up.
“As we’re putting up decorations, it’s neat they love the house always enjoy the decorations and everything, so it’s been evolving since then,” said Young.
A retired electrical engineer, Young programs all the code himself for the lights and sound to sync up.
“We use 32 channels at Christmas, and we use 18 channels at Halloween and there’s a speaker system, so the amplifiers in the basement and I write all of the software to control the animatronics, “said Young. “And it’s timed to the music, so I have software help me visualize how the music goes.”
Though a festive and fun attribute to the University, the Youngs enjoy sharing this tradition and piece of American culture with those who haven’t experienced it before.
“It’s nice to share some of the decorations and some of the culture we have with both students who may not have that or the international students who are amazed with what they get to see,” said Young.
And as for how long the pair plans to keep their festivities up – the answer is indefinitely.
“Well after we’re dead we’ll just haunt the place so it’s not like there’s going to be any difference,” joked Young. “I’d like to do it at least another 10-15 years.”