If you’re looking for a good scare this Halloween season, look no further than the home of local Newburyport residents, the Pages, at 13 Tilton Street. With hundreds of spooky characters, lights, props, and sounds, this Newburyport haunted house is a big time operation. But be warned, we’re told someone actually ran out of their shoes last year!
Lights turn on at dusk and stay on until 9 pm most nights for anyone that wants to drive or walk by, but the real screams and shrieks will happen on Halloween night when this Newburyport haunted house gets even more realistic with the addition of ten people in costume. While they promise to take it easy on any little monsters that dare to visit, 13 Tilton Street is not for the faint of heart and parents may want to visit without the kiddies. The Pages don’t keep track of foot traffic, but popularity has grown each year, and one neighbor says she gave out 800 pieces of candy to trick-or-treaters last year.
Bruce Page, a family man and detective for the Exeter Police by day, is the mastermind of this spooktacular experience and has been adding to his collection for the past 17 years. The haunted house began with a single eerie butler in the window back in 2001 and has since grown to include over 100 characters, 40 skeletons and 86 light up pumpkins, among other things. A curator of all things spooky, Page tries to add to his collection each year by shopping in Halloween stores, making his own homemade creations and has even taken on a friend’s inventory when he retired from the haunting business.
But while Page may head up the operation, he makes a big point in saying this is a huge effort with lots of friends and family helping out. Nick Dole, the Page’s tenant that they prefer to just call a friend, is right there on the frontline as Page’s biggest helper, setting up the lights, designing the skeleton tree, and daily tweaks. Daughters, Madeline, age 10, and Faith, age 6, may not partake in the set-up but are totally on onboard with their scary abode for the season and love showing it off to friends. And while wife Nicole is not into the elaborate decorations, she loves that the community enjoys it.
The house at 13 Tilton Street is a family home owned by Bruce’s parents and grandparents before his own family, but that’s not where his passion for Halloween stems from. In fact, Page says his parents weren’t really into the holiday at all. However, just across the street, neighbor Richard Cook was stirring up scares and inspiring a young Bruce back in the day. Page says Cook use to dress up in costume and chase trick-or-treaters with a pretend chainsaw on Halloween.
This year, if you have the guts to visit this Newburyport haunted house, be on the lookout for Page’s newest addition, the blade wielding guy of nightmares, Freddy Krueger. And if you aren’t too scared, say a hello to Bruce who loves to hang out, he doesn’t dress up in costume, and watch the fun unfold on Halloween night.
Whether you’re planning on driving by or visiting on the big night, make sure you get there before October ends, come November 1st, the lights are out!