CnC (Creepy Nights on Calamo - also short for Chris n Catherine) is the name of our haunt in Springfield Virginia. It's been an annual affair, but only since 2006 have we really begun to go overboard. We do a haunted (front) yard, and sometimes a fenced off walk thru the graveyard as well as a Halloween themed computer synchronized music and light show. In 2006 we also closed off our front porch and carport for additional haunted areas... 2008 saw a walk thru all the way around the lot. Sadly due to family health issues for 2009 we were only able to setup the music and light show. For 2010 we again did the music and light show, but decked out the entire front yard and made a short haunted walk up to the porch and setup some surprises on the porch. Recently we've gone to a every-other-year schedule for the walk-thrus; in 2013 and 2015 we had walk-thrus and will have one in 2017.
There are very few decorated houses in our area, so we definitely "stand out" (for better or worse). We also have relatively few TOTs (Trick-or-Treaters), since the houses are relatively spread out and it's a relatively old neighborhood with no sidewalks. Still, word of mouth has been spreading, and the number of visitors has been doubling every year for the past 4 years.
Planning for the next year walk-thru always begins shortly after Halloween (or sometimes before). You can see technical info on some of the props in the "Projects" area, and a photo gallery of the last several years haunts in the "Gallery" sections on the left.
2005 debuted our first completely home-built prop, a set of evil witches flying around Glenda the good witch, who is burning at the stake (pictures and some short video are available in the Gallery 2005 area). 2006 debuted several home-built props, debuting electronic controls, pneumatics, and multiple sound devices, plus a custom choreographed light show (broadcast on FM radio) with singing ghouls on the roof! 2007 saw our biggest jump in visitors yet, and also saw the debut of 5 completely new props and significant renovations to several old props. 5 different air-powered props rocked the night, and sets, lighting and other decorations greatly surpassed any previous efforts. Every year since then we've added new areas and new props.
We collected over 120 pounds of canned food donations for the local food bank - E.C.H.O. during our haunted walk thru in 2006; and had a record (for us) of over 200 Trick or Treaters.
In 2007 we had over 380 TOTs on Halloween night alone. In 2008 we were also open for the weekend before and the Saturday evening following, bringing the total of visitors (that made it as far as the front door) to over 400. Much candy was dropped, many TOTs forgot to get candy (or were too scared and ran past it), and dozens of visitors were too scared to make it to the front door (and the beginning of the indoor part of the haunt).
We cut back a bit in 2010 and 2011, having limited volunteers and energy. In 2012, energized by new volunteers we expanded the walk-thru again to a complete route around the property - and built several completely new props and an entire haunted mine shaft in the back!
We collected over 180 pounds of food for E.C.H.O. in 2007 as well. Quite a success all around.
In 2008 we had almost 500 TOTs and collected over 200 pounds of canned foods for E.C.H.O.
In 2010 we had 232 TOTs on Halloween Sunday, with another 16 visitors on Friday and Saturday nights.
in 2011 we had 306 TOTs on Halloween.
in 2012 we had 91 visitors on our opening weekend, and an even 200 on Halloween night.
In 2013 we were open 3 nights and had a record-setting total of 715 TOTs!
IN 2015 we were open 2 nights but did less advertising and had 309 TOTs - but more screams than we've ever seen.
And now, a little bit about the organizers:
Catherine is a transplanted New Yorker, who moved
down to Virginia in 2002 after meeting Chris in 2001. She and Chris were married
in 2003, which is coincidentally when the first real "Haunt" began. Though
construction work on the house that year prevented much of a show, the seeds
were sown. Catherine contributes to much of the creative touches throughout the
haunt - creating most of the porch "torture chamber" herself, and handles
finishing touches on most of our costumed props. During the 2006 haunt she was
the greeter working the front gate; in 2007 she worked the torture chamber porch
- startling visitors and giving out candy to those that made it that far into
the haunt. She does all the detail work and costuming of our static and
animatronic props as well as makeup for most of our actors. She continues to
oversee the gate, making sure our "victims" are prepared for their terrifying
Our resident chief of construction and assistant designer. Christopher is Catherine's brother and also a recent transplant from New Yawk. Christopher built some of our sets, assists with the lighting, and has worked in the "creepy carport" scaring visitors.