UPDATE! Thanks to everyone's generous support, we were able to add more dates this season and beef up security... we are adding Saturday and Sunday, October 21 and 22, Friday and Saturday October 27 and 28, and Halloween night October 31st. Security is covered, but if you still want to contribute to the production costs (which run in the many thousands of dollars each year) or just to send a tip, we're going to keep this up until the end of the season. The amount of gratitude and support we've been given is heartwarming and really means a lot -- we couldn't do it without you!
UPDATE 2: We've also been chosen as one of only a handful from hundreds of haunts to appear on The Great Halloween Fright Fight airing nationally on ABC at 9PM Central on October 29th. Tune in to see some behind-the-scenes shots and a brief glimpse of some of what goes into making all the magic happen!
For 11 years, Ghost Manor has been putting on a one-of-a-kind, world-class Halloween display filled with flying ghosts, singing skeletons and dancing zombies, delighting both locals and visitors and many more virtually around the globe. However, this season has been unlike any other.
The recent crime wave in New Orleans has hit close to home. We’ve had two home and three car burglaries this year, including one interrupted car burglary recently that ended with David being shot at 3 times by the perpetrators. This comes at a time when there is a major police shortage in the city, coupled with the fact that we were expecting record crowds and major positive national attention later in the month of October.
We thought long and hard about how best to manage the safety and security of our family and all the friends, neighbors and tourists who come to watch our display. We considered taking a year off but felt that would be too big a disappointment to the many folks who have told us how much the experience meant to them over the years. We met with our City Councilmember, the police captain of our district, and others, to find a way forward. The solution is going to be require mostly private resources.
Some of these resources will be visible, some not. But they are very expensive... security detail costs hundreds per night. For us to cover the whole season, it will cost in excess of $5,000. We already spend over $10,000 per year on average on equipment, supplies and support (and many hundreds of hours of labor) in order to provide Ghost Manor as a free attraction to the community. We have not monetized it directly or indirectly, and these costs will greatly exceed our budget. Our ability to operate it this year under the circumstances will depend on donations, and the number of days we are able to run it will depend on how much we raise. We're currently planning to run the first two weekends in October, but hopefully add more dates if the campaign is successful.
If you enjoy Ghost Manor and would like to help support it, we would be eternally grateful. Whether you donate or not, we are very appreciative of everyone’s support and kind words, from neighbors and friends far and near. It means a lot, and keeps us going!
(Note: If by some turn of fortune we are able to obtain large financial resources this year from grants, contests, etc., or happen to win the lottery, 100% of the excess funds raised will be donated to charity.)