DANBURY, Conn. -- Danbury’s most famous trick-or-treating street was invaded last year by a host of new pirates at 21 Deer Hill Ave., and with just days until Halloween, it looks like they are here to stay.
Rob Toth and his wife moved into their Deer Hill Avenue home in 2012 but didn’t get their first taste of the street’s crazed holiday experience until last year.
“Our neighbors had told us about Halloween after we moved in,” Toth said. “We put up pirate [themed decorations], but nothing as elaborate as" this year.
In the spirit of the holiday, Toth, a Newtown native and current crew chief for its Department of Public Works, has turned his front yard into a pirate ship, of sorts.
Everything in his yard, from the 20-foot-high PVC ship’s mast, to its steering wheel fashioned from an abandoned spinning wheel, is handmade out of recycled materials that Toth finds through his work.
“I’ve always been a fan of making props for Halloween,” he said. “When I was in high school, my favorite class was art… and when I was a little kid I had my own haunted house on Halloween for all of the kids in the neighborhood.”
And Toth has been able to keep his creative side alive through this new-found tradition.
Although the skeletons, rowboat, and sea of grass complete with shark fins and a graveyard may grab a passersby’s attention, he is most proud of his handcrafted artillery of four cannons.
“I learned how to build the cannons online, mostly through youtube videos,” Toth said.
The canons themselves are fashioned from sonotubes used for working with concrete. The base is made from PVC piping and foam board. Toth uses a piece of rope and a bowl for the fuse and door of the canon, respectively.
And if that was not creative enough, each canon is hooked up with a smoke machine and lights to add to the show.
New this year, Toth crafted an organ to be played by Davey Jones.
“My brother and family will be driving down from Maine for Halloween this year,” Toth said. “They will all be dressing up. … My brother was most excited because he gets to play Davey Jones.”
Toth admits that last year he and his wife were caught off guard. Trick-or-treaters and lovers of Halloween asked for nearly 800 photo ops, and his house gave out candy to almost 1,500 kids, according to his estimates.
Preparations began in August, according to Toth, and has taken up more than 100 work hours.
“My wife has been very accommodating,” Toth joked. “She’s also been a big help, setting up all the window displays, and she even found the rowboat.”
After speaking with neighbors, he said his house could see at least 3,000 trick-or-treaters, “weather permitting.”
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Toth said about last Halloween. “We’re definitely going to be pirates again next year. We want to be known as the Pirate house."
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