Calif. man spends $12,000 a year on epic kid-friendly haunted house

LOS ANGELES -- What appears to be an amusement park is actually a Halloween house in Rick Polizzi's front yard. "I want a lot of spectacle," says Polizzi.

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Rick Polizzi's Halloween house CBS News

Every night in the ten days leading up to Halloween, 4,000 to 6,000 visitors stream into this normally quiet neighborhood to experience Boney Island, a "fright-free" Halloween house.

The idea began when Polizzi took his young daughters to their first haunted house. It didn't go well -- they ran out screaming. A former animation producer for The Simpsons TV show, he decided he could build something better. That was 16 years ago.

The production "usually runs between $10,000 to $12,000 each year," says Polizzi. It also costs him time. He starts putting up pumpkins in July.

His wife and kids told him enough is enough...10 years ago. With his daughters now all grown up, Polizzi insists every year will be his last.

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Rick Polizzi interacts with kids at his Halloween House, "Boney Island" CBS News

It's the moments with the kids that keep him in the game every year. Some kids that attended in the early days have even brought their own children to the haunted house.

"That makes me feel terribly old!"

Still, he's not ready to give up the ghost anytime soon.

  • Mireya Villarreal

    Mireya Villarreal is a CBS News correspondent.