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Ordinance Blocks Roselle Family's Well-Known Annual Halloween Display

For more than a decade, the Roselle family has erected a pop-up Halloween display on their front lawn.

For the Walsh family, Halloween is the most important holiday of the year. 

But it will look a little different this year. 

"It’s just a tradition, and it's our favorite holiday," Helen Walsh said. "We come together and we do something that we love and the community loves." 

For more than a decade, the Roselle family has erected a pop-up Halloween display on their front lawn. The well-known scare, which takes more than a month to put into place, lasts through October and is free to the public. 

In return for the annual fun, the family asks its visitors to donate non-perishables to benefit local food pantries. 

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"It started out small," April Walsh said, "just inflatables, and then over the years it just grew and grew and grew." 

This year, though, there is no display because the family was told the carport tents that house the setup's delicate electronics violate village ordinances. 

"People are just really disappointed," April Walsh said. "We have people drive by, and they’re like, 'Where’s your stuff? Aren’t you doing it this year?'" 

Dozens have signed petitions in support of the Halloween haunt, but Roselle Mayor Andy Maglio said that while the Walshes are free to decorate, the pop-up structures have to go.

"We had complaints on it," Maglio said. "The ordinances are on the book. There are no structures allowed in the front yard. We had to do that." 

So the Walshes decided not to decorate at all and remain hopeful that one day their Halloween hauntings will return. 

"I just wish that he would reconsider and see what a benefit it is to the community."

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