"He watched the countdown to the show and his birthday," said his mother Laura, who brought 9-month-old Clark in a stroller. "The lights, the music… If you were a kid, what's not to like?"
This is the fourth year Newman has turned their corner property at 699 NW Ninth Ave. in Old Floresta into a stage for gravestones that spew smoke, yellow skeletons, bloody heads hanging from trees, giant spider webs, a virtual thunderstorm and spooky laser images. His 80-minute shows run from 7 to 11 p.m. nightly through Nov. 2. People can even watch from their car and tune into 107.3 FM to listen to the soundtrack.
"The long run gives everyone a chance to see it," Jeanne said, as Rick made last-minute adjustments on the set.
Newman likes to up the ante. New this year are two disembodied heads in boxes who converse, and Count Mortimer, a head perched on a totem pole of skulls who acts as the emcee. The weekend of Oct. 21 and 28, Jewels Dance Studio and The Lake Worth Playhouse Dancers will perform Michael Jackson's "Thriller," another new attraction, said Newman, a former sound and light designer for rock concerts, resort hotels and nightclubs. Newman also stages a Christmas show with snow, and it's all free.
"We saw them getting ready," said Heather Alter, 11, and Kelly Alter, 14, sisters from the neighborhood who drove over on their bikes. "It's pretty cool how they put it up every year."
The neighbors are so cooperative that the house across the street allowed him to decorate with animated pumpkins, Newman said. It helps that he's across from a dead end.
Lauren Wolf and Rachel Englander, both 10, served hot chocolate for Newman's Christmas show last year to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. They're back as The Goblin Girls, selling popcorn and cold water. There's also a donation box for the charity.