Local residents create haunted house inspired by popular Netflix show

From left to right: Joey Bush, owner Bond Landeen, Jill Landeen, Jeff Grimaud, Joshua Bradeis and Kimberly Pearson transformed Landeen's garage into Hawkins, Indiana for their Stanger Things themed haunted house in Saugus. Cory Rubin/The Signal
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A house in Saugus will once again undergo a complete haunted makeover, “Stranger Things”-style, for Halloween this year.

William “Bond” Landeen has transformed the garage of his Saugus home into a scary-movie-inspired set for the past 12 years for residents to enjoy. It goes by “Pumkin Jack’s Haunted House,” and has gained popularity over the years.

The whole space is 800 to 900 square feet and the experience is a three- to five-minute tour. During the Halloween weekend, attendees can wait up to 45 minutes in line to get in.

Last year, around 2,500 people came during the haunted house’s two days of operation, Landeen said. Its popularity can be attributed to word of mouth, social media and their listings on haunted house tracking websites from Los Angeles, such as the “SoCal Haunt List.”

Previous themes were “Bates Motel,” “Friday the 13th” and “Frankenstein.” This year, Landeen and his team of 14 friends and family are collaborating to make a haunted house inspired by the setting of the hit Netflix show “Stranger Things.” For the past three weeks, Landeen has put together wooden walls, thrifted furniture and painted makeshift doors for the place to resemble the home in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, on the show.

A “Welcome to Hawkins” sign greets visitors to the Landeen household in Saugus in reference to the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana from the popular Netflix seris, Starnger Things for their haunted house. Cory Rubin/The Signal

“The way we build it, we want you to feel like you’re walking through a movie set,” Landeen said.

Once an explorer walks into the house, they can expect to be greeted by dim hallways with the “Stranger Things” theme playing, strobe lights accompanying the “scare crew” that pops through the walls, and lamps and Christmas decorations reminiscent of ones on the show for contacting those in the “Upside Down.” All of the set is painted and built from scratch, Landeen said.

His nephew, Josh Brandeis, said the team works on the set in shifts every day running from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Each year, they begin brainstorming in August for how to improve from the following year.

The haunted house will be open to the public on Oct. 27 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and on Halloween night from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. at 28603 Natalie Lane in Saugus.

The first two hours of Halloween night will have no “scare crew” members popping out because it is for the younger children to attend, Brandeis said.

After 7 p.m., attendees of all ages are invited to come.

“It’s a passion and an art,” said Brandeis, who has begun officially learning set design after working on Pumkin Jack’s Haunted House for many years.

“People have said we’re scarier than Six Flags’ Fright Fest, and it’s also fun to bring family and friends together to create something out of nothing.

“Plus it’s fun to scare people,” he said. “Our motto is, ‘Where Disneyland ends and your nightmare begins.’”


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