An hour before Jeremy Herron’s intricate Halloween maze opened at his La Cañada Flintridge home, the teenager fielded questions from parents.
One woman who was passing by the maze on Saturday evening asked if the spectacle was too frightening for young children.
“I’m only 13,” Jeremy said. “I can’t make it that scary.”
Perhaps he is underestimating his own abilities. For the third year in a row, Jeremy has constructed a Halloween maze on the lawn on his Hampton Road home. This year, he developed a theme — “Carn-Evil” — and added spooky touches such as Barbie dolls covered in fake blood and an animatronic ghoul.
He also hired a team of volunteer actors, comprised mostly of neighborhood teens, to dress up as evil clowns and scare people as they walk through the maze.
In August, Jeremy started constructing the maze, which uses 200 wooden stakes and 400 feet of plastic wrap. Strobe lighting and fog machines add special effects.
Jeremy’s maze does not have an admission fee, but he accepts donations. Last year, he collected approximately $750, which just about covered the costs of building the maze, said his mother, Yvonne Herron.
The maze attracted more than 300 people on Saturday and Sunday. It will open for a third night on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Jeremy’s Halloween maze has become so popular that another La Cañada Flintridge resident decided to retire his own Halloween event this year and join forces with the teenager.
Rick Quiring has hosted the La Cañada Halloween Maze on Grand Avenue for about 13 years. Quiring, 46, previously built Halloween mazes for Universal Studios in Osaka, Japan. But this year, he won’t put on his own show. Instead, he will dress as a clown and scare people who pass through Jeremy’s maze.
“I’m getting tired,” said Quiring. “I decided to help Jeremy.”
Jeremy said he hopes that his mazes will one day lead to a job in the entertainment industry. His idol is John Murdy, the creative director for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood.
“I like entertaining people,” said Jeremy. “Scaring the bejesus out of someone is just very fun.”
Another Halloween tradition will also return to La Cañada Thursday night.
Sharon Deacon planned to close “Pumpkin Alley” after last year, but local Boy Scouts stepped in.
Scouts from Troop 507 offered to carve the pumpkins this year and deliver them to her house to fill the long driveway with 100 illuminated jack-o’-lanterns.
The lighting begins around 5:30 p.m. She said last year was “magical” because many teenagers from the community thanked her for keeping the tradition for 20 years.
“It’s something I enjoy doing for the children of the community,” said Deacon. “I’m a child at heart myself.”
What: Jeremy Herron's Halloween Haunt
Where: 4920 Hampton Road.
When: Oct. 31, 7 to 9 p.m.
More info: Donation only.
What: Sharon Deacon's Pumpkin Alley
Where: 1728 Earlmont Ave.
When: Oct. 31, 6 to 9 p.m.