“Return” to Tillson Street remains Halloween favorite



I t has been a couple years since I wrote here about visiting Tillson Street in Romeo to enjoy the various Halloween decorations there.

Halloween is my favorite time of the year, a time of year I’ve always enjoyed — from dressing up in costumes and trick or treating as a kid, to haunted attractions and carving pumpkins when I got older.

I always have to watch a good scary movie on Halloween and the best years are when I get to take my kids trick or treating. Some of my fondest Halloween memories were of taking them to Crossroads Village for their Halloween days and watching them run from building to building in costume to collect treats, before boarding the Huckleberry Railroad and taking a haunted train ride.

I discovered Tillson Street after a trip to Romeo to visit my girlfriend Anita’s family. She told me about the place, describing it as a street in the town of Romeo where nearly all the residents decorate their yards and homes for Halloween.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, being a diehard Halloween fan, but I will have to admit I was blown away by Tillson Street two years ago. So this year we finally made it a point to go back.

Located just south of 32 Mile Road and west off of Main Street (old VanDyke) in downtown Romeo, Tillson Street is a block of old homes — some dating back to the 1850s — all decorated to the hilt with the scariest and most fun scenes a Halloween freak could ever ask for.

Residents of Tillson Street begin decorating in mid-October, with Halloween as the completion date. Oct. 30 is always the dress rehearsal with Halloween as the grand finale. If the night we went nearly two weeks ago is any indication of what the chaos on Tillson Street will be for the “grand finale” I’d have to say I’m glad I went to see it now.

The displays are amazing. Some of the displays have working parts, others are just simple but effective in projecting fear.

There are fog machines, spooky soundtracks and light tricks to further enhance the experience. One resident created a pirate ship in his or her front yard, complete with sword-fighting skeletons and a treasure of gold trinkets.

Another yard was the home of a scarecrow perched up on poles, each with a carved and lit jack-olantern as a head and another had been turned into a graveyard — complete with a moving pile of leaves over one of the graves.

The residents of Tillson Street do all of this with their own money, other than candy donations from the general public and the Cub Scouts. The residents hand out around 75,000 pieces of candy and in all, over the Halloween season, will see about 20,000 visitors.

Their website — www.terrorontillson.com — boasts of seeing visitors from as far away as Mississippi to visit. The event is so successful the homeowners now sell Tshirts to support a scholarship fund and they hold a Kids Kicking Cancer event on Tillson Street to provide about 50 children with cancer the opportunity to trick or treat in a safe, day time event.

This is an awesome community effort and some of the best Halloween spirit I’ve ever seen. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves Halloween, no matter what age you may be.

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