Grandad’s hearse of horrors raises buckets of cash for Charlie and Carter Cookson Foundation
Stan Yanetta’s annual Halloween party saw hundreds of visitors turning up to admire the display at his Heaton Garden’s home in South Shields on Thursday, October 31.
The grandfather-of-five is well-known to residents in the town for his landmark garden, which is packed with life-size characters such as Laurel and Hardy and King Kong.
This year, Stan went all out for his house of horrors, creating a graveyard scene with tombstones, spooky statues, inflatables, lighting and smoke effects.
He spent eight months and £2,000 converting a hearse into a ‘Halloween machine’ to take pride of place with its pop-up grim reaper in the roof and coffin, complete with screaming zombie in the back.
“It was just brilliant, it was unbelievable how many people turned up, some people even came from Hartlepool,” said the 58-year-old.
“It was the best one I’ve ever done.
“I started putting them up at 8.30am and didn’t finish until at 3.30pm.”
Stan’s Halloween parties have become so popular in recent years that he decided to use the occasion to raise cash for charity, holding raffles and taking donations on the night.
The event raised over £1,250 for the South Tyneside based Charlie and Carter Cookson Foundation, which supports families with seriously ill children.
“It’s amazing how much Stan has raised, we’re over the moon,” said charity manager, Joanne Nicholson.
“He approached us to do it and we’re really humbled that he chose us, he’s quite well known in South Shields, so this was just another opportunity for us to share our story and we were overwhelmed that he picked us.”
Stan added: “I definitely didn’t expect to raise that much, when it was counted I couldn’t believe it, I was over the moon.”
Now he’s busy getting his Christmas decorations out for a festive display to go up in early December, which will raise money for the Children’s Cancer Fund at the Great North Children's Hospital.
“My Santa outfit is going to be out again for Christmas,” he added.