The owners of the Chicago-area viral "Stranger Things" home said they aren't giving up just yet on their haunted display after nearly tearing down their decorations and closing following an incident with a neighbor.
Late Sunday evening, the homeowners commented on a Facebook post saying they would be "permanently closed" after a neighbor began "threatening families and patrons with a baseball bat."
The family said their neighbor called police over safety concerns and, despite conversations, "a healthy middle ground safe for our community was unattainable."
"They were away for the whole weekend and returned home and in that 30 mins time window this all had to stop," HorrorProps wrote on Facebook. "We are so so so so so sorry to everyone, the families, the community the kids... we are devastated beyond all reason. Truly and utterly devastated. We put our lives into this Haunt. All of our time and money. It hurts. Bad. Thank you for the incredible support."
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But in a turn of events, the family on Monday issued a statement saying they weren't ready to give up just yet.
"[Sunday] we were planning our tear down. Today we woke up to a flood of overwhelming support telling us to wait," a post on Facebook read. "Talking with the local Police Department, (other) neighbors, the association, community leaders, we've made unreal Progress."
More information is expected to be released Wednesday, though the homeowners have asked fans to avoid visiting for now to "let the dust settle."
"We are not going to let 1 crazy neighbor ruin the fun for the amazing families and Stranger Things fans who have visited," the statement read.
In a message to NBC Chicago, the homeowners said they will "remain closed until further notice" at the recommendation of local police.
"[We] have to be sure that as the days grow closer to Halloween and the crowds grow larger, we can invite people out and not have to worry about one crazy neighbor. We've adjusted our new potential 'viewing hours' and will be at city hall Wednesday to ensure this doesn't happen again," they said. "We want to do something fun for the community while at the same time we do not want to also make it a living hell for everyone else."
Homeowners Dave and Aubrey have been putting together this year's décor for months, but it wasn't until their TikTok showing a floating Max Mayfield in the middle of their driveway that things really started to take off.
The show-inspired display shows "Stranger Things" character Max Mayfield floating above their driveway, surrounded by various elements from the Upside Down. And that wasn't all.
"We don't just have 'Stranger Things.' We have killer clowns, pennywise, pet cemeteries, we have Alien, we have Predator... references," Dave told NBC Chicago in a recent interview. "And the people can pick them out and call them out - that's amazing. So much fun... because we hide them. We love Easter eggs and horror movies and all that stuff. So our one side of our yard is all 'Stranger Things,' the other side is every pop culture horror film that we basically could fit in there that looks peaceful."
The popular display officially launched this month, with the couple saying they do it for the "scares, smiles, laughs, joy" and love of horror.
"We do this for no money," Dave said. "It's for free. It's just for kids. It's for adults who want to see something different, who want their walks to be, you know, more entertaining."
There may not be any financial gain in the horror-inspired efforts at this time of year, but the couple has not avoided recognition for their extraordinary efforts.
"We actually heard from Netflix on our TikTok. They commented and said, '#001 fan for sure.' Pretty cool. Like we took a good two or three minutes," Dave said. "Did they really comment and how do you reply to that?"
The couple also said they received a retweet from the Stranger Things Writers' Room, and have caught the eyes of athletes, bands and even The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
"I was like, 'Okay, all right. We're really doing something here,'" Dave said.
Even with the recent fanfare and recognition surrounding their decorations, Dave and Aubrey said they hope to continue just having fun and doing what they can within their means.
"We're not trying to become the number one CGI creators. We just want to build and learn at our own pace, but be able to slightly outdo ourselves every year," Dave said.