Canandaigua couple forced to give up Halloween decoration, celebration after neighbors complain

The Spirit of Halloween has skipped town for a Canandaigua couple.

Bruce Kersch and Shannon Skillern have invested thousands of dollars into their Halloween decorations and gifts for kids, but a few grumbling neighbors and the late addition of changes requested by the town board closed the window- and the doors- on their open haunted house.

“We intend no ill will towards our neighbors or the community,” said Kersch, who moved to the area with his wife Shannon two years ago from Springville, NY. “All we wanted to do was something nice for the community.”

Last year the couple hosted their first Halloween haunted house, opening the outside and inside of their home to complete strangers for safe and fun trick or treating. They estimate that in their first year of Halloween at their Canandaigua home- they hosted approximately 600 trick-or-treaters in a three-day span.

“We admit there were some issues last year with all the traffic and the parked cars,” said Kersch who was called to the town board to address concerns.

“The board wanted security, traffic marshals, and other additional things but we can’t meet the recommendations from the board in time so we had to cancel it.”

According to Skillern, the board sent them a letter asking them to address safety concerns after three people from the community complained.

“It’s a handful or residents trying to bully us,” said Skillern, who when she isn’t putting up her thousands of Halloween decorations works as nurse. “I guess we’re just a different breed of people and wanted to do something nice.”

The couple didn’t charge any fees for the trick-or-treaters- who not only received full-sized candy bars but toys as well.

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