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updated: 10/26/2012 12:19 PM

Haunted House for a good cause in Rolling Meadows

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  • Michael Kravchuk goes all-out decorating his home in Rolling Meadows for Halloween.

       Michael Kravchuk goes all-out decorating his home in Rolling Meadows for Halloween.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Michael Kravchuk asks the hundreds of people who come by his home to see his Halloween graveyard to donate a nonperishable food item to the Palatine Food Pantry.

       Michael Kravchuk asks the hundreds of people who come by his home to see his Halloween graveyard to donate a nonperishable food item to the Palatine Food Pantry.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Video: Millstone Manor

 
 

Michael Kravchuk has been preparing for this day for months. He's done his research online, put in the time and effort and he is finally ready -- for Halloween.

"This is my national holiday," said the Rolling Meadows man who spends all of October hosting a homemade haunted graveyard on his front lawn.

Millstone Manor, as Kravchuk refers to his haunted house, is filled with nearly 30 tombstones, thousands of lights, full-size coffins and other homemade haunts, and is on display for the public at 5603 Millstone Lane, Rolling Meadows.

"It started out with some skeletons and tombstones and it has just kind of grown from there," Kravchuk said.

Kravchuk is also a member of Chicago Haunt Builders with about 50 other Halloween decorating aficionados around the Chicago area.

On Halloween day alone, he estimated more than 1,000 people come by the house.

The yard has been on full display all of October, meaning he had to get in the spirit in September, taking whole weekends to bring his pieces out of storage and set them up on the lawn.

"My wife tolerates my hobby," he joked.

But it's not just about spooks and scares for Kravchuk, who joins other haunted houses around the country as a member of Haunts Against Hunger.

Every visitor to Millstone Manor, which is open for visitors daily from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., is asked to bring a nonperishable food item that his family will donate to the Palatine Food Pantry.

"We've been so blessed in our family, having a roof over our heads and food on the tables. We think everyone should have that opportunity," he said. "I firmly believe in being able to give back. The holidays can be really difficult for some families so we want to help out if we can."

Once the haunted holiday is over, he'll take a short break, then in January he will start to build new decorations to make his yard even more unusual next year.

"It's probably the little kid in me," he said about his love for the spooky and surreal. "I've always been into ghosts and the paranormal."

Kravchuk, who works as a regional manager at AT&T said he plans to take the day off on Oct. 31 to fully celebrate.

"My friends at work think I'm crazy," he admitted.

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