Edinburgh Halloween lover spends hours transforming her home into spookfest

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AN EDINBURGH Halloween lover has transformed her home in to a spine-chilling spectacular - including flying ghosts, cackling witches, a groaning zombie and Count Dracula asleep in a real coffin in a cemetery on her lawn.

Ruth Williamson, 63, from Corstorphine, spends hours each year positioning hundreds of spooky decorations around her front garden for local families to enjoy.

Halloween House Corstorphine''North Gyle Terrace. Picture: Neil Hanna

Halloween House Corstorphine''North Gyle Terrace. Picture: Neil Hanna

This year, trick or treaters are greeted at the gate by the Grim Reaper, before entering a sinister cemetery and coming face to face with a sleeping Dracula among the creepy headstones.

Cobwebs filled with giant hairy spiders and hanging skeletons then lead to Frankenstein and his bride, and a life size zombie complete with flashing eyes and moving arms.

Gutsy guisers will earn their sweeties tomorrow night as the garden is made even more spooky by a smoke machine and lighting that appears to show ghosts swooping on the walls of the house in North Gyle Terrace.

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An image from the spooky house in Costorphine. Picture: Neil Hanna

An image from the spooky house in Costorphine. Picture: Neil Hanna

The display of more than 100 objects and lighting is so impressive, families from all around Edinburgh flock to see it. In return, they put a donation in a box in the garden, with proceeds going to the Sunny Harbour Cat and Kitten Rescue Centre in Fife. Ruth has a dozen house cats that only add to the creepy atmosphere as they gather around the front window.

A second spooky home in Sighthill is also proving popular with Halloween fans.

Ruth, who works as a carer, said today: “It takes hours to put together but there’s nothing else like it in the area. A pumpkin on gate says ‘enter at your own risk’ but everybody is very welcome and it’s not really meant to scare the kids.

“Families come from all over to see it and have a wander around the garden. They call it ‘the spooky house’. We always get lots of guisers and even people in cars stop and take a picture or slow down for a better look.

“There’s lots to see from witches and ghosts to skeletons and spiders, but this year, people are loving our new zombie, and Dracula of course, who’s resting in a real coffin. The coffin had belonged to some university students who were dumping it, so we salvaged it. Dracula was an old shop mannequin I bought and dressed up -- the same for Frankenstein and the Grim Reaper.

“It’s a bit of Halloween fun, with something for everyone to enjoy, and so far we’ve raised over £90 for the Sunny Harbour Cat and Kitten Rescue Centre. We’re already planning next year.”

Neighbour Jimmy Sutherland, 76, brought his eight-year-old granddaughter Freya so see the display, and said: “This year’s is the best so far -- Dracula in his coffin is brilliant.

Freya added: “The zombie is the scariest. It moves its arms and its head as if it’s coming after you.”

Debbie Buyers, 42, who brought daughter Katie, nearly three, said: “It’s a great idea, especially as it raises money for a good cause. So much work has gone in to it, but it’s good that people can give something back by donating to the cat charity”

Visitor Eve Hislop, aged four, said: “It’s good. I’m not scared --apart from the zombie because he makes a creepy noise.”