Every neighborhood has that one house — there's the spooky one or the one who goes nuts with Christmas decor. There's the one that gives full-size candy bars at Halloween.
And then there is 217 SW Third in Newton, the home of Jim and Kim Wiens. They not only give out the best treats, but decorate the house like none other.
"Everyone knows to go to 'Aunt Kim's House.' They are the hot spot," said Staci Wrench, Kim Wiens' sister.
The origins of the Halloween house tradition are a matter of debate — Staci believes it was started, at least in part, for her now-grown children. Kim said it started with her addiction and love for the holiday, and that it has become her husband's big day.
"We go a little crazy," Kim said. "It is something that I have always really liked. I like to scare people. Seeing the kids in their costumes and Halloween is something I have always really liked."
Her yard and home decor started with "two little tombstones" and has grown year after year. It now includes a 7 ft. tall animatronic zombie clown, an inflatable dragon on the roof, custom-made house numbers, lights and more.
"We have quite a display, and we like to scare the mail people. They are pretty cool about it," Kim said. "This started small and then I would see something I like and get it. Over the years it has grown. I think it is borderline ridiculous. But the kids have such a great time, even the older ones — the teenagers will ask if they can take pictures with my props. We have a great time with it."
Halloween has transitioned away from door-to-door trick-or-treating — community events like the Halloween Safe Walk and Trunk-or-Treat events at churches and businesses have slowed the tradition of walking the sidewalk in the neighborhood.
But knock on the door at 217 SW Third on Halloween and you will be greeted with a treat. Kim said they average between 40 to 50 kids at their door each year.
"I don't care if you are 100 years old. If you want some candy, come to my house," Kim said.
The Wiens' are in their 15th year of "going all out." There is no real sign of slowing down, either.
"Now that her nieces and nephews are grown they continue to do it," Wrench said. "I think it is wonderful. They put a lot into it."