West Valley man celebrates Halloween in style

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WEST VALLEY CITY -- A West Valley man has turned his front yard into a haunted cemetery to get his neighbors in the Halloween spirit. But the decorations actually help him deal with some scary things that have happened to him.

The yard at 4970 W. Odell Drive comes alive, or rather turns deadly, during Halloween. It's owner, James Gamble, says his passion for morbid decorations began three years ago.

"We had one animated figure on the porch," Gamble says.

His grandchild loved it, so he decided to get more; and every year it grew.

"We had over 1,000 people show up on Halloween last year," Gamble says.

This year's display is the biggest one yet, and it's helping Gamble get through some rough stuff. In the ‘90s, he was shot in the head at work.

"It was an armed robbery at a 7-Eleven in 1993," Gamble explained. "That was the first assault."

Then he was robbed again at another 7-Eleven.

"This is a creative outlet. It kind of helps with the therapy," Gamble says.

It keeps him focused, busy and happy.

"Doing this and seeing the reaction, it makes it all worthwhile. I get lots of compliments and lots of thumbs-up," Gamble says.

People driving by can't help but to stare.

"IT brings the Halloween spirit and excites a lot of kids," says neighbor Brandon Moore.

Most of characters Gamble buys at discount prices the day after Halloween. And if you think his Halloween look is "spook-tacular," you should see what he does for Christmas.

"It's something to see. You probably want to come back for that one!" Gamble says.

Gamble says he's excited for new folks to come see the house on Halloween night, but give him a break if he runs out of candy. Last year he had over 1,000 visitors. After this story, he may not be able to afford more candy!

E-mail: abutterfield@ksl.com

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