371 Canyon TRail, Carol Stream, IL
We always enjoy visiting highly detailed yard displays, especially ones the invoke the Halloween spirit as well as Canyon Trail Cemetery does. It's a fantasy land of all sorts of Halloween characters, all mixed together in a tableau that's visually pleasing on the eye.
The display has so much in it that's it's difficult to try and mention it all in one review. We literally could divide our review into multiple ones if we were to cover everything. We will, however, try to summarize all of the parts here.
Having a cemetery theme means there will be tombstones, and Canyon Trail has many of them. There are humorous ones for people like "Helen A. Handbasket" and "Paul Tergeist", as well as for real historical figures like Lou Costello of Abbott and Costello fame and the Countess Elizabeth Bathory, who was rumored to bathe in the blood of female victims in an attempt to retain her youth. Appropriately, her tombstone in Canyon Trail is bathed in red light and drips "blood" from its engraved letters.
But tombstones aren't all one sees here. There are many, many figures, most of them hand carved, including giant Jack-O-Lanterns that appear from inside corn stalks, a witch that hovers over visitors' heads, a flying Reaper-like figure, skeletons popping out of coffins, figures that pop out from the various pillars scattered along the display, and much more.
This year there were even more giant Jack-O-Lantern figures, including one that rose up to tower over visitors, one that blew smoke from its mouth, and one with a face that looked sewn on a la Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
The center of the display features the main house as a backdrop, with arched windows, faux brick, and skeletons climbing the walls for effect. The windows of the house feature moving images projected onto them as well, so the entire property gets in on the action.
A favorite of all of the Touers is a stone well that sits in the middle of the display. As visitors pass by they can hear a phone ringing. As the phone rings, the figure of a little girl rises from the well, and as the phone picks up, she can be heard saying "seven days" in an homage to the movie The Ring.
There were also some great new additions this year. The most obvious were the giant Jack-O-Lantern figures, which were all rigged to move in various ways. While there have always been such figures at Canyon Trail, this year there were several more, filling out the display and adding to the whimsical, Disneyesque feel of the entire setup. There were also some light up Jack-O-Lanterns synched to music on the side of the display, and in the middle of the display there were several pumpkins with animated faces projected onto them that sang songs.
As mentioned, there's so much to see here that you really have to see it for yourself. Words and even video can't really encapsulate the entire experience. It's like going to Disneyland, both for adults and for children. We could spend hours here, just taking everything in. From the lighting to the effects to the quality of the carvings on some of the props, it's all top notch, and it's a true testament to the heart and effort the owners put into the setup, all for the benefit of visitors.
Canyon Trail has always been an excellent display, but this year really puts it over the top. It provides good, wholesome entertainment for kids young and old and for Halloween fans, too, and it's done all without charge (although you can donate to a worthy cause each year). As such, we're happy to welcome Canyon Trail into the fold as our very first yard display in the Horror Tourers Hall of Fame! Congratulations!