Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire
Dan Earl stands in front of his home, which is temporarily transformed into Earl’s Haunted Garage around the time of Halloween in Juneau for nearly the last 20 years.

Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire Dan Earl stands in front of his home, which is temporarily transformed into Earl’s Haunted Garage around the time of Halloween in Juneau for nearly the last 20 years.

Haunted garage seeks to scare up donations

He’s putting the caring in scaring.

Dan Earl might not have any skeletons in his closet but he’s got plenty in his garage, and after nearly two decades of scaring the Juneau community, he’s still running strong.

“I’ve been doing this for a little over 19 years now and it’s just slowly been getting bigger and bigger,” Earl said. “I just feel like it’s good to give back to the community whatever way you can.”

Earl’s Haunted Garage at 9420 Berners Ave., is ready to chill and thrill again from 6-11 p.m on Saturday, Sunday and Monday Oct. 29, 30 and 31. While some of the attractions inside might have changed, the cost of admission has not and canned food donations or $2 still gets you through the door. Earl said all of the donations go to Helping Hands and Southeast Alaska Food Bank as well as other local food pantries in Alaska.

“Canned food drives are really needed in this community. Thanksgiving is coming and with inflation everything’s been tough on people and families, so we want to be able to help out wherever we can.”

Earl, who works as an AT&T Alascom facilities mechanic during the daytime, said he started his all-ages haunted garage initially as a way to keep himself busy while staying home with his daughter who was newly born at the time.

“The first motivation was that my daughter was born, so I stayed home with her and my job was done in October, so to keep myself busy while she was napping I thought, ‘Hey, I’ll build a witch,’” Earl said. “And then from that it became, ‘Oh, I’ll build a Frankenstein and put it in the driveway.’ And then that kind of built to more pieces and more pieces and then I bought a house with a garage and then I was like, ‘Oh, what can I do now?’ Then I tore my garage down and built a bigger garage, and thought, ‘Okay, I guess I’m doing something bigger now.’”

According to Earl, it’s been slowly growing bigger ever since and while many of the original kids from the neighborhood have since grown up, there’s no shortage of newer generations laying on the pressure to keep the tradition going.

“I was thinking of taking a year off, but then you see all of the new kids going, ‘That was the best thing last year, hope you’re doing it again,’” Earl said. “You kind of get guilted back into it, but you like to see that, meet new people, plus these kids that are fearless all of a sudden aren’t so fearless, so that’s fun.”

Families with young children can rest easy because Earl said there’s nothing alive to jump out and startle folks as they make their way through. Relying on animatronics and lighting only, Earl said this event is more about taking your time rather than running scared.

“It’s more if you were to go down south to like Disneyland or something, the more times you walk through it, the more you see,” Earl said. “You never know what’s around the next corner and there could be something you missed. Depending on how busy the day or night is or that hour, I normally allow people to go through it multiple times, so that way they can see what they might have missed because they’re in a hurry the first time. And then, of course, with doing it three nights it gives people opportunities to come back and go, ‘Oh, I want to see it again, I know I missed something.’”

Earl’s garage isn’t the only spooky spectacle in the capital city. Other Halloween events around town listed on social media and on the Juneau Empire’s events calendar, include:

FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY, OCT. 28, 29 and 30

Huskies Haunted Hollow, 6 p.m.-midnight, Oct.28 and 29, and 6-10 p.m. Oct. 30., Mendenhall Campground. This drive-thru event is happening Halloween weekend. It costs $20 per car.

FRIDAY, OCT. 28

HBS – Fun House For A Cause, 5:30-7 p.m. Harborview Elementary School, 1255 Glacier Ave.

This month the Roots and Shoots Club, HBE’s fifth grade student-led community action group, is hosting a Halloween Fun House event featuring an obstacle course, body art station, candy, and bake sale. All the proceeds will go directly to support the Glory Hall as well as Juneau Animal Shelter. All attendees are asked to wear your costume and support our community. $5 entry per child. Anyone interested in volunteering can do so by visiting signupgenius.com/go/10C0E45AEA722A5FBC34-halloween.

FRIDAY/SATURDAY, OCT. 28 and 29

Capital City Fire/Rescue Haunted House, 5:30-9:30 p.m., 2601 Sherwood Drive.

Join CCFR at the Hagevig Regional Fire Training Center for their Annual First Responders Fundraiser. Sweatshirts and stickers available to purchase as well as hot chocolate, cider, popcorn and cotton candy. Admission costs $5 per person.

SATURDAY, OCT. 29

Annual Trunk or Treat, 10 a.m.- noon, the Chapel by the Lake,

The Chapel by the Lake parking lot will be set up so families can go from car to car getting treats, playing games, and maybe seeing some fun decorations along the way. Parking will be available in the overflow parking next to UAS or in the upper parking lot through the UAS entrance.

Halloween Scare-A-Thon ‘22- Half Marathon, 10 a.m., Pioneer Road. at the north end of Douglas Highway.

The Halloween Half Scare-a-Thon features an out and back with views of Fritz Cove and the glacier. The weather is highly variable for this run — anything from warm sunshine to gloppy sleet, so please come prepared. ROUTE: (1) Start at the Pioneer Road Trail entrance at the north end of NorthDouglas Highway, (2) Then a right turn up Fish Creek Road (Eaglecrest Road) to the 1-mile marker turnaround point aid station (before the big hill), (3) and back. There will be candy and healthy snacks, along with a costume contest. Register at raceentry.com/races/halloween-half/2022/register.

Riverbend Elementary Halloween Fun Run, 1 – 3 p.m., 2901 Riverside Drive.

Join Girls on the Run of Greater Alaska and Juneau Girl Scouts for some “Ghoul Empowerment” with activities for the whole family. If you’d like to help decorate, lead games, hand out treats, or supervise and cheer on the fun run, please sign up at tinyurl.com/HalloweenFunRun2022.

Halloween Video and Music (Godzilla Eats Las Vegas) 3 p.m., Juneau Arts & Culture Center, 350 Whittier St.

This even features a fun afternoon of music in the spirit of Halloween. Watch “Godzilla Eats Las Vegas” as the ensemble plays the soundtrack, sit on the edge of your seat as you hear the eerie opening of Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor”, hear heavy footsteps in Berlioz’s “March to the Scaffold.” Costumes are encouraged. Tickets can be purchased at Hearthside Books and the JACC. $35 for parents and children living in the same household; $5 students; $15 seniors; $20 general.

All American Home Service Trunk or Treat, 3-5 p.m., 2765 Sherwood Lane F1.

Join in for the second annual Halloween Trunk or Treat event. There will be face painting, games, a photo booth, plus of course, candy.

SUNDAY, OCT. 30

Ninth Annual Spooktacular Dive & Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest, 4-7 p.m. (Divers arrive at 1 p.m.), Auke Recreation Area Raven Shelter.

Come join a spooky group of local divers and compete in Juneau’s ninth annual Spooktacular Dive & Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest. Pumpkins will be voted on by attendees and winners of each category will receive a prize. There will also be a chili cook-off, so everyone is asked to email Courtney Hart at chart16@alaska.edu to let them know what you’re planning on bringing to eat so they can set up accordingly. Also contact Hart if you need dive equipment. All divers must be open water certified. Costumes are encouraged and divers as well as non-divers are welcome.

Atsganée Yagiyee ( Spooky Day), 2-5 p.m., Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall, 320 W. Willoughby Ave.

This event will allow families to focus on Halloween for families with little tribal citizens. Atskanée Yagiyee is a time to unify families and socialize: to connect with families and practice positive family time.

Halloween Pole Jam, 6 p.m., 2525 Industrial Blvd.

Halloween costumes and accessories encouraged. A photographer will be present. $5 registration; donations are welcome. (Open structure pole play with waiver). Register at app.squarespacescheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=25392019&appointmentType=38085577

MONDAY, OCT. 31

Mendenhall Mall presents Trunk or Treat, 4-7 p.m., 9105 Mendenhall Mall Rd.

The Mendenhall Mall is hosting trick-or-treating inside the mall. All ages welcome.

• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at jonson.kuhn@juneauempire.com.

Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire
Witches stir up trouble inside Earl’s Haunted Garage. Unlike other haunted houses that feature real-life people in costumes, Dan Earl lets his animatronics do the scaring, many of which he’s built himself.

Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire Witches stir up trouble inside Earl’s Haunted Garage. Unlike other haunted houses that feature real-life people in costumes, Dan Earl lets his animatronics do the scaring, many of which he’s built himself.

Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire
A skeleton nurse in pigtails is just one of many attractions inside of Earl’s Haunted Garage. Attendees are walked through several rooms, all with different themes and all with different screams.

Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire A skeleton nurse in pigtails is just one of many attractions inside of Earl’s Haunted Garage. Attendees are walked through several rooms, all with different themes and all with different screams.

Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire
Earl’s Haunted Garage is located at 9420 Berners Ave. and will officially be open to the public on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, Oct. 29, 30, and 31 from 6-11 p.m. $2 or canned goods are accepted for admission and all of the donations and proceeds go to various local food pantries.

Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire Earl’s Haunted Garage is located at 9420 Berners Ave. and will officially be open to the public on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, Oct. 29, 30, and 31 from 6-11 p.m. $2 or canned goods are accepted for admission and all of the donations and proceeds go to various local food pantries.

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