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With DIY haunted house, two brothers bring spirit of Halloween to Old Palo Alto

Original post made on Oct 31, 2019

Tech billionaires and their over-the-top Halloween displays have turned the holiday into a mini-spectacle in Old Palo Alto, but neighbors Jesse and Josh Bingham are attracting their own fans with their DIY approach to haunting.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, October 31, 2019, 8:25 AM

Comments (12)

22 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2019 at 8:41 am

Such a shame that children no longer stay in their own neighborhoods but want to go elsewhere. There are so many older people who eagerly buy candy to give out but the doorbell doesn't ring. This used to be a neighborly way for neighbors to meet neighbors in the community. Now it is just bigger, better, best and commercialized to the point of having to stand in line to get the best stash.

Such a shame.


10 people like this
Posted by Miriam Palm
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 31, 2019 at 10:15 am

Miriam Palm is a registered user.

I live on Waverley, and although I get tired of the crowds, especially after ten p.m., nearly all the kids are polite, say Thank You, and come with parents. I buy as much candy as I feel comfortable handing out, and then turn out the lights when it is gone. On weekends, that can be 45 minutes.

My memory is this began when 49er Steve Young moved near us, and it has escalated every year. One neighbor is having a MoTown band in his yard this year. Sigh. But the tech titans are very responsible and have staff cleaning up the droppings early the following morning.


12 people like this
Posted by Stop the madness
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 31, 2019 at 11:41 am

This is an outrage. The city council needs to meet in an emergency session today to put a stop to this. They need to pass an emergency no parking rule for tonight. If even one person is inconvenienced in the neighborhood because of this, the children's fun must be curtailed. Can they pass a rule that the children must go by the home of the poor person that has only 10 children stop by?


5 people like this
Posted by Grateful not near me
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2019 at 12:22 pm

I'm grateful I don't live near any of these meaningless, ostentatious displays.
Even as a child I disliked ringing people's doorbells and participating in this foolishness.
Don't assume all of the kids like this nonsense. They have to go along with the ringleaders.


14 people like this
Posted by commonsense
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 31, 2019 at 12:37 pm

commonsense is a registered user.

Grateful Not - we need to party some time. You sound like a real ball of fun!


14 people like this
Posted by NativeMan
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 31, 2019 at 1:35 pm

Grateful Not- 99.9% of kids love Halloween! Sorry for your upbringing. Good luck in the basement.


10 people like this
Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 31, 2019 at 2:29 pm

Novelera is a registered user.

This will be my second year buying no candy and leaving the porch light off. I never had huge numbers of kids, but there would be at least 70 or 80, with the kids getting taller after 8:00 PM. I enjoyed it and usually wore some kind of a costume myself.

I used to buy what I considered a reasonable amount of varied kinds of candy. About 3 or 4 years ago the downturn began. I'd see maybe 10 to 15 kids and then take the candy to work the next day to have co-workers eat.

My co-workers who live in other communities and my son, who lives in Vallejo, report the same or even more kids coming by.

So I have to assume that parents in my neighborhood take their kids - in a car - to the big event houses.

Of course, another thing that's changed is the parent chaperones. My parents never did that. I vaguely remember being very small and going with my sister. After that, from around 5 years old, I went with friends the same age. The only time you saw a parent would be the rare ones who brought, say, a one year old around with a costume on.


1 person likes this
Posted by mutti
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 31, 2019 at 4:14 pm

We used to have huge numbers of kids when PA did an event at Mitchell Park. Now that is gone, and so are the trick or treaters. I do miss them. But the rule at our house always was, "If you are old enough to go without a parent, you are too old to go." We'd always hang around in the background, but didn't want our kids included in mobs of teenagers running around late. Anyone else have egg shells for blocks around their houses after some big egg throwing thing on Tuesday night?


15 people like this
Posted by Neighbor Family
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 31, 2019 at 10:18 pm

We appreciate the generosity of the people who decorate their houses and give out candies to the children. We usually go out early evening and then come home to hand out candies later. It’s one of the best days of the year for my children. They love trick or treating and also handing out candies, wishing people a happy Halloween. They love visiting neighbors and meet kind people during Halloween. It’s wonderful.


5 people like this
Posted by AlexDeLarge
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 1, 2019 at 12:30 am

Well, the ultra wealthy ruin things in a delusional attempt to outdo each other. Eh, no prob for me. Innocence is digital, but only in this bubble community. I enjoy observing these insular rubes urinating on each other. Let the good times roll...


15 people like this
Posted by Josh
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 1, 2019 at 11:33 am

Jesse and I would like to thank all the kind visitors last night who stopped by our home (the one mentioned in this article). We hope we brought you a little joy/fun...and maybe gave you a few experiences that made your heart-beat elevate. Come back next year as Jesse changes things up each year.


1 person likes this
Posted by Love the DIY
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 2, 2019 at 9:55 am

Love the DIY is a registered user.

Thank you Palo Alto Weekly for highlighting this wonderful DIY effort by Josh and Jesse. I'm not a fan of the Tech Titan Halloween wars (Jobs, Page, Mayer families, etc etc) which feel like narcissistic displays to see who can put on the biggest, most ostentatious and expensive Halloween "shows". Semi-trucks of theater and staging equipment come rolling in (I see the set up every year). Then they compete with their paid actors and give aways (not just candy, but "stuff").

I live in a very high traffic area near the tech titans, and since these tech titan shows started the trick-or-treaters have dwindled more and more every year (as others have commented). I have no ego tied up in how many trick-or-treaters come to my house. It's just that it's a shame because Halloween is a great way to build community, meet our neighbors and their kids, instead of compete with the neighbors. Josh and Jesse you're AWESOME for what you're doing! Thank you for keeping it real!


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