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The Nightmare Before Christmas Experience comes to Guelph (10 photos)

Shawn Gusz recreates the Tim Burton movie on the front yard of his Puslinch home

If the iconic Halloween movie The Nightmare Before Christmas holds a place in your heart, you might want to make a trip just south of Guelph over the next couple of weeks.

Shawn Gusz, who has a long history of going the extra mile for Halloween over the past 10 years or so, has created A Nightmare Before Christmas Experience in the yard of Fox Run Drive home, just outside Guelph off Brock Road.

“It was one of my favourite movies,” says Gusz, an entrepreneur who was looking for a theme for his latest Halloween experience that would garner lots of attention and still be family friendly.

“It’s costly to do this, but I just enjoy doing it,” he said.

“I’m not charging anything. There’s no donations. There’s no hidden agenda. It’s just because I like building things, it’s cool, I like Halloween and I like seeing people enjoying what I’ve created and appreciating the work.”

Gusz’s display covers the entire 300 foot-long front yard of his home and includes a six-minute loop of scenes from Tim Burton’s 1993 movie about the king of Halloween Town’s attempts to bring Christmas Town to his home.

In addition to the movie, Gusz had a company hand-craft scaled versions of the movie’s five main characters, an American company made replica tombstones from the movie and even the foam pumpkins are recreated from the movie.

It’s not a display of gore and fright, more of a family event, Gusz says.

“I don’t want to make anything my kids can’t see. So the traditional macabre Halloween stuff is out of the question.”

The Nightmare Before Christmas was a movie made for children and families.

“What’s funny is that it wasn’t really that popular when it first came out, the box office wasn’t spectacular,” he says. “But it’s kind of got iconic, cult status now. It has way more recognition now.”

He started planning the display last spring.

“It’s kind of designed like a show you can watch,” Gusz says. “There’s a lot of room for cars to park and get out or watch from their car.”

Gusz, an online entrepreneur, previously ran the Haunted House of Horrors at Stone Road Mall and later Fairview Park Mall.

Before that he converted a derelict house on some property he owned on Gordon Street into a house of horrors.

“I haven’t done anything for two or three years. I had some health issues and I have two kids now,” Gusz said.

The outdoor display is free and runs every night until Halloween from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

More information can be found on The Nightmare Before Christmas Experience Facebook page.

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Tony Saxon

About the Author: Tony Saxon

Tony Saxon has had a rich and varied 30 year career as a journalist, an award winning correspondent, columnist, reporter, feature writer and photographer.
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