For almost two decades, a Modesto family has been providing free Halloween fun for thousands of strangers. But this year, the city said the neighborhood treat is no longer welcome.
Over the past 15 years, Lynette Brown and her husband Chris have spent thousands of dollars turning their front yard into a free haunted house for the community in Central Modesto.
"We started because my husband and I were a young family with our three kids and we couldn't afford to do much,” Lynette said.
In a statement the city said in part, “…following resident complaints, City inspectors visited a haunted house with dim lighting, narrow passageways that will be a fire code violation when congested, flammable building materials, zoning and building code violations."
"I'm just sad about it. I'm really disappointed in the city, really disappointed because this is free family fun,” Lynette said.
The Brown’s said the haunted house has emergency exits, cameras, and multiple fire extinguishers.
"We were shocked because we've never really had to deal with the fire department since we are a home haunt and we don't charge. We do this for free,” Chris said.
It takes an entire day to build and is staffed with volunteer actors.
"They're more than volunteers. They are passionate and like to come out and entertain people and they have a lot of fun doing it,” Chris said.
Despite the closure, the Brown’s said they are still planning a show outside the house and will be passing out candy to children.