When my buddy Ernie began sending me pictures of plans for his yard display, I was already impressed. The shy and, soft spoken haunt builder was up to some heavy planning for his yard. It was when he began to share the actual progress of his daily construction that left me speechless. Ernie was transforming his tranquil front yard into a scene that pays homage to the Queen Mary Dark Harbor. The result after 4 weeks of hard labor, in the sun and, after a day job, Ernie and, his family erected a literal phantom ship.
When I got to The Grey Phantom, I was astounded! It looked like the ghost ship just decided to appear in the front yard of a Norwalk neighborhood. All random and, shit. This is a massive display! No detail was overlooked. The facade looked as if it has been underwater for a century or, two. It shimmered, giving the illusion that it just came from the depths and the lighting makes it look like the ship is actually floating!
The Grey Phantom has three sections. Four, if you count the The Bridge that Ernie had built and, put up just before we arrived. Yes, that addition was just added! That's what I love about Haunter's. Despite that their displays are only up for such a short amount of time, they add to them as they go along. Right up until Halloween night.
In the section at the ship's aft, there is an electrical control area that you can view through a massive hole. With clever lighting and, projections, the electricity appears to be going haywire.
This is a total haunted, ghost-ship complete with apparitions of it's former passengers. Ernie's projections gave me the shivers. Again, the effects were absolutely flawless!
In the third section, I was taken back to the memory of the scariest maze at last year's Queen Mary Dark Harbor. Rouge was the maze that had me feeling like I was in a reoccurring nightmare. So, when I peeked into the hole to take in the details of the set up, I got the chills seeing the projection of dark and, unsettling waters illuminated by the full moon. And, just relaxing in that room was skeleton with a restless spirit trying to get out. This apparition was just about to enjoy a room service meal, too. So sad. But, at The Grey Phantom, no detail was overlooked.
Ernie was hosting "Haunter's Night" which is a night when haunter's all over SoCal come to admire each other's work. It was so cool listening to the mastermind's behind @hullhousehaunt and, @1870_haunt_manor (who I also have reviews on) buzz about Ernie's craftsmanship. It was confirmed that Ernie was inspired and, was paying his respects to The Queen Mary's Dark Harbor. The shy and, humble Ernie, with his sweet smile had the time of his life as the Manger of the scary ass maze B340 last year. Behind his mask, I could see Ernie smiling and, taking in all the compliments. I was honored to stand with these creative, hard working geniuses who were dedicated to keeping Halloween 2020 Spooky.
In addition, to feasting your eyes and, getting your haunt fix safely, Ernie created souvenirs! Check these out!
You can admire, take pics and, receive these rad tickets all free of charge. Of corpse, you better be wearing a fucking mask if you are checking out the display on the sidewalk. Please keep each other in mind and, keep your six-feet distance. The creator of The Grey Phantom puts it more subtly than I do, so for you sensitive Ghouls...
I may be biased because I think everything Ernie does is epic. So, I give The Grey Phantom 5 out of 5 pumpkins for safely, detail, the scale of the display and, I know how hard Ernie worked everyday for the last four weeks to make this a display you won't ever forget. I'm sure it'll show up in nightmares.
The Grey Phantom is open Thursday through Sunday, nightly between now and, Halloween night from 7-9pm.