Friday the 13th brings terror to Millbrook Street

Ryan Haidet

Halloween party attracts guests of all ages

Friday the 13th is a day made famous for superstition and scares.

During the Halloween season, it’s an especially frightening night and the perfect one for a spooky Halloween party.

Hundreds of guests, many dressed in costumes, will be roaming around Millbrook Street starting at 6 p.m. in Akron for Claude Debord’s 11th annual Halloween party. There is no set time for the ghoulish get-together to end.

Anybody is welcome to join the free family party filled with more than 50 special guests, various games, pumpkin carving, food, music, a campfire, cornstalks and decorations as well as a television playing old Halloween classics, among many other things.

The party is alcohol-free, giving families a great environment to have fun together.

Guests are asked to wear their coolest costumes.

“It’s a family friendly event,” Debord, 33, said. “Last year, for example, we had infants just a couple weeks old, people in their 80s, and all ages in between. There’s stuff for everybody.”

Getting all of the guests lined up has taken lots of dedication and time from Debord.

“I’ve literally spent at least 150 hours contacting people,” he said. “About another 30 decorating for the party.”

He began making arrangements with guests last January.

Included in the list of special guests are local television personalities the Son of Ghoul, the Cool Ghoul and Handy Randy. They will be attending along with costumed characters, local mascots (including Kent State’s), an airbrush tattoo artist, a group of paranormal investigators, and people, representing The Haunted Schoolhouse and The Haunted Laboratory.

Debord also has a more diverse group of guests with whom partiers can interact.

“Just look at the wide variety of folks on the special-guest list,” he said in an announcement sheet that was sent to guests. “Where else will you find a flock of belly dancers next to a Civil War re-enactor, next to a fire breather?”

Eleven years ago, his Halloween party started as a small family function.

“It started out as a family event and kind of escalated from there,” he said. “For the first years, it was nothing major or elaborate.”

With Friday the 13th in October, Debord had picked the date almost a year in advance and teased his guests last year with it.

“I had a sign at last year’s party saying that we would have a party next year on Friday the 13th that said we would have a local TV celebrity with a camera crew,” he said.ÿ

According to Debord, all of his work and time is worth it for several reasons.

“Seeing people’s expressions when they first come here and see what’s all involved is fun,” Debord said.

Along with spending all of the time decorating and contacting people, Debord spends some of his own money to make this event possible.

“We get some donations from different companies,” he said.

However, he said he pays for about 95 percent of it himself.

Debord is always looking for people with a cool costume or unique talent to join his list of special guests. He really likes the costumed Star Wars characters, who will be attending this party because “they literally look like they walked off of a movie set.”

Contact ALL correspondent Ryan Haidet at [email protected].

Claude Debord’s 11th annual Halloween Party

Where? 2968 Millbrook St.

When? Tomorrow 6p.m.

How much? Free