Photos and story by Cory Bilicko
Few mortals are aware of the spooky little castle that sits ominously in Long Beach’s Wrigley neighborhood. Perhaps the skeletons and decapitated heads shock those who do pass by into a state of apoplexy, or maybe it’s the moat that keeps them away. The strangest attribute of the fortification, however, is that it will disappear soon after Halloween.A closer inspection though will reveal that the building’s exoskeleton comprises Styrofoam boards, grape boxes and cardboard and that the bones are mere plastic. Darrell and Ali Barrett have been the proprietors of the home at 434 W. 31st Street since 1993, and the Gothic castle is an artistic endeavor they have been working on since last summer.
“I like the creation of it,” said Darrell. “And it’s something different every year.” He said he and his wife plan to transform the house from “haunted” to “gingerbread” during the holiday season. “It’s good for the neighborhood, and people enjoy it.”
Darrell said their home is lit up at night, which lends their residence a completely different mood– spookier than during daylight hours.