WINCHESTER, Mass. — A young man's Halloween display has the entire neighborhood talking!
John Downs has been crafting elaborate Halloween props since he was in the third grade. Fourteen years later and his passion for engineering is more alive than ever and not only entertains but also gives back.
His art, which started off as a hobby, became a way to raise funds for the Boston Children's Hospital a few years ago. He began taking donations from the hundreds of people who stopped by to check out his amazing creations.
Downs spent everyday for the last six months creating these spooky props for his biggest Halloween show yet. He mostly uses recycled materials, which makes this entire haunted experience, whole lot cooler.
"I guess its more like a show than a display," Downs says.
He explains that whatever you see on his display are either easily accessible at a store or at your local junk yard.
"Everything moves back and forth on pneumatic cylinders, which is powered by the air," Downs says. "So there’s about 48 inputs, which extend out 12 volts to each of the individual props, and there are also motors, garage door openers, pretty much anything you can get your hands on or you find at the junk yard."
Over the last three years, Downs says he's raised more than $20,000 dollars for Boston Children's Hospital, and he says this year his goal is $10,000, and so far he's raised more than $8,000.
"Usually we’ve been getting about 100 dollars every night in that bucket and that’s just ones, fives, twenties and then you can also donate online," Downs says.
Downs is hoping to raise a record amount this year, since this will be his last year showcasing his work at his parent's house.
However, just because this is his last year displaying on Franklin Road in Winchester, he still wants to keep working on his craft. Hopefully Downs will be able to make this into a career, and find a new home for his work.
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