Coolest Neighbor Award

By Kate Riley October 12, 2011

I love it when people decorate their homes for Halloween, especially when it’s not too gory and oh so clever. I’m not one to go all out for this particular holiday, we just don’t get a lot of trick-or-treating kids at my door. But just around the corner, the kids all flock to to Mic’s place, he’s a legend. I just had to share the coolest Halloween house in my neighborhood.

Meet Captain Mic, a true buccaneer at heart.

mic the pirate

Mic’s wife stamps hundreds of those bags every year and fills them with treasure for all the kids (chocolate doubloons and candy gems inside).

On an ordinary day the house looks like this:

house before ship


For Halloween, Mic transforms it into a pirate ship!  This was last year’s version, he built the bow, raised the mast, hoisted the sails, and took over as Captain of the Mourning Star. 

ship bow

iPhone pictures do not do her justice, the “ship” is simply incredible! All the kids in town love this stop along the trick-or-treat trail.

Skeleton pirates fire the homemade cannon (check out the chain and rope details) and they walk the plank that Mic also constructed, aarrgghh. 

walk the plank


To get to the door, you must pass through this skull arbor, beware! 

skull arbor


On the lawn is this coffin raft he built, I love all of the details, the pulley, the ropes, the bamboo oar, and the rat!

old coffin boat


Captain Mic pulls out an old rowboat and fills it with another skeleton pirate.

skeleton pirate in boat


Get near the front door to ask for candy and this scurvy dog awaits.

pirate treasure chest


Mic definitely gets in the spirit of Halloween with his incredible pirate ship house! It’s fantastic by day, but veeery spooky at night, all lit up with his pirate music playing.

avast ye scurvy neighbor


Mic couldn’t be nicer and the kids love the big show. He definitely gets my vote for the Coolest Neighbor Award.  Got any spooktacular Halloween houses in your neighborhood? 




  1. That is 10 shades of AWESOME! That’s awesome he puts so much time and effort into giving the kids a fun experience.

  2. That is AWESOME!!!!
    What a great job and a lot of work!!
    Thank you for sharing and he gets my vote for the Coolest Neighbor Award

    Suzann ~xoxo~

  3. My hubby is green with envy! He dresses as Jack every year and wishes he could have his own ship! Amazing. Am I the only one that thinks your neighbor bears an uncanny resemblance to Sean Connery? Just sayin’

  4. Please tell your neighbors how amazed we are. Halloween is my husband’s favorite holiday so we were all drooling over the computer! Awesome just reached a new high!!!

  5. Wow oh WOW! I want to live next door to Mic, that place is fantastic! He gets my vote too.

    Brie from

  6. That is so awesome! My parents put on a haunted house every year and it gets a good 200-300 people come through. The whole family comes out and participates. My grandparents, aunts and uncles, my brother and his friends, even my in-laws come by. :)

  7. Wow!! I LOVE it! He really DOES get into the spirit of Halloween. Thank you so much for sharing his incredible talent with us!

  8. That is so much fun! He really pays attention to detail! I love people who really get into the spirit of things. The people across the street from us (we call them the Griswolds) go all out for Halloween. Lit up graveyard, lights on the house, bushes, etc. It used to drive me nuts, but now I think it’s fun and my girls get the biggest kick out of it.

  9. That is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen! How cool is that neighbor?!!! Tell him how much even your blog friends enjoyed his show…. I wish I lived in your neighborhood, I’d bring my kids over!


  10. Oh, thanks for the memories! We used to have a neighbor who would decorate like this, but it was different every year!!! The first Halloween after we moved in was a pirate scene, and we were just amazed. It was awesome. One year he was a scary chef with a whole cooking theme going on in their backyard fire pit. But in 2001 he made me cry – it was right after 9/11 and no one wanted anything gory or scary or upsetting at all. He built a giant football field on his front lawn and was dressed as a ref. His front door had a goal post and he even had friends dressed as players and cheerleaders.

    I miss them so much now that they’ve moved away!

    • I know Amy, totally like Disneyland! It feels just like ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ at Mic’s place. Aaaarrgghh.

  11. There’s a super trashy house in town that went all out for Halloween last year – fake spider webs, skeletons on the roof, blow up lawn ornaments (shudder). They never took anything down so the house is STILL decorated for this year. Except for whatever blew away in the wind within the last 11 months.

  12. This looks like so much fun! It’s nice to see someone go all out for Halloween. Such a fun holiday. Happy Blogging!

  13. That is so cool! Totally making me excited for Halloween.

    We just moved (to Novato) so I’m not sure how the holiday rolls in this town. (Might have to get Mic’s address so I can do a drive by, though…)

  14. What a thrill for the kids (and the big kids too) in your neighbourhood. Bet that lots of people drive by just for a look.
    – Joy

  15. That is so awesome! There used to be family that decorated their house like the Griswald’s for Christmas. They really went all out…tons of lights, decorations, etc. Unfortunately they moved and someone they doesn’t seem to celebrate Christmas moved in.

  16. Please tell the Captain that we who love any chance to recapture our childhoods are bowing down to him, due to his creative spirit.

    My dear Mom, who passed away just last week, was the mom who went all out for Halloween (as for all Holidays) and always made sure that the wee ones were thrilled, but never frightened.

    How nice to see that there are people who still embrace our traditions, without malice or unkindness.


    • My condolences Virginia Mom, it sounds as if you had the perfect mom. May you find peace, may she rest in peace.

  17. First of all I wanted to pass along my condolences to commenter, Virginia Mom, on the passing of her mother. I love that Mic still has a lot of kid in him and enjoys putting on such an elaborate Halloween show. It’s wonderful to see his excitement and I bet the kids absolutely love it! Fun for all!

  18. Tell your neighbor that I think he is wonderful! All that work, just for one night of magic for the kids, (and the kids at heart! We had neighbors that did up their house for Halloween, but it was super scary, and gory…you really didn’t want to take the wee ones there. But we appreciated their effort. At Christmas, they set up their own radio station, and had an elaborate light show to the tunes. We loved going and parking there every year!

    • Hey Beth, I forgot to ask! I assume he can stuff a lot in those barrels, and the backyard and side yard are large. Who knows where it all goes during the year, he just loves his pirate ship!

  19. I love this! When I was a kid there was a lady on my street that would go all out, now I don’t see anything like that. Thanks for sharing I want to come and trick or treat your neighborhood this year!

  20. This is awesome. I wish I had a neighbor like this. I love people that really get festive during the holidays. It’s almost a chance to feel like a kid again =) I’m sure all the kids in the neighborhood love it as well.

  21. Wow. Tell Mic he can move up here anytime! I really want a video of it at night :) I had to share this on my facebook, someday my house will look this fab for halloween. Though right now I seem to be too busy escorting trick or treat’ers to do fun stuff at the house. Hopefully when the kids get out of the trick or treat stage I can rope them into helping put on a cool show.

  22. Hi, I just realized that I haven’t been receiving your updates via email for the past week or so…getting caught up now on all the good stuff I’ve missed!

  23. That has to be the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. We have a neighbor who sets up a haunted house outside of their house and I thought that was cool. This tops even that.

  24. that’s nuts! very cool though. In Australia here we don’t ‘do’ Halloween (it’s only recently come into it’s own in the last few years where we are and unfortunately it’s mostly commercial-based ie shops trying to sell more stuff)
    but if it’s important to your family/culture for your own reasons then of course. I just think it’s a pretty cool setup and yay for someone getting ‘into’ the theme of things

  25. Kudos to Mic!!! How fabulous for the kids in your neighborhood to be able to stop off there!! What incredible attention to detail! Hats off…not anything that awesome in my neighborhood!! Thanks for sharing Kate!!

  26. oh my, That’s amazing! Tell Mic thank you for keeping the spirit of fun and adventure alive. Too many people forget that it’s about having fun and enjoying that fun with others. Seriously wish I could see it in real life. What a creative spirit he has!

  27. We have many pirates here in St Augustine. I wish someone would do something half as cool in this town. That just looks so amazing.

  28. That is awesome! Seems like creativity is overflowing in your neighborhood, you, your neighbors. Maybe I need to move there…

  29. That is fantastic! I love when people really get into the spirit of Halloween and Trick or Treat. I know I am already getting my decorations ready to go :)

  30. ~laughing~ That is just FANTASTIC!

    Growing up we had a few neighbors who went all out, and made a lot of great memories for the kids… but, none of them came close to this.
    Thanks for the smiles, ya scurvy dogs!

  31. This is by far the most creative halloween outdoor home setup… How cool that he gets the neighborhood kids excited and creates great memories they’ll have to last a lifetime!! He must be one of those kids at heart kind’a guy ;) Wish every adult would keep a bit of that~

  32. Oh my gosh! That is way cool! So fun for the kids – and adults!! Love all the small details. That is truly incredible. THanks for sharing!

  33. Amazing neighbors you have! I can’t even begin to imagine all of the time and energy (and $$$) that goes into this every single year. It makes me tired just thinking about it. Thank goodness for people like Mic.

  34. He wins coolest neighbor hands down! Sometimes I put up a seadog cemetery with goofy pirates & dress as pirates to give out candy but nothing like this!

  35. WOW WOW WOW!!! Tell Mic he may have some trick-or-treaters from Chicago next year. That is something I wish every kid could experience…and us grown-up kids too. Thanks for posting it, we love it!

  36. Ok, seriously… how much fun is that??? I don’t know that I have ever seen a house so well decorated for Halloween… so realistic.. kudos!!

  37. very nice–except for the shredded Japanese national flag. What does he have against Japan? Wonder why he didn’t do that to an American flag…

  38. From a fellow person who LOVES halloween – Using word like thats cool, amazing or anything else fall short of a ”WONDER” because thats what it is. Hoilday,like Christmas and Thankgiving have been to death. Halloween is a day that is ment for the kids to have fun. Unlike thankgiving I would like to see someone cook all day then take all that food they made and give it to a someone anyone then go out and get a burger. Or christmas buy whatever they get and the gift they get and got out give it to random people THATS THE SPIRIT of the hoildays. And Mic is a kid not at heart but he kept what it is to be a kid. I hope Mic does win and if anybody doesn’t like it or what he used well in short SCREW YOU show what spirit you have

  39. Awesome! That Disney like ‘keeping the kid alive inside’ is what this neighbor does!
    Hooray to him!

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