Spooky decorations are going up on a small house on Douty Street, while even scarier work is done in the backyard. But Angie Oliveira is keeping the project under tight secrecy — no photos of the setup allowed.
That’s because for the first time in two years, the Douty Street Nightmare haunted house is opening back up. Last year, it was relegated to being a drive-by display due to the pandemic. Now, they’re back for their fifth round.
Oliveira and her husband, Jared, started Douty Street Nightmare in 2016 as a way to raise money for Relay for Life. It quickly became a big hit with the Hanford community, with 2019 alone seeing 1,200 people come in for a fright, and long lines to get in.
However, tragedy would strike twofold in 2020, when Jared died less than three weeks before Halloween. For Oliveira, this year's return is bittersweet. Not only is Douty Street Nightmare's first time back since the outbreak of COVID-19, but it's the first one Olveira is doing without her husband.
According to Oliveira, Douty Street Nightmare was Jared's passion project. And every year, as soon as the last guest left, he was already thinking of different displays and scares for the next year.
"I want to prove to myself that I can do it," Oliveira said. "I want to prove that I can for him, and I'm getting a lot of help from friends and everything, so without them, it would've been impossible."
But Oliveira says that even with the help she's receiving from loved ones, there's still one other person helping her and looking after her, even if he can't be seen.
"Those memories are still fresh in my head," Oliveira said of her husband. "And it's hard to think about anything sometimes, but I'm going to do it for him. I feel like he's actually around me, telling me to do things."
Douty Street Nightmare will be open on Oct. 29-31 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged for Relay for Life.