'Nightmare before Christmas': Maisie’s Spooky, Magical Christmas House lights up north Edmonton

Dolynchuk says visitors are encouraged to bring donations for the Second Chance Animal Rescue Society, with a goal of $10,000

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Halloween is taking over Maisie’s Magical Christmas House for another season and lighting up city streets in north Edmonton.

The “must-see” home — owned by Jerry Dolynchuk — is decked out in $150,000 worth of unique lights and decorations and is considered one of the most unique displays in the city. Featuring music, fog machines and commercial animated characters, this year’s theme is “Halloween Invades Maisie’s Magical Christmas House.”

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The house, located at 144 Avenue and 97 Street, is decorated with Christmas and Halloween lights professionally installed by local company, Darren Does That. Dolynchuk says there are five large trees in the front of the house, and 10 in the back of the house, with each and every branch wrapped with twinkling mini lights that reach as high as 65 feet. 

“Every year, I keep adding and adding,” he said. “The main branches are wrapped in lights that twinkle. It’s not just a little bit of light in there. That’s the absolute biggest hit on the house.”

Dolynchuk estimates he spent nearly $70,000 having the lights professionally installed and so, with the high cost of installation, the lights stay on the trees year-round.

Halloween Edmonton
Jerry Dolynchuk’s north Edmonton house seen on Oct. 23, 2023, at 144 Avenue and 97 Street is a destination for Halloween and Christmas. Photo by Shaughn Butts /Postmedia

Dolynchuk says the idea initially came more than 20 years ago when he visited his brother and fell in love with a string of lights on his house. Dolynchuk then wanted to add lights to his mother’s house, and that’s where the name “Maisie” comes from.

“So, living with her, I wanted to hang some lights in the house for her,” he said.

Year after year, the light display grew bigger and bigger. It can be seen from the highway since the 50-year-old house is located in a very “high exposure traffic area.”

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First, he started decorations for Christmas, but Dolynchuk began adding Halloween decorations to the display in 2020. The lights are typically turned on in early October, running for three weeks before switching to Christmas decorations.

“This is our third year of doing Halloween and last year we won the city award. They had a contest and what happened is people kept telling me, ‘How come you don’t do Halloween?’ And then I thought one day of mixing it, and that’s where I am. It’s an idea of nightmare before Christmas,” he said.

“November 1st we come in with the trucks loaded with the Christmas stuff. We quickly pull out the Halloween, and on November 2nd, we’re really showing the full Christmas display.”

Accepting donations for cats, dogs

Dolynchuk likes doing things for people, and the unique decorations unleash his creative spirit.

His last purchase for the house was a candy cane Christmas bench placed outside for people to sit on and take pictures.

“It’s got all the candies and everything on it … we’ll have it on time for Christmas,” he said.

While the spectacular decorations are free to see, Dolynchuk says people are encouraged to donate to help cats and dogs needing a home. Their target is to collect $10,000.

“We got an animal charity to find homes for pets, cats and dogs because my mom loved animals and I love dogs,” he said.

To donate, visit the Second Chance Animal Rescue Society’s website.

[email protected]

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