Located in a quiet neighborhood in Sherman Oaks, California, was one of the most colorful, elaborate, and whimsical home haunts in Southern California – Boney Island. From afar, it looked like a theme park – the lights, music, and laughs from guests of all ages were seen and heard up and down the street. After a three-year hiatus, Boney Island returned in 2011 with a brand-new theme: magic.
Boney Island is known for its skeletons. Not the realistic, creepy kinds… the plastic ones you find at any Halloween store. And that’s the charm of Boney Island. Boney Island is owned by Rick Polizzi, where he slaves away every year to decorate his home from top to bottom for the display. When we spoke to him last year, he explained that the skeletons were supposed to be cheesy – he hated the idea of scaring guests (especially children) with blood and gore during Halloween. Rick wanted an event that would be fun for the whole family.
The uniqueness of Boney Island comes from the skeletons that were rigged up to move, brought to life with voices and music. There were multiple scenes around the house – from the yard to the roof – of the skeletons attempting to do magic! In every window and corner of Rick’s yard, there was a different scene to watch. From singing bushes to skeleton shadow play, there were always fun special effects and gags to enjoy. The charm came from the low-tech effects of Boney Island. Sometimes you were able to see the wires used to move the skeletons, yet that didn’t matter. Smiles came from people of all ages. New to 2011 was the water fountain show in front of tree house (yes, there is a tree house!). The fountain show was hosted by a skeleton, Maestro Maxilla; he conducted the cauldrons and pumpkins to perform throughout each night for thousands of onlookers! It was very cool to see the glowing green water shoot to the sky!
Theme Park Adventure visits many haunts during the Halloween season. Sometimes they’re gory, sometimes they’re creepy. But Boney Island didn’t try to be any of that – it held its own with its unique personality and charm. Sometimes people forget that Halloween doesn’t always have to be scary. We love that Boney Island knows that, and it showed that guests embraced it!
A look back at Boney Island 2011:
– Johanna Atilano