High-tech terror

Phil LaBoon with his arm around a zombie prop in a room full of halloween decorations.
Phil LaBoon and friend. Believe it or not, this is his work-from-home space. It looks like this pretty much year-round.

Shen it comes to Halloween, Morrison Drive resident Phil LaBoon doesn’t believe in half measures.

“This is not Home Depot stuff,” he said of his singing pumpkins, his commercial fog machine, his five projectors and his silicone masks that bond directly with the skin. “This is all professional grade stuff.”

LaBoon has run a haunted house in Baldwin with his dad for a few years, and always wanted to extend the spirit to his home, but never had the chance until he moved here three years ago.

Phil Laboon's house with purple and green lights on it decorated for halloween.
Phil LaBoon goes all-out with his Halloween decorations, with projectors, speakers, a fog machine and more. The zombies are the most terrifying, but they’re probably not real.

“I just started buying more and more Halloween stuff,” he said. “I’ve always loved Halloween. I’ll travel for haunted houses.”

LaBoon, founder and CEO of LeadStacker, a digital marketing agency, has a degree in 3-D game design from Pittsburgh Technical College, something that comes in handy when he starts work on his elaborate setup around the middle of September. The music and animatronics are usually operational around the first of October.

“I try not to make it too scary,” he said, but he does admit “The zombies are borderline.” Bluetooth speakers broadcast the zombies’ moans and groans from the bushes, and the visuals can be arresting. “Have to have something for the grownups,” he said.

LaBoon and his wife have two daughters, ages 4 and 18 months. “The 4-year-old is completely desensitized to horror,” he said.

“I have to set up the projectors every night,” he says. I put big signs up asking people to please not come into the yard, because if you bump the projectors, it throws everything off.”

Every year, LaBoon adds a few new features. “I try to create scenes,” he said. “I try to direct what you’re seeing.”

What’s new this year? “Lots more fun stuff,” was all he was willing to reveal.