This GR Gem is in the Spotlight it Deserves
West Michigan has long been spellbound by the annual Halloween display at The Haunting of Storybook Hollow, located at 4790 Biddeford Drive in Comstock Park, MI.
But this year, our locally-famous Halloween House is getting national attention.
West Michigan artist and two-time ArtPrize winner Jennifer Dunahee has found an even bigger audience for her enchanting display.
Known to many of our followers as an annual must-visit, featured on our West MI Halloween Houses Map, this year it’s not just West Michigan who can enjoy her incredible artistry.
This October, Dunahee takes her passion to a national stage with ABC’s “The Great Halloween Fright Fight.”
Haunting of Storybook Hollow Grows Every Year
Dunahee has been building her whimsical empire in her front yard for years, dreaming up new exhibits and characters in the off-season. Each year she and her crew meticulously build the newest version of Storybook Hollow in time for Halloween, and then carefully take it down after.
But to drive by it, you’d have no idea that there’s an actual house behind the menagerie.
Her skill at building walls, doors and windows for her fairytale town is unparallelled, fooling even the most observant visitor.
I mean, did you guess that this is her garage??
Or that this is her house?
Dunahee adds to her display every year, so you never know what new friends you’ll discover when you visit in October.
Storm Damage Threatened to Ruin it All This Year
The Haunting of Storybook Hollow, originally set up in August for the filming of Fright Fight, suffered a devastating blow from the powerful storm and tornadoes that tore through the area, one day after filming wrapped.
Six mature trees, including a majestic 120-year-old maple, toppled over, wreaking havoc on her Halloween wonderland. Displays were crushed, giant skeletons crashed to pieces, and limbs and leaves covered everything.
Thankfully, before anyone even understood the intensity of the impending surprise storm that night, Dunahee noticed the sudden winds and thought, “I should take down my dragon from the roof to be safe.”
We are so glad she did! Despite saving the dragon, though, several other art pieces fell victim.
But propelled by a neighbor’s advice to “adapt” and the incredible support of her community, Dunahee decided that rebuilding was the only way.
Dunahee and her dedicated team revisited the drawing board, not once, but three times.
The outcome? A bewitching blend of old and new enchantments that promise a Halloween experience like no other.
Storybook Hollow is Almost Ready for Visitors
While setbacks mean Jennifer’s display isn’t quite ready for the public, it’s anticipated to open soon. She will post on her Facebook page the moment it’s ready.
When you come, get ready for an entirely new experience from previous years. This year, Dunahee has extended the fun into her backyard, which has more than tripled the space. They’re bringing four entirely new displays, and updating four others.
And Dunahee is sharing this amazing gift with the community for FREE.
Yes, admission is free, but donations are warmly welcomed, with 100% of the proceeds going to the West Michigan Humane Society.
And for an extra treat, look out for the fire-breathing dragon that is said to be lurking around their home.
Dunahee Isn’t the Only Artist in the Family
On a delightful side note, artistic talent seems to be a family trait! Jennifer’s sister Rebecca Humes recently won 2nd place at ArtPrize for her mesmerizing “Tale of Ten Dresses” exhibit.
Tune in for the Magic
For the uninitiated, ABC’s “The Great Halloween Fright Fight” is the Halloween counterpart of the beloved “The Great Christmas Light Fight.”
Mark your calendars for October 22, 2023 at 10 PM, tune in, and cheer on as The Haunting of Storybook Hollow competes against three equally exciting home haunts for a $50,000 prize.
Will Storybook Hollow sweep the contest? We hope so, but even if they don’t, we will still love and enjoy this magical place right in our backyard. Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing your talents with all of us!