Swinton Halloween House owners vow ‘we won’t quit’ after theft of hospice charity bucket

A couple in Swinton who transform their home every year into a Halloween Horror House for charity have told SalfordOnline.com they’ll carry on even after a woman stole a donation bucket meant for local hospices.

Husband and wife team Martin and Samantha Lee, who live at 108 Station Road in Swinton, give over the run of their home to hundreds of creeped-out visitors at Halloween.

There’s screaming babies, vampires crawling down walls, a zombie in the bath and props that wouldn’t look out of place in a Hollywood horror movie.

After raising a monumental £3,500 for Cancer Research UK last year, the Halloween House has rocketed in popularity, their Facebook page gaining an extra 800 followers in the past three weeks alone.

Watch: Inside the Swinton Halloween House

This year they’re raising money for St. Ann’s Hospice and St. David’s Hospice in Llandudno, after two of their friends sadly recently passed away in hospices.

But last night, Tuesday 20 October they were shocked to find their charity box containing just a couple of pounds missing from the front step of their terraced house.

CCTV shows a white woman in her late teens to early twenties, wearing a brown hooded parka with thick beige fur around the hood, and a bright pink rucksack over her shoulder, take the bucket from the front path and leave in the direction of Swinton train station.

GMP Salford West posted on Facebook: “We are appealing to this person’s better nature to do the right thing and make contact with the Police at Swinton.”

Nursery worker Samantha, 48, said: “We had CCTV donated to us after all of our props went missing last year so we put that up at the beginning of the month when we put all the decorations out. Everything was going fine until last night some girl decided to steal the bucket with the donations in.

“There was literally about £3.50 to £5 in it so she’s stooped that low.

“That tiny amount of money is not our money – she’s not stolen off us, she’s stolen from whoever put that money in the bucket and she’s stolen from the charities as well.

“The bucket goes outside during the day time and when we come back from work we empty it and leave it outside again. And no one has ever touched it until last night.

“If she’d have taken one of the props she’d have gotten much more for it.”

“The front door was open, the porch door was open, we were in, and we’ve got it on CCTV which we’ve taken to the police and they’ll deal with it from there.”

 

Superstores ASDA and Morrisons have kindly donated sweets to give out children for the annual charitable occasion.

Samantha added: “It’s nice to see some smiles on the faces of people in Salford with all of the bad news going on.

“Last year we gave out around 800 party bags to the kids, this year we’re preparing ahead so we’ve made around 1000 party bags because we think it might be even busier this year.”

The Halloween House opens this Saturday 24 October, with donations on the door.

It’s open from 10am to 1pm, and again from 2pm to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday, then 5.30pm to 8pm Monday 26 to Thursday 29 October.

On Friday 30 October the house is open to thrill-seekers from 10.30am to 1pm, 2pm to 5pm and 6pm to 9pm. On Halloween itself, Saturday 31 October, it’ll open from 10am to 3pm.

You can donate to the couple’s JustGiving page online here.

This article was written for Salford Online.

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