Canton cracks down on man's Halloween charity display for lack of permits

- No guts and gore, just startles and scares. Ghouls and goblins, kids and parents beware.

Welcome to Skullman's Ghastly Garage. Hundreds check out the neighborhood attraction in Canton Township every year.

But more frightening than this DIY haunted house is the phone call creator and homeowner Michael Fillion received from the Canton fire marshal.

"I had to shut it down because I didn't have the proper permits that I didn't realize I needed to have for a home haunt," Fillion said.

Most neighbors love the Ghastly Garage that Fillion sets up every Halloween, but one neighbor apparently does not. They reported him to the township, which says because this setup is so elaborate, Fillion needs a special event license and inspection to operate his Halloween house of horrors.

Now he has to scale back or get sticker shock from township fines.

"I was really upset," said Vicki, a neighbor. "We've been having this going for years and my grandkids were looking forward to coming over and going through the haunted house. It's a shame because this has been a great community outreach and also helping out people who need food."

Fillion never charged kids or their parents money for entry, just canned goods which he in turn donated to the Gleaners Community Food Bank.

"You see so many people in need of food, so many kids starving," he said. "It's just something I can help out with. Last year I raised 785 pounds of food I was able to donate and $100."

Fillion is still planning to hold a food drive for Gleaners Friday, Saturday and Halloween. Fillion still wants kids and their parents to come out, he'll have to dial back his Halloween setup this year but says he's going to work with the township to make sure the Ghastly Garage is up and running next year.

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