Spooky spouses: Leeds couple’s many years of serving trick or treaters

Denis and Mary Marriott have opened up their house to local families every Halloween for more than 10 years.
Denis and Mary Marriott have opened up their house to local families every Halloween for more than 10 years.
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Generations of trick or treaters in Leeds have come to regard one house as a key stop-off on their annual Halloween jaunt.

Because every year for more than a decade Denis and Mary Marriott, of Summerfield Drive, Bramley, have opened up their home to families in the area for a party.

The couple cook hot dogs and chips for children in the neighbourhood – but last night’s bash could have been their last.

Mrs Marriott said: “We’re getting older – I’m 68 now and he’s 67. It’s a lot of preparation. It takes me about two days to set it up.

“But it’s worth it, because the kids enjoy it. I know it’s an American thing, but it’s a family thing.

“The parents are really appreciative. I actually had the chance to go away this weekend and I said I can’t. The kids expect it.”

Any family is welcomed into the home, which is annually adorned with ghosts, pumpkins and witches.

Spooky music is played and a gazebo set up in the back garden, where the scarier features are placed for older children.

Last year the pair made 60 hot dogs and five bags of chips for the youngsters.

Mr Marriott, a former tank regiment sergeant, said: “When the kids come round it turns out a lot of their mums turned up when they were kids.

“I’ve been walking around the estate and I get called by a kid in July, ‘I will be round your place on Halloween’.

“There’s a whole batch of kids who all know me and I don’t know them.”

The couple’s daughter Clare Brooke, 37, of Aston View, takes her kids Summer and Jacob, four and seven, to the “zombie party” each year.

She said: “Our family’s very community-oriented and we love just putting stuff on for the kids and seeing them enjoy themselves.

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