Long Time Halloween Tradition May End

Bill Brown
Bill Brown

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Dressing up and collecting candy on Halloween is tradition.

And for many people, enjoying the decorations at John Silva's house in Kalihi is a big tradition. But it could soon come to an end.

The 30-year lease on the home expires next October. Landowner Bishop Museum says it needs the plot.

"We expect an increase of 100,000 visitors at the museum," said museum president Bill Brown. "We need that space."

Silva has lived at the house for more than 50-years. His wife Isabel has been decorating the home every Halloween and Christmas for more than 30-years, and they're well known for it.

"Lot of people come here," said Silva. "My picture is in every part of Japan, Germany, the Philippines, all over the world."

Silva said they started the decorations for their children, and grandchildren. Now, their home has become part of the holiday experience.

19 others were in the same situation as Silva -- longtime homeowners on private land. A dozen of them were bought out. The rest were given leases for the rest of their lives. Silva wants the same.

"Just let us stay here in peace," said Silva. "When we go, when we die, you take everything. we give it to you."

The museum says it offered a lifetime lease, but Silva declined. He also declined an offer to move to another museum property.

"You want the damn land back? give me life," said Silva.

"The lease is up," said Brown. "$500 a year was a good deal. And I wish him luck, and if he wants to move down the street, we'll make sure it's a nice place."

The museum says there is really no compromise.

It has given Silva the option to move.

Silva says he wants the state to step in, but if nothing happens, he'll be forced to move.