Lake Stevens man transforms home into pirate ship

He’s a mild-mannered Boeing mechanic by day, a rowdy pirate at night.

Every Halloween, Steve Angehrn turns into Captain Jack.

His clean-cut look is cloaked under swords, sashes and leather. He grows a goatee and trades his golf cap for a pirate hat with long hair and braids.

It’s more than a costume.

He transforms the front yard of his Lake Stevens home, 117 118th Drive NE, into the Pirates of the Caribbean.

Ships, sand, treasure chest, cannons, rope dock rails: the whole swashbuckler shebang. He strings up skeletons, rents giant palm trees, cranks up the fog machine and lights up the yard.

What’s up with that?

“I was inspired when I was 15 going to Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland,” said Angehrn, 49.

“I do it for the kids, because I don’t have kids. I wanted kids but it never did happen at the time.”

In his 20s he did a small display in his mobile home park. Skeletons. Swords. Stuff like that. Then he got divorced and gave it up for a long time, until four years ago when he got the pirate bug after seeing a window display at a costume shop.

“It has gotten bigger and bigger,” he said. Friends help him decorate and hand out candy.

Angehrn invested several thousand dollars in the spread. He built the mast. He bought the ship front on Craigslist. He planted a real palm tree.

A pirate flag over the roof is the first sign that this house isn’t quite like the others in the quiet subdivision east of the lake.

The display is still under construction. Angehrn doesn’t turn into a pirate until Halloween night.

It might have stayed under the radar if a neighbor, Debi Demiglio, hadn’t called The Herald last week and told on him.

“It is THE place in the neighborhood. It’s not obnoxious. It’s like Christmas on Halloween and it needs to be seen by more parents who would bring the kids,” Demiglio said. “He’s got it all going on.”

Angehrn poses for pictures with the kids, big and small. Stop by for a selfie on Halloween.

“He really looks like Captain Jack,” Demiglio said. “One year I said, ‘Who are you?’ He said, ‘You know me. I’m your neighbor.’ I really didn’t recognize him.”

Here’s a Halloween house to check out now

Most people wait until December to get the decorating frenzy, but there are other Halloween houses around the county.

In Everett, check out Laura Holland’s festooned house.

As she puts it: “My decorations aren’t gross, creepy or gory. Mine are campy, fun, a tad spooky — the Halloweens I remember as a kid. I also decorate on a budget. I use things I’ve had for years or found at the dollar store or thrift stores.”

Why does she do it?

“I’m single without kids of my own but still very much a kid at heart,” said Holland, who has a home-based accounting/bookkeeping business.

The display stays up all month.

“Kids start asking me in September when I’m going to decorate. One of them even helped me decorate this year.”

She has costumes for her cat and her 150-pound Newfoundland dog.

Does she dress up?

No need.

“I have bright pink hair,” she said. “I’m not your typical 50-year-old accountant. People take life seriously. I like to be silly and fun.”

Send us your photos

Know of other Snohomish County homes with great Halloween decorations? Email photos to abrown@heraldnet.com for a photo gallery to run online.

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