When people think of driving through neighborhoods, hot cocoa in hand, looking at the ingenuity and craftmanship of lights displays, inflatables, and massive yard displays—it’s mostly for the Christmas Holiday. But if you aren’t aware, let me tell you a little secret: the yard displays for Halloween are so much better. Instead of just focusing on Santa—Halloween offers themes that range from entire recreations of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean to sprawling cemeteries with ghastly projections to clowns. But of all the yard displays I’ve been to (and it’s a lot), none have impressed me in quite the same way that Wolf Creek Island has. So today, welcome to our first review of a yard display—read on, and you’ll see that it’s more of an experience than a simple display.
Running with the same theme for three years, Wolf Creek Island has just retired their cemetery theme, replacing it with an entire Halloween Tiki theme. Rather than just showcasing beautiful décor—complete with a skeletal couple enjoying drinks at a tiki bar—Wolf Creek Island tells a story. By tuning in 87.9 on your radio, tiki-inspired songs synchronized to the lights will play as a skeletal narrator tells you a story of pirates and the curse that befell them. The story runs in approximately 15-minute loops—and it’s worth sticking around and watching the entire thing—especially when the volcano is active.
Yes, I did say volcano. While the volcano is only active on Friday and Saturday nights (and Halloween), it rests on the edge of the yard, inconspicuous to the eyes on nights off. But if you’re there on a Friday or Saturday (and please go on one of these nights), the volcano glows with almost a hundred vacuum-formed skulls, illuminated in brilliant rainbow colors or burning with intense vermilions, all in service to the narrative. But that’s not all. The volcano will spring to life, releasing fog and massive jets of water thirty feet into the air from hidden air cannons, soaking anyone daring to stand below it. I’ve never seen anything like this outside of a professional water-show at a theme park—and it’s amazing to see all of this in someone’s front lawn.
Shane Rehm and his family are the team that created Wolf Creek Island. With a background in IT, Shane and the rest of the Rehms started designing the technology all the way back in February, after a planned trip to Hawaii inspired them to go tiki this year for Halloween. “I’ve always liked playing with Christmas lights, so I learned how to program all the lights over the last few years—but the water is new this year,” Shane tells us, as we’re standing in front his volcano, spewing water into the air.
This is truly a family affair too. When asked about the wonderful narrative that was developed, Shane says, “My dad actually wrote that. He wrote it as a pirate story. We told him, ‘No dad, it’s a Hawaiian theme.’” But the pirate narrative stuck, and now skeletal pirates are cursed to enjoy Pina Coladas each Halloween (another tip: the fog is Pina Colada scented, further immersing you in this Hawaiian adventure). He told us with pride that his wife spent countless hours painting décor and putting it together. They had to learn new skills, like vacuum forming too.
When asked if there’s anything else they wanted people to know, the Rehms told us, “Our display is family friendly for all.”
Wolf Creek Island is incredible. Easily the most ambitious and massive yard display we’ve seen. But beyond that, it’s a true testament to the DIY spirit and how a family can come together to create something much larger than the sum of its parts. Together, the Rehms have brought their Hawaiian vacation to their front lawn, sharing it with their neighborhood and the many more that will drive to Temecula to see their yard display. Add this to your haunt list this weekend—or suffer a pirate’s curse of Pina Coladas too.
The Wolf Creek Island is located at 31974 Whitetail Ln, Temecula, CA 92592. The display runs nightly 6:30pm-10pm through Halloween but the full show with erupting Volcano runs Fridays & Saturdays 6:30pm-10:30pm. For more information about Wolf Creek Island, check out their Facebook and Instagram pages. For information about similar events, check out our Event Calendar.
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Corona Haunt’s Tales of Halloween is a walk-through home haunt in Corona, CA.