This Spooky Family-Friendly Pirate Ship Transforms Local Yard into Halloween Wonderland and Supports Local Animal Shelters, Located at 1993 Gubler Drive in Santa Clara, Utah

Every Halloween, Todd and Shari Wood's family not only delights the community with their extraordinary pirate ship-themed yard display, but also finds a way to give back to those in need. 

They actually start assembly of the Pirate Ship in the summer so it's ready for Halloween.

As locals flock to witness the magical transformation, the Wood’s family kindly accepts donations and, in turn, channels their generosity toward local animal shelters such as PAWS, BAM, RSQ, and Jackson Day. They also personally take in rescue animals and share their home with them. 

Donations are not required to visit. Todd and Shari enjoy watching as the community enjoys this wonderful tradition they have each year to share the fun of Halloween.

Many visitors wanted to donate, so Todd and Shari recently added this option about four years ago, and are paying it forward to animals that are underrepresented in our community. 


Todd and Shari Wood have always decorated their home for Halloween, but when they lived in Southern California there weren’t many kids that came to their home to trick or treat. They were delighted when they moved to Southern Utah in 2011 with their family.


Todd said that when they moved here, “There were kids everywhere, they were coming out of the grass. So let’s do a graveyard, a haunted mansion graveyard. We went out in the garage and cut out a bunch of wood and painted them and stuck them in the ground and played some thunder and lightning here with strobe lights and some thunder.  That is how it all started.” 


The evolution of the Pirate Ship started out as a graveyard in the front yard. 

Then the next year Todd said, “It just got bigger, I built a fence, a cemetery fence. Our first prop was Coffin Claudia that pops up out of the coffin to give the kids a scare.”  

YouTube Poppin Coffin
YouTube Poppin Coffin

Coffin Claudia has undergone several improvements over the years and is frighteningly fun. Equipped with a black light and strobe lighting for extra effect that definitely catches you off guard when she jumps out. 

For the past 13 years, the Wood’s family has been dedicated to creating a family-friendly Halloween experience that captivates visitors of all ages. It is also handicapped and stroller accessible.

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Their yard is transformed into a whimsical pirate ship adventure, complete with pirate skeletons, animatronics, and captivating special effects. On the weekends the smoke machine is going which adds to the ambiance. 


The attention to detail and commitment to delivering an immersive experience has earned them a reputation as the pinnacle of spooky entertainment in the community.

Todd is an electrical engineer and it shows with all the bells and whistles aboard this mighty pirate ship. Cannons blast, skeletons move, and new this year, a pirate fishes in a little lagoon with air bubbles, truly transporting you to a far away place.


Shari takes the time to decorate each scene with the help of her friend. They dress the skeletons and pose them in a gun battle, enjoying a meal or climbing a tree, or fishing, just to sail you away to a magical land. It is honestly, a magical experience.

My kids have enjoyed this for years. Even in 2020, the Wood's still decorated and held this adventure open to the public. They named it, "Pirates of the Pandemic."


They even recently xeriscaped their yard with the Pirate Ship in mind. All the power outlets are in the center of the yard to operate the ship, and a little water feature in the front of the ship for the fishing pirate. 


For the record, Todd and Shari have not ever worked for Disney. They are completely self taught, thanks to YouTube and other Halloween DIYers. They encourage others that want to add some Halloween elements to their decorations to check out YouTube and give it a try. 

Shari said that “our biggest goal and what I think got more popular than the actual pirate thing because it just got out that, ‘oh, I can walk through here and nothing is going to get me.’  It’s the fun side of Halloween.”

They want it to be whimsical, but not gory, and fun for all ages. 


Another question is where do they store it all?

The answer is that they have a storage container in the backyard where it all fits. Each skeleton has its own box and the better all the items are stored and organized as they put it away, the easier it gets put up the next year.  

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So, as Halloween draws near, be sure to embark on this enchanting adventure and experience the wonders of the Wood’s family-friendly pirate ship. You will certainly be transported to a world of swashbuckling delights. 

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