‘It just breaks my heart:’ Halloween animatronic displays burn to the ground at St. Pete home

Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – What happened overnight at Evelyn Brethauer’s home was no trick or treat.

“To have to go through all this, this is just evil, pure evil,” she said.

Brethauer turned to 8 On Your Side Friday after three of her favorite Halloween character animatronic displays burned to the ground.

“I go the full dramatic because sometime people need that scare,” she said the display outside her home.

Around midnight, Brethauer said she woke up to the sound of someone banging on her door.

“We have this decrepit clown that we’ve had for the longest of time, but I got nervous when I walked out the door because right here this was Mike Myers and now he’s gone,” she said pointing the animatronic’s ashes.

Turns out her $400 Pinhead animatronic also went up in flames.

“Then I went to walk around and went, oh my god, my Headless Horseman is gone, too,” she said.

For 16 years, Brethauer and her husband have put their heart and soul into making their home a haunted Halloween destination in the neighborhood.

“It’s not for the faint of heart and it’s not for little children,” she said, “because I don’t want the little ones to get spooked so badly that they’ll have nightmares.”

But now this devastating nightmare with just nine days to go until Halloween.

“And now I don’t have them no more, so I shouldn’t cry like that,” Brethauer said. “It just breaks my heart.”

Brethauer told 8 On Your Side she is hoping the deputies can figure out who destroyed three of her favorite decorations that cost her $1,200.

“I will press charges because that person doesn’t realize that because of him or her people almost didn’t have Halloween with us,” she said.

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the home early Friday morning. A department spokesperson said this is an active and open case as deputies investigate what happened.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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