A Hampden Park couple who host a charity Halloween display each year were devastated to find most of their props have been stolen.
Natasha and Robert Sharpe hold a Trick or Tweet wonderland in their home every October which takes them all year to prepare for.
But they were shocked when they discovered the garage in Ashington Lane where they keep all their ghouls, skeletons, and witches had been raided.
Natasha said they found three large boxes full of props missing from the garage on Thursday (May 16).
“It was a big shock to us,” she said, “A lot of our props have been collected over seven years. There’s so much that can’t be replaced, it’s a real shame that they took it.”
They soon found out some of the contents had been dumped in a ditch in nearby Pigs Lane.
Unfortunately a lot of it was damaged beyond repair.
Natasha said, “Most of it was more than £50 an item. And they’ve just discarded it. It makes no sense to me.”
The Halloween event started out as Robert carving pumpkins, and grew and grew year on year into a full blown family-friendly bonanza. In recent years they have raised hundreds of pounds for charity Chestnut Tree House.
The weird and wonderful props the couple have collected over the years include a Dracula coffin, zombies, and a rare Chuckie doll from 1996, which was among the stolen items.
“It’s been very stressful, my husband does it every year,” Natasha said, “We have around 300 people visiting each year. It takes a week to set the whole thing up.”
But there has been a silver lining, as strangers have rallied to help the couple.
“Oh my goodness we have had such a huge response from everyone,” the mum said, “Even people from Southampton and Sheffield were offering to send us stuff.”
Natasha said friends had even offered to set up a Just Giving donation page so they could replace the lost items, but she said, “We don’t feel like taking money from other people that could go for charity.”
As the couple hadn’t checked the garage in over a month, they believe the burglary could be linked to a string of thefts on garages in the area in early April.
Anyone with information can contact police on 101 or online at www.sussex.police.uk