Dad plans ghoulish Halloween display in Milton Keynes to help raise awareness of Tourettes

His teenage son developed Tourettes Syndrome overnight for no reason

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 1:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th October 2021, 1:42 pm

A Great Linford dad is turning their home into a spectacular Halloween Scaremaze to raise cash to help people with Tourettes Syndrome.

Every year for the past decade Darren Smith and his family transforms the garden of their Wood Lane house at Halloween and opens it to visitors in exchange for donations to charity.

This year the chosen charity - Tourette’s Action - is particularly close to the family's hearts, as Darren's own son suddenly developed Tourettes earlier this year.

Part of a previous Halloween display at the Smith family home in MK

"He just woke up one morning with the condition," said Darren. "He is 17 and he has body and verbal tics. They have no idea what caused it and there is no cure."

He added: "He will have to learn techniques to manage it. It might just stop but it is never cured."

The youngster is a student at Arts1 performing arts school and he is looking to make a career in stage/tv acting. When he is performing either music, dance or singing, the tics temporarily subside, said Darren.

"It’s a really strange illness and Tourette’s Action need all the support they can get," he said,

Darren hires costumes and actors

The family is already busy working on this year's Halloween display, which will be open to the public from October 26 to October 31, between 6pm and 9pm daily.

Darren builds all the props himself and uses live actors to dress up in costumes. On previous years the garden has attracted hundreds of visitors from all over MK.

The event is not recommended for children under the age of 10. Entry is free but donations are welcome.

Tourettes Action is a support and research charity working to improve the lives of people living with Tourette's Syndrome (TS).

Part of a previous Halloween display at the Smith family home in MK

The syndrome is a condition of the nervous system and causes people to have tics, which are sudden twitches, movements, or sounds that occur repeatedly.

People who have tics, either verbal or physical, cannot stop their body from doing these things.