Honolulu family hopes Jack Skellington will provide fun, inspire keiki on Halloween

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — For those who are still focused on what to do for Halloween 2021 amid a pandemic, there are several options where parents can take their keiki — especially for those concerned about COVID-19.

Contactless delivery has made its way to trick-or-treating at a house in the Diamond Head area, and for guests who go on Halloween — Sunday, Oct. 31 — keiki in attendance might learn a thing or two.

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Last year, in 2020, the Marsh family debuted their computerized motion-activated machine to help keep kids trick-or-treating safely. It is designed to be Jack Skellington from the popular Tim Burton movie “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

“Last year, the children didn’t have much hope of a Halloween, and with the COVID virus and everything, and we were inspired to do some kind of contact thing that would entertain them.”

Aaron Marsh, creator of the machine

People from all across Oahu stopped by to visit during the 2020 Halloween season. Now, the Marsh ohana has a new edition, as Jack had to be rebuilt for 2021.

“The reason is we just didn’t have room for it,” Aaron Marsh, creator of the machine, said. The machine’s rebirth is a family project: Aaron’s daughter designed the face, his son programmed the computers and his mom, Lisa, put together the boxes.

“Part of building it was to keep our kids inspired, even though they’re a little bit older in their teens so they felt like they were in the holiday spirit,” Marsh said.

It took about 45 hours’ worth of work to complete rebuilding the machine, and it is safe to say that they have heard enough of the “This Is Halloween” song that the machine plays.

Aaron teaches 3D design as a second job at the Mary, Star of the Sea School — where Jack will also be found. His hope is that this machine — with its two computers, motion activation, gears, a hopper and a conveyer belt — will ignite kids’ interest in machines.

“Basically, it senses when it sees the sensor; it will turn on a gear motor here that will actually drive the belt, then it has another motor under here — the hopper — that will spit the candy out,” Marsh explained.

The Marsh family wants the five bags of candy they bought to fall right into kids’ trick-or-treat buckets.

“I want to see all five bags gone of candy, so I don’t have to eat it,” Marsh added, laughing. “I want to see lots of happy children and pictures with Jack.”

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Jack will be outside of Marsh’s home on Halloween starting at 4:00 p.m. located on McCorriston Street — near the Kapiolani Community College in Kapahulu.

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