'He wants Bensenville to be Halloween city': Man's love for season putting village on the map

Village of Bensenville, IL becomes haunted for 1 month a year

ByChristian Piekos WLS logo
Monday, October 31, 2022
Bensenville Halloween events putting village on the map
Looking for Halloween 2022 activities? Bensenville Village Square will be haunted Monday night.

BENSENVILLE, Ill. (WLS) -- The Wilkes Family Halloween is calm in the daylight Monday, but, come nightfall, the Bensenville Village Square is going to be haunted by some of the scariest horror movie stars.

And it all started with one man, who has a love for Halloween.

"It was just kind of a small display, and so many kids show up, so many trick-or-treaters came by. They loved it, and I said 'if you love it this much, let's do it real big,'" Chris Wilkes said.

The Wilkes Family Halloween draws well over a thousand people each weekend to the Bensenville Village Hall in October for a festive fright.

"You've got people from all walks of life. Every background, everything. You know what they are doing, getting along and having a good time," Wilkes said.

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Word of that good time is spreading.

Wilkes has garnered over 2 million followers on different social media platforms, from Instagram to TikTok, of his impressive Halloween display.

"I've had kids coming now for the past 10-plus years that are like, 'I grew up on this, and I remember this moment,'" Wilkes said.

Bensenville Village President Frank DeSimone said the Wilkes Family Halloween is helping place the quaint community on the map.

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"He wants Bensenville to be Halloween city," he said. "I do dress up out here, as well, and you have to see it to believe it. The nice thing is we're safe about it; we all know who we are, and the community respects that."

Local businesses, like Green Street Grille, are also getting an added financial treat with the boom in weekend visitors.

"For us as a restaurant, being 100 yards away, they come walking by our place, and quite often they stop by and have a drink or a sandwich, so it's been great," said Mike Munro, with Green Street Grille.

It's an eerie way to celebrate spooky season in Bensenville.

Monday is the final night of Wilkes Family Halloween.

It all starts at 7 p.m.