JOPLIN, Mo. — One of the largest four state holiday attractions for ghosts and goblins of all ages is back open for business. And if you live in the Joplin area, it won’t take you long to get there.
“I’ve kind of lost count, we’re approaching twenty now,” said Dan Goepfert, Creator, Drachenmoor.
It started out just like any other typical Halloween display, but nearly two decades and two houses later, it’s grown to over a three acre field of screams, complete with inflatable, animatronic and static displays on Crow Road in Joplin.
“Blimey, if you don’t mind, I’d like to cut a few pieces of candy from you, or maybe if you prefer, I’ll just help myself to an ear, or a finger!”
It’s called Drachenmoor, and it’s entrance is guarded by a hand built, animatronic dragon.
“We started with Styrofoam and carved her out of a giant block of Styrofoam essentially, and built a steel sub frame and then her coating is fiberglass coated with crushed, recycled glass. And then, of course, we installed some pneumatics and things in her her jaw and her wing is actually a gate that drops down and closes,” said Goepfert.
Drachenmoor comes from the deranged imagination of Dan Goepfert who noticed a lack of trick or treaters at a house he used to live in on Empire Street in Joplin decades ago. Two houses later, it’s become an attraction that draws people from as far away as Vinita Oklahoma.
“We generally start about September First but if really needs to be sooner than that, that’s just a quickly as I can block out my schedule to be able to do it, really it needs about 8 weeks to set up,” said Goepfert.
And each year, he adds new items, like this huge, custom made castle as well as a boat that will take riders to the River Styx. In all, it features 25 inflatables, 20 animatronics, and countless static displays.
“It’s a combination of things, some of the stuff I’ve made from scratch, some of it has been store bought and modified and some of it’s straight out of the box,” said Goepfert.
There is no admission, but donations are accepted to help with the upkeep of the attraction as well as the terrifying electric bill.
“I couldn’t do it alone, I get a lot of help from my wife and my daughter and I also have a couple of guys that help me with the set up and we get a lot of help from volunteers that help us watch the trail to keep an eye out and help people people as they walk along the trail,” said Goepfert.
For information about the location of the display and when it’s open, we’ve put a link here.