Last year's Halloween performers at Deadman’s Haunted Grave in Prescott included (front, from left): Jeff Herme, Riley Herme, Brianna Herme, Heather Herme; (back, near sign) Dylan Herme. Photo courtesy of Herme family
Go through Deadman’s Haunted Grave, if you dare

Prescott family goes all out for Halloween

PRESCOTT – For this local Prescott family, Halloween is their favorite time of year. And each year, the Herme family welcomes the community to their home for a unique and spooky experience on Halloween day. For the last 26 years, Heather and David Herme have built and decorated what they call the “Deadman’s Haunted Grave” and welcome hundreds of families to admire their work.

This year the family has decided to continue the tradition. This is the second year Hermes has brought the event to Prescott after moving across the river from Cottage Grove.

“We’ve moved this along SCARY!

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with us wherever we have moved in the past; we started when I was pregnant with Dylan and decided we wanted to do something a little extra for Halloween, so the kids have just grown up with the haunted house,” Heather Herme said.

After having about 300 people walk through last year, they are expecting a big turnout again this year.

“We weren’t sure what we were going to get last year with COVID and it was our first year in Prescott, but everybody was so welcoming and so excited for it and last year was the most families and kids we have ever had,” said Heather Herme.

The family is currently constructing the haunted house and after 26 years, they have a lot of equipment to make it the best.

“When we first started out it was really small. I mean just a couple gravestones and a fence and that was it,” said David Herme.

Each year the project has gotten a bit bigger and this year is no exception. The family has decided to add on more to the structure. Also new this year, the family is accepting nonperishable food donations for the Prescott Area Food Pantry.

“The donations are new this year, it has been something we’ve talked about before but we just haven't been able to get the advertising out early enough for it, so this year we are finally and so many people asked last year what they could do to help, so we figured we are doing this for the community so let’s let everybody give back to the community,” said Heather Herme.

Heather and David Herme have two children who also love helping out with this unique tradition each year.

“We like to add new things every year and make some new, big things each year that people can enjoy,” said Dylan Herme.

Heather Herme joked that this has always been the highlight of Halloween and they ended up just buying candy for her daughter instead of taking her trick or treating.

“I remember years when David and his brother would be setting everything up and I would take the kids around trick or treating really fast so we could get back,” she said.

However, Brianna Herme counts the family enterprise as her favorite memory growing up.

“it was a few years after Dylan stopped trick or treating that my mom said she didn’t want to take me trick or treating anymore, but she’d buy me a bag of candy and I’d get to help out here,” she said.

The Herme family is very thankful for the support from the community and is happy to be a part of this tight-knit neighborhood.

“We’ve lived here for two and a half years now and we have awesome neighbors and everyone is so great. That small community feel is what I want and it’s what I want my kids to have,” said David Herme.

The family enjoys seeing it all come to life each year and are happy to bring others the experience.

“This is our passion so we are more than happy to put this on and that is why we keep it free because it is fun for us,” said Dylan Herme.

David Herme said, “On Halloween night our yard really comes alive, the biggest thing is that this is all family, we all help out and my support is my family.”

The event starts at dark on Halloween night and is located on the corner of Lawrence and Jefferson streets in Prescott.

For more information about the process and updates, you can join a Facebook group called “Deadmans Haunted Grave.”

Prescott’s Herme family at the entrance of what will be built as the Deadman’s Haunted Grave for Halloween night. (From left): David Herme, Brianna Herme, Heather Herme and Dylan Herme. Photo by Melissa Thorud

The Herme family is in the process of setting up their spooky walk through for Halloween night, called Deadman’s Haunted Grave. The event is free; people are encouraged to bring nonperishable food donations for the Prescott Area Food Pantry.

Photo by Melissa Thorud

The Herme Family at the candy shack in their set up, which serves as the best exit! (From left): Dylan Herme, David Herme, Heather Herme and Brianna Herme. Photo by Melissa Thorud

October 20, 2021