BLACKFOOT — John and Lisa Warren and her brother Mark Empey braved a stiff Idaho wind on Monday to share the Spirit of Halloween with the community.
Empey built the pirate ship playhouse for his nieces and nephews — Emma, Shad and Whitney Warren — about five years ago.
Each Halloween the families decorate their yard on Riverton Road and the ship and invite the community to share.
"Aargh, come on in," Empey told the children as they entered the aft part of the ship. "There's candy at the bottom if you go down the slide."
Dressed as a pirate with other family members in different costumes, including Cass the Sea Witch, Jack Sparrow and a gorilla, the group was clearly enjoying themselves.
"It's a glorified tree house for our children," Lisa noted. "They bring their friends over all the time."
And, she added, each August she brings her last year's kindergarten students to the ship, giving them the chance to enjoy it. She teaches at Moreland Elementary.
"Really, it's just a fort," Empey said. "You know what they say about a boat. 'The best two days you'll have is when you buy it and when you sell it.'"
In the meantime, the families share it from time to time.
"We want it to be a fun place to come," John said. "It started small and has grown."
Empey, who has a graphic design business in California's Bay Area, said the ship is "like a single-wide trailer," measuring 9 feet by 35 feet stem to stern.
On Halloween night the Jolly Roger snapped in the breeze as children and parents alike enjoyed themselves.