Take a Virtual Tour of This Fan-Made Knockturn Alley Display
Happy Halloween! Some of you may have been getting in the spirit by decorating your homes and yards. Every year, many families create interactive and immersive Halloween displays for their community to experience. But if the spooky side of Halloween is what intrigues you, then you’ll love this Harry Potter display!
Corinne Adams and her husband began building a Knockturn Alley display in 2016 after a trip to Universal Orlando Resort. It all started in their driveway with Borgin and Burkes as the first shop. Over the years, they designed and built more displays, each a wooden and glass structure. As it grew (in popularity and weight), they moved the displays to a permanent spot in their basement. In total, there are five shops: Borgin and Burkes (dark artifacts), Dystyl Phaelanges (the bone shop), Noggin and Bonce (shrunken heads), Potages Cauldrons (cauldrons of all types), and the White Wyvern pub (only open on Halloween). They are constantly tinkering and adding new things to the displays and try to have one new display item each Halloween.
Corinne described the joy this evolving display has brought to her and the neighborhood:
I have a small theme park in my basement! It’s my favorite place in the ‘Potter’ universe – Knockturn Alley! The children in my neighborhood always know they’ll get a special surprise at Halloween. We try to add something different each year. Since it’s become the ‘Harry Potter’ world, it’s fun to search for the newest magical item in this evolving alley.”
I recently had the pleasure of meeting with Corinne, a fellow Slytherin, and bonding over Harry Potter and our love of Halloween. She greeted me with a butterbeer and gave me a tour through Knockturn Alley. I was amazed at the thought and detail she and her husband put into creating and maintaining the alley. You walk through and notice many of the small and subtle details. Many magical creatures lurk about: a grindylow, a mandrake baby, a garden gnome, Cornish blue pixies, a werewolf, a Dementor, and even Kreacher, the Black family house-elf. And Knockturn Alley would not be complete without all the unusual and creepy artifacts: the cursed necklace, the Hand of Glory, Tom Riddle’s diary, and more!
My husband did the carpentry, and I did the lettering and props. We ‘bricked’ the walls and ‘cobbled’ the street. There are lanterns and street lights, sound effects, and ‘alley’ sounds looped from the movie! There are also smells and fog.
Knockturn Alley is typically open on Halloween to friends and neighbors in Narragansett, Rhode Island. However, due to the pandemic, Corinne and her husband have decided to close the indoor display this year to keep everyone healthy and safe. Check out the video below to take a virtual tour!