LUBBOCK, Texas — In Wolfforth, Betsy and Tom Tebo take Halloween to the next level.

It all started when they saw a plastic pirate ship at their garage sale, which led them to build a life-sized pirate ship, called the Wolfforth Pirate Ship, that sails in every October.

“About 17 years ago, my wife and I built a pirate ship for Halloween,” Tom Tebo said. “We were having a lot of fun with Halloween and having kids come over and play games. We decided to build the pirate ship, and the idea has taken off.” 

The Tebo’s said the pirate ship on wheels gets better every year. They expect over 5,000 visitors this year.

“This year we have our little gentleman on the back of the ship he’s fishing,” Betsy Tebo said. “Next year, his fish will go up and down. We have a skeleton that’s in the brig. He’s in the jail. Last year, he was drinking and got drunk there, and this year he’s sea sick from it.”

Some families have come to visit since the very beginning. That’s something the Tebo’s keep track of by having kids sign the captain’s log inside the ship.

They don’t even give out candy, but are still the main attraction for trick-or-treaters of all ages.

“You can get hot cocoa and popcorn, and you sign your name,” said trick-or-treater Leana Walls. “It’s really fun.”

It almost feels like a carnival with games and prizes. That’s what hooked trick-or-treater Maximus Gagne.

“I just wanted to come find some treasure,” Gagne said. “I really wanted my gold.”

Even the neighbors have seen more trick or treaters coming to their own doors over the years.

“We probably started off maybe 300-400, but there have been many times that we have gone through counting how much candy we’ve given out, and we’ve given anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500, and it has grown at least to 1,500,” said Wolfforth neighbor Shelley Assiter.

One visitor compared the Tebo’s setup to a Hallmark movie, with kids and adults alike making this an annual tradition.

“Kids are just out having a good time and that’s what it’s supposed to be about,” Betsy Tebo said. “Everything just needs to go away and let’s just have a good time for a night. That’s what it is.”