By Brad Edwards

CHICAGO (CBS) — You could call it a Halloween version of the Griswolds.

A Halloween display in Naperville brought out thousands of people every year, and raised thousands of dollars for charity, but now it’s gone, in a case that pitted neighborhood association vs. neighbor.

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Nick Thomas’ home was a symphony of fright every October night for nearly two decades; filled with a mausoleum, tombstones, ghosts, zombies, skeletons, goblins, flashing lights, and more. This year, it’s bare.

“It’s become a tradition for 18 years,” Thomas said.

That is, until the Ashbury subdivision’s neighborhood association voted to limit decorations to 50 percent of any homeowner’s yard.

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“Cut that in half, what do you cut out?” Thomas said.

So he decided to cancel the whole display. That means he won’t be collecting donations for Gigi’s Playhouse this year. Last year, his Halloween display raised $6,500 for the center for children with Down syndrome.

Thomas wasn’t telling, but he said he knows which neighbor called the association to complain about the traffic and noise created by the decorations.

What he didn’t know was how much it meant to the people who visited. During an interview with CBS 2’s Brad Edwards, several people walked up to ask him about the display, and tell him how much they looked forward to it every year.

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Eleven-year-old Sara Marston has launched an online petition – signed by more than 9,400 people – to convince the homeowners association to reconsider the rule limiting holiday decorations, but has been told the board decided to wait until next year before revisiting the issue.

Brad Edwards