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Manteca man goes mad
Mantecas mad scientist Rick Feuerstein is opening up his lab for free tonight from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Pajaro Avenue. - photo by HIME ROMERO/Bulletin file photos

While most people spend a week or so figuring what they want to dress up as for Halloween, Rick Feuerstein spends an entire month just decorating for the holiday.
And tonight at 6:30 p.m., Feuerstein – who has developed the alter ego of “The Mad Scientist” – will be hosting guests at his ornate laboratory at his home located at 1373 Pajaro Avenue.
It’ll mark the 25th year that Feuerstein has turned his garage into a spooky laboratory reminiscent of the Fright Night horror movies he used to enjoy watching as a kid, and he hopes that the regulars who visit him every year on Halloween as well as some newcomers stop by to have a look.
“The only thing that really deters people from coming is the rain and it looks like that while it’s going to be cooler than it has been, we’re going to have a clear night,” said Feuerstein, who had his opening night last weekend, drawing dozens of people. “It definitely doesn’t’ seem like it’s been as long as it has – 25 years – but this is something that I started doing because I enjoy it, and I haven’t lost that feeling yet.
“I enjoy sharing what I love with others, and hopefully they enjoy coming and seeing it just as much.”
What has become an annual staple for some Manteca who families who enjoy the spooky yet still family-friendly haunts that Feuerstein’s throwback vision brings to the table actually happened almost as a matter of happenstance.
In his career job working for a company that sells and repairs medical instruments, Feuerstein discovered a bunch of pieces of equipment that his employer was getting ready to throw away and asked if he could have it – thinking that he might be able to put something together but not knowing quite what it would become.
A friend that works at UC Davis turned him onto a discount science materials workshop that filled out a large portion of what would eventually become his laboratory, and his own ingenuity – from the Frankenstein on the table to the Jacob’s Ladder that he built himself – rounded out the bulk of what he needed.
Save for a few trips over the years to seasonal Halloween stores to pick up clearance items after the holidays, Feuerstein took his collection and turned it into what people love to visit today.
“It’s a lot of fun and people seem to enjoy it,” he said. “It was running for 16 years in Lodi and now we’re in our ninth year here in Manteca, and I think I’m at the point now where it can’t grow any larger than it has – I just don’t have the room.
“This all begins the first weekend in October and then nights and weekends until Halloween, and it’s always worth it when people stop by.”
Feuerstein’s Mad Scientist Laboratory, which he showcases in his garage at 1373 Pajaro Avenue, will be free and open to the public from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. tonight – or whenever people stop coming.
Other Halloween activities planned tonight in Manteca:

Calvary Chapel
Manteca Fun Fest
The Calvary Chapel Manteca is hosting a free Fun Fest tonight from 5 to 8 p.m. featuring games, cotton candy, and popcorn.
The church is at East Yosemite and Fremont avenues. For more information go to or call 825.9673.

Place of Refuge
Trunk or Treat
Refuge Church, 486 Button Ave., will be hosting its annual Trunk-or-Treat is tonight.
This will be a safe and fun event for families to show off their costumes and fill up on sweets. Please contact the Refuge Church office at 209-239-1371 for more information.

Safe Halloween Carnival
at St. Paul’s Church
St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 910 E. North St., Manteca is hosting a Safe Halloween carnival tonight from 5 to 7 p.m. in the fellowship hall.
There are free games, food and a friendly family fellowship.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.