A man from Manawatū who lives every day like his Halloween welcomes you to his home … at your own risk.
His place – a former warehouse that he himself renovated – is an exclusive sanctuary for like-minded people, including the underground creative scene of Palmerston North.
It was a secret venue for celebrity and amateur comedy gigs for the past 12 months, but before that, its big Halloween parties were one of the few occasions outsiders had to see its creation: in equal parts. , an art museum and a house of horrors.
Not that you would say it from the outside. It looks like any other industrial building. The owner, Peter Andrews, or “Old Pete” as he is affectionately called, is equally ordinary on the outside.
* From a community hall on Mount Maunganui to a family home
* The art of righting the many wrongs in the world
* Sinead O’Connor goes to Womad
He wears jeans and a t-shirt, or a collared shirt on special occasions. He greets his guests with coffee and homemade cheese and onion scones.
Inside his house, you are greeted with noisy walls clad in art. There is one square foot of floor space saved by a non-hinged installation.
Everything is made in his workshop or has been found during a lifetime of collection.
Her favorite type of collector’s item is Tui beer memorabilia – her drop of choice. The first room guests enter is the one that serves as the drinking sanctuary. It includes tables, a skinny, stools and various ornaments made from bottle or glass stoppers. One wall is completely covered in bottle caps – 3,500, he estimates – he and his friends had been drinking or rescuing from the trash cans of liquor stores. Half of another wall flashes in dim light with rows of empty brown bottles.
Others are antiques with little material value other than sentimentality or curiosity: he has a jug that has not been used since 1923.
One wall has a guillotine. He doesn’t know what it was for, just that it’s interesting.
His response to every unusual part of the house is, “Why not? “
Other why not include a concrete lamppost he made during the lockdown, a pocket of blood behind a poster of Sinead O’Connor, which drips onto a fake hand holding a saw, and at least a dozen of mannequins.
A headless mannequin is pregnant – the belly is filled with multicolored lights. He chuckles when he turns it on.
“It’s just a little different, yeah. I like different things.
He also likes challenges. Especially if that challenge is something he can pass on to someone else and make them laugh.
On one side of the warehouse, there is an expansive haunted castle-themed obstacle course that lasted 20 minutes, if you’re lucky. Every year he adds something new.
“You enter through this hole,” he says, then points to the large warning sign that says, enter at your own risk.
“So I don’t have any trouble. “
It involves a lot of crawling, sometimes through coffins, sometimes in total darkness with “hanging pieces” touching your face. One section is called “the sticky piece”.
“You have to go head first, otherwise you can’t get up. “
The exit is via a fitted fireplace, guarded by a mannequin in a straitjacket.
Pete lives for a laugh. Over the past year, it has attracted more.
A passing comment to a local comedian about the size of his house made Pete’s Place a secret comedy spot.
He built a platform, installed the lights, a sound system he “just had around” and made a microphone stand with an old shade.
Above the artist’s head – but closer to the audience – was an old car that he himself had hung.
“It’s totally safe.”
Pete turned 70 this year and was a hairdresser in Manawatū for four of those decades. Before that, “I was a slave on a farm, then a slave for my father.”
His father built houses and it was there that he learned much of the DIY skills he used in his warehouse. When a family business ended he moved to another – his mother was a hairdresser too.
He says the warehouse was cheap when he bought it 13 years ago, long before house prices in Manawatū skyrocketed. It was a blank slate.
Much of the material he used had been salvaged from his old property, salvaged from second-hand stores, or reused from what was left in the warehouse itself.
He built the kitchen, originally a dance studio, which resulted in a living room – arguably the most normal part of the house. It had a large white wall on which to project films.
Pete is a social creature, but says parties aren’t as common these days now that his kids have grown up and doing their own thing. He has four daughters and – he was counting on his fingers – “nine or ten” grandchildren.
But people are never far away. For his support, the underground creative scene of Palmerston North adopted him as a grandfather figure. For them, hearing that there is a concert at “Pete’s” is a pleasure.