Greg Michael has turned to demons, ghouls, ghosts, and all manner of macabre creatures and features to help him with his mental health struggles.
An extraordinary collection of monstrous exhibits populates the Daylesford house which, in some months' time, will be open to the public.
However, before that point in time, Mr Michael will continue with his handcrafted creations which have helped turn his life around.
Mr Michael's journey took an unexpected turn 15 months ago when he psychologically crashed.
"I was struck down with bipolar through post-traumatic stress disorder. I went through depression," Mr Michael said.
"Everyone knew something was going on with me. (Previously) I was very social (and) at the local cafe every day.
"For quite a while, I was unable to function. I was overwhelmed by everything, I was just sitting and watching TV in a little room.
"It was horrifying; it was horrible."
Mr Michael's emotional collapse has been linked to a number of events with which he had never dealt with before.
He has experienced seemingly-disproportionate tragedy involving those with whom he had been close.
The loss of friends and family members, all through death, started at the age of 15. Cancer and motorcycle accidents were but two of the causes of people's demise.
"In the last 13 years, I've lost 14 friends," Mr Michael said.
"I think I'm up to 57-odd people. I just buried it for years. I've seen that much (death) from a young age."
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A pivotal moment in Mr Michael's life, one which contributed to his turmoil and which, in turn, led to his gothic artistry, occurred during an infamous period of modern Australian history.
"It started on Ash Wednesday in 1983. (I was) 15 or 16 years of age," Mr Michael said.
"I was on a...truck fighting a fire at Mount Lofty (in South Australia) and a fireball hit us.
"Out of a crew of five, I was the only one who got out unscathed. Three got really badly cooked and died years later with complications. Another guy had just moved there (and) jumped on the truck with us. He died 15 minutes after getting on the truck."
Ash Wednesday involved the eternal struggle between man and nature with the latter largely victorious. Mr Michael faced almost-impossible odds.
"(It) was back in the days when we had the old water tankers, no fire safety equipment whatsoever, and the command was 'run for your lives!'" he said.
"Three got in the front of the truck and nearly cooked. The other guy and I took off up the hill. He started burying himself, but I was much younger and didn't like the look of that and kept going. I got to the top of the hill, 300 or 400 metres passed him. I shattered the 100-metre dash that day.
"The actual blast of the fire started coming up the hill. It goes quite and peaceful and, then, bang, roaring flames everywhere. I couldn't breathe.
"I was just lucky to get out of that."
In what was the first traumatic experience of his life, Mr Michael simply kept pushing onwards.
"I got down the road about three kilometres and there's a bloke on another tanker. I knew him well. I jumped on their truck and just kept going.
"Several hours later, my commander found me in tears. He said, 'Do you know there's 50 cadet scouts out there looking for your body?' It still didn't dawn on me. He said, 'Your parents and family are all sitting at home waiting to find out where you're at'. 'Here I am, all good,' I said.
"I just denied it all and kept going on the truck for three weeks straight."
Not acknowledging death has been a pattern of Mr Michael's life and has contributed to his struggles.
"Another death would occur and I would just move on again," Mr Michael said.
"It's been a big part of it, I believe."
Seeking help to combat his demons has been vital for Mr Michael.
"I thought, 'This isn't right. I might get to the doctors now'," he said.
"I knew I had to beat it."
Mr Michael encourages all in strife to do the same as he has done.
"Firstly and mainly, get help," he said.
"The doctors are fantastic; they put me onto the right people. Medication (helped) of course. Every time they change it, it's a process getting it right. You'll have your ups and downs, but you've got to stay with it.
"If you're stuck at home and suffering, find something you enjoy doing. You might not even know you enjoy it until you give it a go."
Morbid designs and models have been what Mr Michael has enjoyed.
"The psychologists and psychiatrists love me, although (the creations) have had a few funny outcomes with the medical people," Mr Michael said.
"Because I'm housebound, I started crafting which I had never done in my life.
"One thing led to another and here I go. I don't know where it came from.
"It's definitely helped."
The extravagant exhibit, which has taken over the abode, began simply enough.
"It started with the Tree of Life," Mr Michael said.
"I wanted a tree growing in my lounge room. I looked up on Google how to make mache and away I went."
At this early stage, a Halloween display had not even entered Mr Michael's mind, but an eerie evolution unfolded.
"I kept creating these ghouly-looking, but still whimsical, things," Mr Michael said.
"I started creating rooms as well. Everything tells a story; it's interactive.
"What I'm living in now is insanity almost."
With waterfalls where fireplaces used to be and objects appearing to come out of the sky, one never quite knows what one will see next in this haunted house.
One certainty though is Mr Michael has not finished crafting and healing yet. When pushed for further details about his project, he was not willing to budge.
"I'm going to keep that under wraps until I'm ready," Mr Michael teasingly said. "There are bigger things yet to come."
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