12/20/2017 13:04 EST | Updated 12/20/2017 13:11 EST

Burlington 'Griswold House' Founder Dies After He Fell Off Ladder

Visiting the spectacular light display is a tradition in the Ontario city.


The founder of a Burlington, Ont. Christmas light display is dead after he fell off a ladder while inspecting part of his house.

The home with the display is known as the "Griswold house" after the popular holiday movie, "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."

Doug Musson was trying to determine why water was dripping onto an area where visitors to his display might walk when the accident happened Monday, according to a family website dedicated to the lights. The 82-year-old died in hospital.

"Our family is devastated," read a statement.

"I debated even turning on the lights but decided he would want them on and he worked hard on making all of the displays."

The person who wrote the statement, who referred to Doug as their dad, said this may be the last year that the family can afford to do the light display as Musson's small business provided the only income.

The creations have been beloved in Burlington for years. Mayor Rick Goldring even paid tribute to Musson on Twitter Tuesday.

Two GoFundMe pages, which say they want to raise money for funeral costs, hydro and other bills, have seen a flood of donations.

"Often referred to as the Burlington Griswold house, every year it just keeps getting better and better and every year every Burlingtonian keeps the tradition and has to go see the Musson Christmas light display," Nikki Accord, who didn't know the family, wrote of visiting the house on her GoFundMe page.

Musson made the steel figures that decorate the house and property, according to the family website.


The family has animated some of the figures using a light controller, which allowed a dragon to spit fire, soldiers to salute and a snowman to melt.

And after Doug Musson's son Cam was killed in an accident in 1998, they made a Harley-Davidson motorcycle figure in tribute.

"[Doug's] love of Christmas and his passion for sharing that spirit with the community were unparalleled," one person wrote on Twitter.

"May his spirit live on."

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