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  • ERIC BUTLER

Halloween is here.

I've been beating my new book over y'all's heads, so I thought I'd spend this post talking about my love/hate relationship with Halloween decorating. I usually try and wait a few weeks before putting them up, but I was excited to get these done. Plus the last few days have been nice, weather wise, so it was a no-brainer.

I wish I had a photo of the first Halloween decoration I made back in 2003. I had just purchased a brand new ground-bursting zombie from Wal-Mart. It was just a Styrofoam torso that you stuck a ground spike into it. I grabbed one of my long-sleeve shirts and an extra Jason Hockey mask (I don't know why but I had a number of them in my closet). I dressed up the zombie and stuck a PVC pipe into the bottom so it looked like he was standing tall - especially since I was able to put the character behind bushes.


I was pretty excited by my new decoration and started to think about maybe making another one. I think it lasted a week, maybe 2, before someone walked up to the decoration and set it on fire. Thank God, Loo the cat started acting weird and drew my attention to the window. I've always been amazed at how calm I was as I walked out to put out the fire. I had asked my wife to carry my son(who was almost 1) out back until I got the fire under control. Luckily the only thing that was damaged was the Jason character(I basically made a large torch) and a few branches singed on the bushes.


It made me gunshy to decorate for a few years, but I decided to give it a go a few years later. I put the few characters I made on the roof but that only lasted a year. I hate getting on the roof and save that fun for Christmas. Add in the fact I was pretty sure who destroyed the first one, and they were no longer lurking in the neighborhood, which helped me embrace putting everything back in the yard.


I don't have pictures from those early years but I do have this one from around 2014. I'm pretty sure this is the first year I made Sam from Trick 'r Treat(ignore Daniel Volpe's opinion on this classic). I'm confident Jason is off to the right.


The next year or so, I added Pennywise and Georgie from It and moved Samara from The Ring to the side yard.

Then I added the creature in the box from Creepshow. It wasn't perfect and the box was a pain in the butt, so it was a one-and-done.

I added the possessed mother from The Conjuring (far left in the chair) but no one got it so she only lasted 2 years. This year I finally threw the chair away so there won't be a repeat.

I also did Regan from The Exorcist, bed included. The wind in Texas is a problem, so the bed was retired after 1 year, but she stayed on. You can also see Chucky from Child's Play - I think I made him the same year, but he might be a year before. Then I added the Babyface Killer from Happy Death Day.





Last year I added the killer from Urban Legends, The Nun, and set Regan up without the bed. On Oct. 30th someone stole Urban Legends, Chucky, Regan, the Nun, and Ghost Face in the middle of the night. Luckily, I hadn't put everyone out and was able to make a wolfman and Leatherface before people came by for Halloween.


So I wasn't sure what I wanted to do this year. My wife isn't a big horror fan, and I hate spending any money on decorations. I do a lot of my shopping for Halloween a year in advance - the day after sales - or online during the off-season. However, many times I will buy a mask or clothes to complete a character when necessary. This year, I decided to make more of a scene than just a character and came up with 4 ideas.


Jason and the shrine to his mother from Friday the 13th Part 2

Tarman coming out of his container from Return of the Living Dead

Jeepers Creepers dropping the body into the pipe

And finally, Freddy TV from Nightmare On Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors





Hopefully, these guys make it to Halloween without any incidents.




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