Archive for Thursday, October 25, 2007

Home of the grave

Eudora couple hopes elaborate decorations entice trick-or-treaters to visit their cul-de-sac on Halloween

October 25, 2007

As you travel east on the rolling hills of 12th Street, you see the leaves finally are beginning to change. You look to your right and catch a glimpse of three black spiders that measure about two feet in diameter stretched across the front of a house.
You enter the cul-de-sac, and cloaked behind two large trees with little plastic Jack-o-lanterns and ghosts is Mike and Wendy Deines' home at
61 Savage Terrace.
Jason Voorhees, of the classic horror movie series "Friday the 13th," as well as a graveyard and the grim reaper -- armed with his trademark sickle -- greet you.
It's this vision that doesn't leave any doubt about the season.
"Mike got carried away with the decorations, but most men do," Wendy said.
Mike, who moved to Eudora from Lawrence a little more than three years ago with his wife, remembers the effort his parents used to put into his Halloween costumes when he was a child growing up in Russell.
"I always got dressed up and my folks went to painstaking detail for my costumes," Mike said. "I usually won or at least took second place in costume contests."
He now takes that same painstaking detail in dressing up his house.
"My goal is to ultimately cover the face of my house and up the technology a little bit more," he said. "I'd like to have a hologram out there and more motion-activated stuff. We'd like for it to look like a true haunted house."
For Halloween night, the couple also projects the phrase "trick-or-treaters welcome" onto the southern exterior of their home and will add a fog machine to cover their yard with the haze of Halloween. The couple creates this fun environment hoping to entice more trick-or-treaters to their neighborhood.
But what does the neighborhood think about that?
"The main thing that they've said is that it's been awhile since we had more trick-or-treaters," Mike said. "One of them told me, 'If you keep adding to this up until Halloween, we might have to actually buy candy this year.'"
Though most people wait until Christmas to start spreading joy, the Deines are getting a head start on the holiday season.
"I have fond memories as a kid about Halloween, and I would like to make happy memories for other kids as they trick or treat," Wendy said.

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