Spooktacular homes decorated with Halloween spirit

By William McGinn

Katrina Middleton loves hiding and scaring visitors whenever she can. All photos: William McGinn.

Halloween is just around the corner and we’ve taken the time to document some of the spooky spirit some Lindsay homes have shown this year.

One of the young daughters of the Middleton family on Riverside Road, Katrina, loves hiding and scaring visitors whenever she can, assisted by their decoration of a rather tall Pennywise-esque boy on a front swing. Some of her favourite things she likes to dress up as are skeletons and zombies. The scarier the better.

Greg Piggott from Adelaide Street North has some gravestones up with a sly sense of humour. He says he used to have a much bigger display of graves back when his two daughters Kate and Hilary were living with him. Now having grown up he keeps it up because he finds his gravestones are funny for both kids and adults.

On Glenelg Street West, Michael and son Jonas Grese have a terrifying couple standing outside greeting passersby, a fancy jack-o’-lantern and the skeleton of a witch. Michael revealed they had these two decorations separate but decided to try combining them.

Michael told the Advocate he has always really loved the holiday. “It was good clean fun all through high school. I’ve enjoyed dressing up all through then and my work places. We all usually do dress up for the kids too.” This is going to be the first Halloween Jonas is going to be going out with friends rather than with his parents. Michael also revealed the olive-green loose fabric reminds them of Scooby-Doo.

Mike Dawson of King Street is the main one behind his house decorations, and he was nonchalant about it. He used to just put a few pumpkins up but over the last 10 years has expanded.

On Bond Street West, a family brand new to Kawartha Lakes who moved from Peterborough decorated their house with, among other things, a giant glowing purple spider. They moved here in June, from a neighbourhood with not many kids trick-or-treating. Sabrina Ferguson, the mother, said their neighbours have told them to expect a stark contrast. She also revealed, like Greg Piggott, a lot of people have loved to stop and stare at what they’ve put up.

April Burley from Maple Crescent in town dressed up in a banana costume for the photo.

She also mentioned living right beside Leslie Frost Public School plays a part in her enthusiasm, because “the kids get to see half of it during the day and see the full thing on Halloween or when they ride through.

We used to live on a farm so we never really decorated, but coming into town was the best thing.” She also revealed her family’s plan. Her husband is actually going to be the one wearing the banana costume, their two-and-a-half-year-old son is going as a monkey (see the connection?) and April is planning on wearing a Mexican Quinceañera appropriate dress, and her mother Belinda Smith, who primarily helped decorate, will be around presumably in a scary mask.

Tamara Cole from Lang Court has a display in easy view, including a life size cut-out of Billy Buffalo and a cat whose head sometimes moves.

Walk in even further and you’ll see even more outlandish decorations on her front porch. She has decorated this way for over two decades, beginning when her oldest son, now 29, was three years old.

Her daughter used to be the one mainly in charge, but she has kept up decorating after she moved out. What Tamara loves about the holiday is “the excitement and enthusiasm of kid’s faces. I love seeing kids get dressed up and being their favourite hero or villain. Being Dracula, being a vampire, whatever it is they want to be, that’s their day to be.” The excitement and enthusiasm of kids was also the main inspiration for April and Sabrina.

Two of the houses knocked on were from coincidentally related families. In both cases a Bernese mountain dog barked and, as it turned out, the two dogs are sisters. Bob Growden and his wife live on Birch Court. Their daughter Sara and son-in-law Matt Avery live on Sanderling Crescent. Matt is the one mainly behind the decorating.

One of Matt and Sara’s sons, Colby Avery, was with Bob for the photo.

This photo is only a fraction of all the decorations the two of them have up, including a talking pumpkin next to the door that responds when you knock, and a snake doorbell whose tongue whips out at your finger when you press its button. The part of the yard that’s entirely Colby’s creation is the graveyard.

“I’ve always enjoyed decorating for different holidays,” said Matt. “We see some of the kids who walk around the corner and they get all excited about it. It’s fun and makes you feel like a kid.” They also have a blow-up turkey for Thanksgiving people like to come and take pictures with.

Matt’s son Keegan had a different twist on it, saying he is concerned children younger than him were going through traumatic times during COVID, making him especially want to give them the same joyful Halloween experiences he was able to have.

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